Creativity in renumeration

Each year strategic planning discussions find employers grappling with the delicate balance between affordability and employee reward. The challenge of retaining and attracting talent and delivering first-class services to an ever demanding and expectant community is at the forefront of their minds. Intelligent clients, who quite rightly expect quality and value for money, are increasingly creating an environment in which employers need to match these expectations with high performing teams and individuals. Limited budgets and slim profits means that the Executive Team expect their senior HR colleagues to deliver a remuneration package which can support them to maintain competitiveness. Focussing on pay alone is not sufficient enough to remain competitive in the recruitment market.

While many are fearful of a future outside Europe, research from Willis Towers Watson report that businesses are viewing it as another disruption rather than a fundamental challenge. The firm’s Brexit Talent and Rewards Survey found that 62% of British business leaders see Brexit as ‘another disruption’, compared with only 25% who classed it as a ‘fundamental challenge’.

As such, while maintaining business-as-usual, employers also need to concentrate on delivering the quality services that customer continue to need and want, while ensuring that they have the talent to meet these demands. According to research from Thomsons Online Benefits employers are currently failing to align their wellbeing programmes with their employees’ needs. The Employee Benefits Watch report found that while half of employees would prefer an allowance to support their wellbeing, only 4% of UK employers offer this.

From our own annual pay award survey, Campbell Tickell found that over half of employers have decided to award 1% annual pay award for 2017. Furthermore, 10% of employers are not increasing pay this year; while 12% are offering 2-2.5% rise. Additionally, our research shows that the level awarded did not vary greatly between regions across the UK & Ireland.

Our projects over the past year have shown that employers are increasingly offering holistic approaches to reviewing and creating remuneration packages. This is also reflected in the wider market, with Matthew Gregson, ‎SVP of Data and Analytics at Thomsons Online Benefits, highlighting the importance of employers aligning benefits with their people strategies. Four in five employers (80%) hoped to achieve ‘improved engagement’ from these benefit programmes. Indeed, ‘wellness pots’, which allow employees the flexibility to choose benefits that work for them, has been found to be particularly effective, leading to a 23% rise in engagement on average.

Taking into consideration what staff want is becoming the more favoured approach to making informed decisions about the most attractive offer needed to retain talent. Reflecting on these benefits can offer a way to redirect resources and offer staff the ability to tailor their benefits package to adapt to changing needs.

Post-scriptOur survey findings are borne out by research recently published by the CIPD, who found that of the 1000 employers that responded, almost one in five will be making no pay increase this year. The majority are expecting wages to rise by just 1%. They confirm that pay rise expectations are at the lowest point since 2013.  CIPD pay rise report May 2017

Gerri Green is HR Projects Manager at Campbell Tickell. For more information or to discuss this article, please contact:

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