XpertHR spent the past two days at the informative CIPD Reward Conference, catching-up on all the latest developments in the reward field and listening to speakers share their experience of reward challenges such as how to reward in a time of austerity, how to link reward to the business strategy and how to ensure that linking pay to performance works.
With so much to take from the two days, we thought it would be useful to provide some additional resources around the themes covered on the two days. So here is a quick run-through of the sessions covered, and further reading on XpertHR.
Reward in a time of austerity: managing restraint and doing more with less. This is a subject that cannot have failed to captivate most of the conference delegates. The panel offered a number of practical suggestions including introducing total reward statements, communicating with employees, and using tax-free benefits.
- XpertHR's benefits and allowances survey looks at the benefits commonly offered through salary sacrifice. Our case study looks at how the Scout Association conducted a total review of its pay and benefits.
Reducing talent attrition when resources are limited. Pay is a key driver of employee engagement, according to recent research from XpertHR. This session looked at the role of pay and benefits in employee engagement - and therefore retention. Communication with employees - a key theme of the whole conference - was highlighted as a must for organisations wanting to engage with their employees.
- XpertHR's survey of labour turnover rates enables you to check your organisation's labour turnover rates against the norm.
Global mobility investment - the role of reward. With businesses increasingly operating on an international scale, they need to be able to not only manage their reward operations across the globe, but also employees who move across borders on a temporary basis. Rio Tinto shared details of how to manage mobile employees, from short- to long-term assignments.
- XpertHR's investigation of global reward practices looked at the extent to which companies can operate reward on a global scale. We also look at the global grading structure at Rentokil Initial.
Ensuring success: aligning reward strategy to business strategy. This detailed session outlined why, and how, the reward strategy should be linked to the overall business strategy, concluding that "a reward strategy is an articulation of the organisation's goals in terms of its reward, and a long-term plan to use all of the organisation's reward resources to achieve its goal."
- XpertHR recently spoke to global energy services company Senergy about how it links business objectives to employee benefits.
Social media and reward. This session looked at the role of social media in communicating reward, particularly important for generation Y employees. It highlighted some of the many ways companies can use social media - from communicating benefits to employees, to gathering feedback from them - but also noted the risks involved, in that anything you do can easily get into the public domain.
- The organisations we spoke to for our article on communicating pay and benefits have embraced social media as a communication tool in a number of ways.
Executive remuneration: the implications for reward practitioners. The discussion around executive remuneration started with an overview of the Government's position from Caroline Normand from the Department for Business Information and Skills. She reiterated that "it is not the Government's role to micro-manage company pay", but that it has a role to play in helping to address the "clear market failure" in executive pay. The consensus from this session was that companies must be held to account, but some questioned whether shareholders fully understand the processes they are voting on.
- The executive remuneration reforms were included in the Queen's speech on 9 May 2012, with the Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill expected to be brought forward "imminently".
Managing the impact of external pay pressures on organisational pay policies. Low economic growth, high unemployment and inflation and low earnings growth are all feeding into company pay policies, Mark Childs told us. Looking ahead, the differing pace of recovery in different sectors will see pay awards diverge, with the public and voluntary sectors remaining at the bottom end of the spectrum, while skills shortages drive higher awards in some areas of the private sector. The session also highlighted the importance of communicating pay policies to employees - Matthew Davies from G4S said that the company maintains an open and honest dialogue with employees around pay, which is especially important while pay awards are so low.
- This XpertHR article looks at the importance of communicating pay and benefits messages; McDonalds and Asda also share their experiences of communication around pay and benefits. Our latest analysis of pay trends covers the three months to the end of March 2012.
Pension auto-enrolment: everything you need to know and how to get it right. The title of this session may seem like a tall order, but the speakers clearly went through the legislation and what employers need to do to comply. Tips for employers included: start planning early; keep it simple; look for offsets in terms of costs; don't underestimate the importance of communication with employees; choose your default investment vehicle carefully; try to future-proof changes you're making; and take advice.
- XpertHR has a host of resources available on pensions auto-enrolment, including details of staging dates and categories of workers; details of qualifying schemes for auto-enrolment purposes; and answers to questions about pensions auto-enrolment.
Employee benefits update. Matt Waller from Benefex said that employee engagement in benefits is driven by choice, savings, and how simple it is to do. He warned that given the wide range of benefits options available (from flex and voluntary benefits to total reward and salary sacrifice) organisations should take care to only take the bits that work for them, rather than thinking that they should adopt all these approaches.
- XpertHR's latest research on employee benefits looks at the benefits available in 364 organisations.
Managing an ageing workforce: the role of reward. This session looked at how to manage the performance of older workers, plus included case studies from the University of Cambridge and the NHS on how to manage an ageing workforce.
- XpertHR's retirement survey looks at the implications for businesses of the abolition of the default retirement age, and the consequences of having an older workforce.
Linking pay to performance: getting it right and adding value. George Brown from Shell shared details of its unique global performance management system, in which employees are given a relative performance management score which, combined with the position in the pay range, determines the pay rise outcome.