Expert Panel® Forbes Councils Member Forbes Human Resources Council COUNCIL POST
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In a competitive marketplace, it’s understandable for employers to be concerned about whether their company has the ability to meet the industry standards for equitable compensation and benefits packages. The key is to not stress so much about measuring up to what other companies have the ability to offer current employees and rising new talent. It’s more important to first find out what kind of total rewards your staff members are in need of, in addition to doing survey analyses of current practices.
Below, 12 experts from Forbes Human Resources Council share tips to help company leaders ensure that they’re offering the best salaries and benefits packages that are practical for their employees and within the company’s means.
1. Conduct Market Research And Employee Surveys
Leaders should regularly conduct market research to understand the industry standards and the compensation offered by similar organizations. Survey employees to gather feedback and assess satisfaction with current offerings. Browse benefit marketplaces like Bennie or Nava Benefits to get an understanding of the newest offerings like bereavement care services. – Cara McCarty, Betterleave
2. Discuss The Total Rewards Package With Employees
Most companies conduct regular market analyses to ensure that their salary and benefits are competitive. But to me, it is key that companies foster transparent conversations with employees about the total rewards package being offered. Usually, employees think about their compensation as salary and bonus, but we also need to shift the discussion to the total value they receive through benefits like 401(k) matches, health plans and more. – Eva Majercsik, Genesys
3. Utilize Data To Gauge The Benchmark
To stay competitive, employers must proactively evaluate their compensation offerings and keep up with shifting employee expectations. Since today’s employees are calling for fair and transparent pay and benefits, employers will benefit from utilizing data to benchmark against industry competitors and evaluating their current pay strategy to ensure it stacks up against industry standards. – Tanya Jansen, beqom
4. Assess The Company’s Budget And Work Within Your Means
The first thing an organization needs to do is find out what it can afford financially. Once this is completed, a compensation strategy can be designed and developed. Many times organizations believe that in order to be competitive they must pay in alignment with other organizations. This is not the case. The compensation strategy must be in accordance with the company’s goals and revenue. – Nakisha Griffin, Neustar Security Services
5. Be Willing To Make Package Adjustments
In our company, we take several steps, such as conducting regular market research, using compensation survey services and best practice studies. We also communicate openly with our employees and offer them opportunities for professional development and career growth. In addition, we provide extra perks and enable work flexibility that includes but is not limited to regular reviews for all staff and adjusting packages for certain key talent. – Raj Tanwar, ADVANTAGE CLUB TECHNOLOGIES PRIVATE LIMITED
6. Address Demographic Equity Imbalance
It’s essential for HR leadership to integrate employee feedback and demographics into the equation. For example, here are some questions to factor into your decision-making process as it relates to your employees: Are they in childbearing years? Are they members of underserved communities? Addressing these items is key to ensuring benefits are equitable for all employees. Leaders should also consider where the industry momentum (e.g. family-friendly policies, paid leave) is turning toward. If you want to be competitive, remain relevant. – Dirk Doebler, Parento
7. Don’t Chase Trends
Headlines are distracting, so avoid chasing trends and, instead, talk to your employees. Remote work is a great example of this. The expectation based on the LinkedIn feed far outpaced reality. Listen to your employees because they will often tell you what they want and why it is important if you ask. – Rick Rittmaster, CorTalent
8. Calibrate Exit Data With New Hire Data
Make sure you look at your external benchmarking data. This is critical to understand and clearly outline your external benchmarks—but also review your exit data. It’s important to calibrate your exit data with your new hire data to ensure you are staying competitive. This allows you to look at the complete picture. – Rohini Shankar, Nations Benefits
9. Ensure That Roles Are Current And Competitive
Ensure HR compensation and benefits professionals, along with employee benefits providers and brokers, survey the workforce to understand their desires associated with benefits, awards and recognition. Ensure that roles and responsibilities are current and compensation is competitive. – Deborah Stallings, HR Anew
10. Rely On Your Network Of HR And Financial Experts
Engage experts to benchmark the data, while also staying abreast of trends. It’s important to remember that your competitive advantage many times lies in the intangibles, such as autonomy, professional development opportunities and inclusive benefits. Building a trusted network of human resources and financial experts is key. – Domonique Revere, Adjaye Associates
11. Consider Generational Differences And Priorities
Keep a pulse on trends that might have an impact on the roles you hire for. Using a variety of research tools to evaluate compensation for the markets you hire in is critical to ensure your compensation doesn’t lag behind. Survey your staff to understand what aspects of benefits packages are important to them. Staff in their twenties will have different priorities compared to those in their forties. – William Stonehouse, Crawford Thomas Recruiting
12. Focus On What Makes Your Employees Happy
Perhaps it’s about meeting our own employees’ needs rather than competing with other companies. For example, if a compensation or benefits package exceeds my expectations at my company and fits my household desires, then I’m not shopping for other packages at other companies because it’s a non-factor. As long as our employees are happy, that is the best indicator that our comp and benefits packages are solid. – Christina Hobbs, Force Scaling
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