Posts Tagged ‘Total rewards’

Shorter Work Days: Do they make sense for your business?

Thursday, March 30th, 2017

After a two-year government study on 6-hour work days that took place in Sweden, the results are in.  While employees proved to be happier, employer costs were higher.  Is the increase in cost worth it?

The study took place at the Svartedalens retirement home and was funded by the Swedish government. Employees went from 8-hour shifts to 6-hour shifts but were allowed to maintain their 8-hour salary.  Another similar facility participated as a control group by maintaining 8-hour shifts.  When compared, 68 nurses who worked 6-hour days took half as much sick time as those in the control group.  They were also 2.8 times as likely to take any time off in a two-week period.  In addition:

·       Employees reported higher energy levels and efficiency

·       Employees called in sick 15% less

·       Employees reported that their health improved 20%

·       Employees were 20% happier

·       Employees reported having more energy both at work and home

What about productivity?  Due to the increase in energy, the nurses working 6-hour days were able to do 64% more activities with the elders.  But although productivity increased, profitability decreased.  In order to allow the 80 nurses to work reduced hours, they had to hire 17 additional staff members.  Those new hires added $738,000 to payroll, which equates to a 22% increase.  They estimate that about half of that expense is offset by the reduction in sick time, time off, and unemployment.  While the experiment proved an increase in employee satisfaction and productivity, the added costs for additional staff need to be further analyzed.

Perhaps a 30-hour work week would be more successful in organizations where 24-hour coverage is not necessary.  There are several other experiments taking place in Sweden outside of the healthcare industry.  Final results are yet to come.  Brath, a Stockholm-based startup, has utilized 6-hour work days since its launch in 2012.  They argue that the shorter days have made them more successful than they might have been with 8-hour days due to an increased work-life balance.  “Our staff gets time to rest and do things that make them happier in life,” says CEO Marie Brath.  She also states, “Our work is a lot about problem solving and creativity, and we don’t think that can be done efficiently for more than six hours.  So we produce as much as – or maybe even more than – our competitors do in their 8-hour days.”

Although not the worldwide norm, France offers 35-hour work weeks.  In the U.S. work weeks average 47 hours.  However, several large U.S. companies have begun to experiment with reduced work weeks, such as Amazon.  Results remain to be seen.  Another U.S. company, SteelHouse began 2017 with an announcement that they will offer one 3-day weekend each month.  SteelHouse CEO Mark Douglas said that the next logical step after that will be going to regular 4-day work weeks.

A more common approach in the U.S. is a compressed work week, but with the same amount of hours.  For example, working 40 hours across four days.  According to a survey by Aon Hewitt, 30% of 1,060 employers surveyed offer a compressed work week.  60% of those surveyed offer flex time, which allows employees to set their own arrival and leave times.  This approach has been shown to be successful.  Research shows that when employees are allowed to have control over their work schedules they report lower levels of stress and burnout and report higher job satisfaction.

While 30-hour work weeks are not likely to become the norm anytime soon in the U.S., it does seem that flexibility in work hours will.  Be creative in your work week structure, and don’t be afraid to try new things.

Author: Heather Nezich, Manager of Communications American Society of Employers

Sources – inc.com, Bloomberg.com, businessinsider.com; fastcoexist.com

Helpful Information from 3 Presentations at the 2014 Compensation and Benefits Conference

Thursday, August 21st, 2014

Comp Ben Save Date 2014 (2)CAI hosted its 2014 Compensation and Benefits Conference at the McKimmon Center on Thursday, August 14 and Friday, August 15. More than 200 HR professionals and company executives attended the two-day event to review and discuss emerging workplace trends surrounding compensation, benefits and total rewards, as well as the impact these trends leave on culture and profitability.

