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choices and a large employer match and then find that few employees enroll in the program. Or you could build a daycare center but then discover that most of your employees have no interest in using it because they are satisfied with their present child-care arrangements.
It would be nice if your benefit program could delight everyone in your organization. After all, it represents a large ongoing financial outlay. However, our research in more than 40 organizations during the past 10 years shows that only 6 out of 10 employees feel that their organization’s benefit program meets their needs and the needs of their family.
RESEARCH SHOWS SOME REASONS FOR EMPLOYEE DISSATISFACTION
• Show me the money. Many employees, especially those paid on an hourly basis, would rather see more money in their paychecks than a rich benefit program.
• I am covered by my spouse. Some receive benefits from their spouse and would therefore prefer higher pay to benefits.
• I am not thinking about retirement now. Typically, younger employees are less concerned about long-term retirement programs than are older employees.
• I am not going to be here that long. Although pensions and annuities are rich benefits, most employees today realize that they are unlikely to stay with the company long enough to receive any payoff.
• Other companies offer better benefits. When evaluating their benefits, employees often compare the company’s plan with the plans of larger and richer organizations instead of looking for organizations of a similar size in the same industry.
Improving Noncompensation Issues 27
• The one benefit I really want is not offered. Employees often have specific needs that the benefit program does not meet, such as coverage for treatment by orthodontists, optometrists, or alternative medicine providers or the opportunity to allocate their 401(k) investments to a particular stock or fund.
RESEARCH SHOWS WHAT EMPLOYEES TYPICALLY WANT
If a major objective of your compensation and benefit program is to provide employees with what is most important to them, our employee opinion survey research lends some valuable insights. Table 3.1 lists the factors that employees say are most important to them.
IMPROVING NONCOMPENSATION ISSUES
Employees today want to enjoy the work they perform. For many, their allegiance to their profession and their actual day-to-day work takes higher priority than their allegiance to their organization. Employees also feel strongly that the company
Table 3.1 The Factors Most Important to Current Employees (Not Listed in Priority Order)
Enjoyment of the actual work Adequate staffing levels Amount of pay
Link between pay and performance Work/life balance
What Is Important to Employees?
should have an adequate number of qualified employees to handle the workload in their area.
Complete the following checklist to see how your company is doing:
We have met with all of our employees, one-on-one, to discuss whether they feel that they are using their skills and abilities on their job.
We continually ask all employees if they are enjoying their work assignments.
We provide all employees with the decision-making authority that they need to perform their job well.
We have a system in place to continually monitor whether employees feel that they have received the training that they need to perform their jobs well.
_____ We provide the tools and equipment that employees
need to perform their job well.
We provide all employees with the opportunity to attend professional seminars and workshops to help them stay up-to-date with their professional skills.
We provide the opportunity for employees to increase their job skills through additional training.
We provide the opportunity for employees to increase their job skills through job rotation.
_____ We continually monitor all work areas and departments to ensure that there are enough qualified staff members to perform the job.
_____ We maintain a full complement of multiskilled workers
so that we can provide additional support when increased staffing is required in specific areas due to increased workloads, vacation schedules, or absenteeism.
Has Your Company Done the Following?
IMPROVING COMPENSATION ISSUES
Pay is very important to employees at all levels of the organization. There are three major psychological components to employees’ perceptions of any compensation package:
1. Internal pay equity. How fairly they are paid compared with others in your organization performing similar work.
2. External pay equity. How fairly they are paid compared with others performing similar work in similar organizations.
3. Pay-performance linkage. The connection between their job performance and their pay increases.
HAS YOUR COMPANY DONE THE FOLLOWING?
_____ We have examined our internal pay structure to make
certain that the salary ranges for positions are in appropriate balance.
We have examined our internal pay structure to make certain that employees performing the same job are paid comparably.