People are looking for different rewards from work. Support with development, flexibility and recognition incentives are often seen as more important than their paycheque. Businesses need to look beyond the sums if they are to engage their employees and build lasting relationships with a diverse workforce.

Companies traditionally prioritise financial rewards in the war for talent. They may use data to benchmark the competitiveness of their rewards alongside other businesses to measure their attractiveness to prospective employees. Yet using the benchmarking model alone can miss the fact that employees increasingly value benefits beyond monetary reward.

Companies already view benefit packages holistically, including insurance and retirement planning – products that help their employees to enjoy security now and in the future.

However, research from Deloitte suggests businesses can go even further to deliver value and engage employees. By delving deeper into their employees’ individual goals, they can create incentives that drive employee satisfaction more effectively than just financial rewards.  

The workforce and its needs are diverse. Their values and motivators depend, in part, on their roles within the company.

Encouraging progression through the levels

A recent study of 2,400 professionals found that what most inspired professionals to work was not financial incentives, but the “ability to learn, grow and progress”.  People want to shape their careers and are looking for structures that enable them to do so.

Businesses can also benefit from improving paths to progression. In a Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study, 76% of C-suite respondents cited the importance of internal talent mobility. Despite this, the same research found that more than half of respondents said it was easier for employees to find a job outside the organisation than within it.

Businesses need to create clearer paths to promotion. Training programmes, structured professional development routes or benefits to those who help others advance could all help to engage employees driven by progression.

Motivating at C-suite level

This focus on progression is not as relevant to employees who are already at the top of the corporate ladder. But senior roles are becoming more complex due to technological advancements and changing expectations.

According to Deloitte’s 2019 study, 81% of respondents believe leaders need to be able to lead through increasing complexity and ambiguity . This style of leadership requires agility, strong communication skills and collaboration.

Yet most respondents in the survey said only 17% of C-suite executives regularly collaborate. It also revealed that those in C-suite roles are not often rewarded for the collaboration needed to successfully lead a business.

Companies need to recognise the value of this teamwork if it is to engage these high-value employees. Performance-linked rewards should take into account entire business performance, not just that of each division. Encouraging and valuing collaboration is an effective way to motivate top-level, target-driven professionals to succeed in this new aspect of working.

Building loyalty with the alternative workforce

Meanwhile, despite the rise of flexible working arrangements, only 8% of respondents in the Deloitte study said they had processes in place to develop alternative workforces . Those in contract, freelance and gig employment are highly skilled and motivated to develop their own careers. Businesses could be missing out by failing to engage these experienced and driven professionals.

Respondents to the survey rated compensation, flexibility, learning and development, and health and well-being benefits as the most important rewards in engaging the alternative workforce.  By creating packages that answer demands for more support, businesses can build strong relationships and loyalty with talented alternative workers.

Driving engagement through benefits packages

Incentives need to meet the broad spectrum of goals and values of a diverse workforce. One benefits package does not fit all. They need to be more flexible and inclusive, so businesses can adjust the rewards to target the type of employees they want to attract.

Our Global Employee Benefits are entirely flexible to give our clients and their employees the choice over what engages them the most. Speak to us today to find out more about how our products are structured.  

2019 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends

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