This year’s conference speakers shared presentations on how to attract and motivate top talent, strategies to increase employee engagement, reinforcing a positive workplace culture, and more. Keynote presentations for the 2014 conference lineup included:

The Future of Attraction, Retention and Motivation: How Compensation Fits into the Process Anne Ruddy – WorldatWork

What Would Healthcare Look Like If Getting It at the Lowest Cost Was Your Key Priority? Skip Woody – Hill, Chesson & Woody Employee Benefit Services

Green Goldfish – 15 Ways to Drive Engagement & Reinforce Culture Stan Phelps – 9 INCH marketing

Leverage Marketplace Trends When Making Decisions about Compensation and Benefits Strategies Molly Hegeman – CAI

In addition to the keynote sessions, conference participants had the opportunity to attend several of the many breakout sessions. Why performance management fails, building high performing teams, work-site wellbeing, and understanding survey data are some of the topics of this year’s breakout sessions.

Below are three sets of insights conference speakers shared with last week’s audience:

–Anne Ruddy shared the changes in employee attitudes from recipients to consumers of rewards in her keynote presentation:

From:

Employer loyalty

Traditional work design

Pay = position

Retirement security

To:

Self-managed careers

Virtual, flexible environments

Pay = performance, market

Individual career management

 

–In the breakout session Why Performance Management Fails, Mike Maciekowich shared five reasons why companies need performance management systems:

  1. Help managers to observe their staff more closely and to do a better coaching job.
  2. Motivate employees by providing feedback on how they are doing.
  3. Provide back-up data for management decisions concerning advancement, transfers, dismissals, and so on.
  4. Improve organization development by identifying people with promotion potential and pin-pointing development needs.
  5. Establish a research and reference base for personnel decisions.

 

–CAI’s Sherry Hubbard-Bednasz explained the purpose of salary surveys in her presentation Taking the Mystery Out of Survey Data:

Salary surveys:

  • Provide a fair representation of pay practices occurring in the market
    • Sample reflects population
    • Consider source, methodology, transparency
  • Show how variables impact pay
    • Size of company
    • Industry/sector
    • Geography
  • Indicate trends in pay
    • Overall market movement
    • Movement in certain segments
  • Inform compensation decisions as a guide, not absolute

For additional information on CAI’s conferences, please go to https://www.capital.org/eweb/DynamicPage.aspx?site=cai&webcode=cai-training-conferences.

 

Total Rewards and Business Strategy Are Not Aligned at Most Companies

Tuesday, June 10th, 2014

Expensive giftThe Total Rewards Survey developed by Mercer analyzes the practices companies use to align compensation, benefits, training and career development with today’s business priorities. Findings from the survey show that while more than half (56 percent) of organizations made a significant change to their total rewards strategy in the past three years, less than one-third (32 percent) said their total rewards and business strategies fully align.

Eighty-nine percent of organizations that participated in the survey ranked attracting and retaining the “right” talent as the most noteworthy challenge of their overall total rewards strategy. Additional challenges that were noted as very important included: collecting relevant market compensation data, keeping rewards affordable, communicating the value of rewards to employees, and ensuring pay for performance and performance differentiation.

From experiences with many clients, Mercer has highlighted several actions employers can put in place to address the holes between total rewards strategies and their business strategies:

“As companies focus on the cost of their talent, attracting and retaining the ‘right’ employees and differentiating rewards for top performers are challenges that can be made easier by incorporating the use of workforce analytics,” said Mary Ann Sardone, Partner in Mercer’s Talent practice and Regional Leader of the firm’s Rewards segment.

“Additionally, incorporating offerings such as career development and work/life balance initiatives into total rewards strategies caters to the needs of [employees] in the workplace.”

Leading the list of ways to enrich the employee experience in other ways than pay is giving employees the ability to make a difference in their job functions. Other contenders on the list were career progression, healthy living/wellness and recognition.

For additional information on recent trends and developments in total rewards strategy, including an in-depth look at what North Carolina employers are doing, please join us for the 2014 Compensation and Benefits Conference on August 14 and August 15 at Raleigh’s McKimmon Center.

