The Benefits and Compensation Models of the Future

Gold watches and pensions are SO industrial revolution. Over the years, the go-tos for bonuses and compensation for a job well done have changed right along with the workforce. And compensation models must change as well. As the compensation structure changes, workers are requesting benefits from companies that add value to their lives. More importantly, workers are looking towards companies that are rich in opportunity, not just rich in stocks. What does the future hold for compensation models?

Incentivizing the Workforce

The workplace is changing and compensation has to catch up. In an interview with TimesJobs.com, Shubha Kasivisweswaran, the HR Director at SunGard, said, “In the years ahead, as organizations become more agile and flexible, compensation and reward structures will follow suit.” Employees want incentives more than compensation. The growing workforce is much more invested in motivation through other means like bonus plans that reward your hardest workers and flexible work hours.

Satisfied employees are not solely motivated by money. As employees grow out of traditional compensation, what is the next step? Clearly incentives. They promote a higher level of productivity in employees and deepen company culture. Employers have to discover flexible compensation plans that use incentives that are best for their company.

Short-term incentives reward drive, productivity and behaviors that have an impact on the company’s bottom line. Incentives also encourage teamwork and collaboration by weakening silos in addition to rewarding success. In order for short-term incentive plans to be effective, rewards must:

·      Relate directly to performance

·      Be based on job responsibilities

·      Be easily measurable

·      Be of significance to the employee

[Related: How to Give Thanks for High-Performing Employees]

Flexibility is Key

Today’s workforce wants less dictatorial work edicts and a little more flexibility. That’s why you see progressive employers offering balance-focused compensation like company-sponsored sabbaticals, job sharing arrangements and productivity-focused hours. These aren’t just to please the fawning millennials — rather, company leaders are realizing that burnout applies to them, too! Smaller companies are leading the pack in offering flexible environments and with the changing healthcare and benefits environment, larger corporations should look closely at how they can compensate their staff.

“Technological advances and demographic shifts in the workforce are changing where, when and how work gets done,” said Lisa Horn, director of congressional affairs at SHRM.

Gamification and Validation

Think back, just a few years ago, when you were on the little league team. Even if your team didn’t win, you probably got a trophy. Even if it didn’t mean that you won, that trophy served as an emblem for a job well done. Incentives like gamification serve as that “good job” token. That notion is beginning to enter the workplace as gamification and social validation are on the rise. Contests and program incentives provide goal-attainment in a fun and relatable manner. Organizations like the U.S. Army use gamification as a means of recruitment; others use gamification for training purposes.

Remember: It’s a Job Seeker’s Market

The tech field is dwindling. As the need for tech talent increases, so do the demands of the talent. They are not fighting for jobs; employers are fighting for them. Gone are the days where you could just post a job and land top talent. Some companies have already changed their compensation models to address their tech talent needs so they can get ahead of the talent acquisition game. Tech talent looks for companies that are rich in culture-based incentives like sabbaticals and dog-friendly offices. Other companies are adjusting their recruiting methods to make space in the office and the budget for the right talent whenever they come aboard.

In select cases, talent has the upper hand in negotiating employment terms. Building new compensation models that go beyond just cash gives your recruiting team a better platform from which to negotiate. As the workforce grows out of the standard compensation structure, performance-based incentives, flexible scheduling and gamification stimulate employee growth more than money alone.

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Competitive Benefits Kit