This year’s keynote presenters and presentations include:

The Future of Attraction, Retention and Motivation: How Compensation Fits into the Process Anne Ruddy – WorldatWork

Green Goldfish – 15 Ways to Drive Engagement & Reinforce Culture Stan Phelps – 9 INCH marketing

What Would Healthcare Look Like If Getting It at the Lowest Cost Was Your Key Priority? Skip Woody – Hill, Chesson & Woody Employee Benefit Services

Leverage Marketplace Trends When Making Decisions about Compensation and Benefits Strategies Molly Hegeman – CAI

Additional topics that speakers will cover at the conference include: how compensation affects retention, the future of healthcare cost, driving employee engagement, analysis of the latest market data in total rewards, building high-performing teams, and understanding survey data.

For more information on conference speakers and topics, please visit www.capital.org/compconf.

7 Things You Need to Know from the 2013 Compensation and Benefits Conference

Tuesday, October 1st, 2013

2013C+B_Flash3 cropNearly 300 HR professionals and company leaders participated in CAI’s 2013 Compensation and Benefits Conference on Thursday, Sept 19 and Friday, Sept 20 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. The annual conference focuses on trends and best practices in total rewards.

This year’s event featured four keynote presentations ranging in topics from strategies for a more engaged workforce to a current analysis on 2013 marketplace trends. The conference also had three specific tracks of breakout sessions: Health Care, How-to and Advanced HR.

Highlighted below are some of the key takeaways shared during this year’s presentations:

1)      Involve employees and encourage initiative from them to increase engagement

  • Dr. Bob Nelson’s research revealed that 89 percent of employees want to be involved in decision-making and 92 percent of employees want to be asked for their opinions or ideas.

2)      Regarding total rewards programs at different companies, the following are trending: welcoming work environments, retaining and rewarding top performers, paying for performance, variable pay plans, flexible schedules, and corporate cultures that attract and retain employees.

3)      Under the Affordable Care Act, employers have an obligation to play or pay

  • If you are playing, you must provide coverage that is “affordable” and of “minimum value”
    • “Affordable” = employee contribution for lowest cost employee plan is less than or equal to 9.5 percent of employee’s compensation
    • “Minimum value” = actuarial value of coverage is 60 percent of “essential benefits”

4)      Some common mistakes HR professionals make when executing or preparing for performance evaluations include: not being prepared, giving a higher rating than earned, procrastinating, one-sided dialogue, failure to set aside personal feelings, not taking enough time, and comparing employee performance to other employees.

5)      If health insurance costs seem to be managing your company instead of the other way around, make sure to:

  • Do what you can in your area
  • Educate all key decision makers in your company on the important pieces of health care reform
  • Align yourself with credible, reliable benefits advisors or partners

6)      Top mistakes regarding Wage and Hour regulations include: thinking any person may be an independent contractor, considering salaried employees exempt, averaging work hours and recording work schedule.

7)      Employees who are very satisfied with their workplace benefits are three times more likely to be highly satisfied with their jobs and more loyal to their employer. Only 25 percent of current employees are satisfied with their benefits communication and 55 percent of all employees don’t find benefits materials to be clear and comprehensive (according to Dr. Bob Nelson’s research)

If you’d like more information on the Compensation and Benefits Conference, please go to www.capital.org/compconf.

7 Takeaways from CAI’s 2012 Compensation and Benefits Conference

Thursday, September 6th, 2012

CAI hosted its annual Compensation and Benefits Conference on Tuesday, Aug. 28 and Wednesday, Aug. 29 at the McKimmon Center in Raleigh. More than 200 HR professionals and company leaders participated in the event that focused on trends and best practices in total rewards.

The conference featured presentations from a variety of professionals responsible for advising companies on their compensation and benefits strategy. Some notable presentations included CAI’s Director of HR Services, Molly Hegeman, detailing marketplace trends for salaries and benefits in North Carolina, and Peter Marathas, Partner in the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group, who imparted the audience with tips to handle the recent changes in health care.

Other topics covered at the conference included flexible scheduling, health care management, mistakes related to wage and hour law, and multi-generational retirement planning. Below are some key takeaways from last week’s conference:

  1. Marketplace trends show an increase in consumer-driven health plan options (CDHP), well-being programs, and companies giving employees financial education and advice. These trends show a decrease in 401K matching, salary budget, promotions, teleworking and recognition programs.
  2. Employee time off costs are virtually equal to health care costs, and time off is one of the highest valued benefits to employees, second only to pay.
  3. Top 5 Wage-Hour mistakes include considering salaried employees exempt, averaging work hours, errors in recording work schedule, believing child labor laws aren’t applicable to your own child, and thinking any person may be an independent contractor.
  4. Chronic diseases make up 75 percent of national medical costs, and 80 percent of chronic conditions are modifiable or preventable. National data supports that effective wellness programs improved employee health and impact overall healthcare costs.
  5. A survey from AonHewitt revealed that health benefits satisfaction is declining, more than half of employees do not know how their pay is determined, most employees don’t understand the value of their pension plans, and 80 percent of respondents fear that they will not have enough money in retirement.
  6. According to CAI’s 2012 Wage & Salary Survey, NC companies project to increase employee salaries by 2.9 to 3.6 percent for 2012. Percentage of companies giving performance-based merit increases is 81.2 percent and those giving general increases in 36.2 percent.
  7. Companies that don’t manage total rewards effectively are missing valuable input from their employees, leading to lower engagement and higher turnover; missing opportunities to manage total rewards as a portfolio, which may lead to higher costs and lower effectiveness; and introducing unnecessary risk into their total rewards approach.

CAI holds four conferences each year. The Triad Employment Law Update is CAI’s next conference and will take place at the Koury Center in Greensboro on Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012. For more information related to CAI’s conferences, please check out CAI’s conference page.

Attract Candidates and Retain Employees with Your Total Rewards Program

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

A total rewards program refers to all the tools your company uses to attract, engage and retain employees, as well as recruit and secure talented job candidates. When selecting their future employer or deciding whether to stay or leave a company, workers evaluate the total rewards their company offers them. WorldatWork suggests that there are five elements that make up a total rewards program: compensation, benefits, work-life initiatives, performance and recognition initiatives, and development and career opportunities. A solid total rewards strategy combines the five elements to create a workplace environment that maximizes employee engagement.

Creating an appealing program will increase morale and job satisfaction, as well as improve overall staff performance. Here are some items to keep in mind when planning your total rewards program:

Your Employees Are Unique

Carefully analyze the different staff members who make up your organization. No two employees believe in the same values or partake in the same activities. Be sure your total rewards program takes employee differences into consideration. Create a culture that allows several types of people and personalities to grow and enjoy success.

Educate Your Workforce

As an employer, you are responsible for communicating to your staff the rewards that your company provides. If your employees receive higher than average compensation or your wellness program saves staffers money, make sure they know. It is up to your company to communicate the attractive aspects of your organization. Frequently remind employees of the benefits that you offer so they’ll have a reason to stay loyal and perform better.

Emphasize Your Appreciation

Employees are more likely to stay with organizations that show them that their time and efforts have not gone unnoticed. Use your total rewards program to highlight how important your staff members are to your company. Include meaningful ways to recognize and reward employees who turn in stellar work. Make sure professional development opportunities and other tasks to help your staff reach success comprise part of your total rewards strategy. Show them you care so they won’t want to leave.

CAI’s 2012 Compensation and Benefits Conference will feature additional tactics to craft an enticing total rewards program for your workforce. The conference will also cover several topics that are imperative for attracting, retaining and engaging your employees, including flexible scheduling and helping different generations plan for retirement. In addition to the knowledge you’ll gain by attending, you’ll have the opportunity to network with more than 150 HR professionals. Register for the conference today: www.capital.org/compconf.

Photo Source: robertstinnett