So, you’re building a salary and benefits package - where do you start?

There has never been a better time to take a microscope to your compensation package strategy, and even though money and job perks have always been incredibly important to workers - and a vital element of attracting best-in-class talent to a company - a full remuneration package has to be more than attractive.

It has to be sustainable, meaningful and personal.

What do we mean by that? Well, ask yourself the following questions:

Sustainable - is your compensation package well thought out and commensurate with the rest of the company and the wider industry?

Meaningful - is your compensation package serving a purpose eg. Do your benefits and perks reflect your company vision and mission, and do they involve your staff beyond getting a pay packet at the end of the month?

Personal - do you tweak your compensation package (reasonably) for each staff member, department on hierarchy?

To illuminate all three points, let’s elaborate:

If you refuse to offer a sustainable compensation package that meets the expectations of the wider industry, you will neither attract nor retain good staff. If that package is at odds with your internal pay bandings, or you pay the same level of staff inconsistently, you'll create resentment and anger, not to mention run into some legal trouble.

If your compensation packages simply don’t match your company vision - for example, if you operate a community healthcare business, but your work perks simply don’t match the culture of your company (such as offering restaurant discounts, which isn’t a bad thing, but what about mileage on the gallon for fuel? Or reduced nursery costs for working mums?) - you won’t hire the right people and you’ll be seen as not wanting the best for your staff.

And if you’re not making an effort to make sure every staff member feels wanted at work - and in the age of hyper-personalisation you cannot afford not to - then you’ll find your staff don’t feel looked after. I’m not suggesting you bend over backwards to accommodate every staff member’s whims, but if you’re finding your entry-level Gen Z talent want to take volunteer days to help in the local community rather than a gym membership, why can’t you accommodate that?

Let's get back to basics - what do candidates want from a job in 2022?

Perhaps rather than lean on "what do they want from work?", the best way to look at this question is "what do your people want from their work life?"

The driving rationale behind the Great Resignation wasn’t rank unhappiness with work - it was a lack of a safety net in work and life; a lack of cohesion between labour and outcome; and unhappiness in the face of inflexibility of in-office work in the digital age.

In fact, this is the very question asked by the World Economic Forum in their piece titled, unambiguously, What do employees want most from their work life in 2022?

They broke it down into two constitute parts - the rise of the home office, and a sense of wellbeing and shared culture, and the stats support this:

Remote and Hybrid Work.

● “67% of UK technology candidates are now looking to work entirely remotely”.

● “The term “remote jobs” is now searched for over 18,000 times per month in the UK on Google – a 410% increase over the last 5 years”.

● “57% of British workers want to be able to work from home”.

Wellbeing and company purpose.

● “Employees want a more human employment value proposition: They want employers to recognise their value and provide value to them on a human level. Monetary compensation is important for surviving, but deeper relationships, a strong sense of community and purpose-driven work are essential to thriving”.

● “89% of workers at companies that support well-being initiatives are more likely to recommend their company as a good place to work”.

What do candidates want from a remuneration package?

There is no quick fix to offering the perfect remuneration package - it takes time to craft the perfect balance of attractive, competitive salary bandings (and in public service organisations this is more rigid than in private), and personalisation of benefit and perk.

But our advice is simply to follow the above as a guideline and create a positive remuneration culture, and then craft something affordable and relevant to your industry.

Here are some great examples beyond the standard fare of commission bonuses and vague promises of “training” that could pique your interest:

Unlimited time off - from Netflix to Kickstarter, many companies offer unlimited time off for their teams.

Paid parental leave - a huge perk for working parents and enormously attractive to older workers.

Remote and flexible working - a now-standard offer, and one that more and more workers want.

Child Care assistance - a fantastic benefit to working parents especially when childcare costs are rising.

Career development training - one of the more sought-after perks, this can be offered in a variety of ways, from in-work mentoring to apprenticeships, training courses, or certifications paid for by the employer.

Personal development training - more personal than career development training, it’s no less important for people to feel like they can develop both their career and mentality within work.

Private health insurance - especially offers like free dental or private healthcare, both of which are attractive perks for workers in the UK.

Employee appreciation benefits - this is a widely used, sometimes vague term that incorporates a lot of great things like gifts, away days, bonuses, team dinners and more.

Bucket List awards - although more extreme in outlay, being able to help staff do some bucket list events is a huge perk, such as bungee jumping, or even a subsidised holiday!

Care packages - smaller on scale to a bucket list gift, but more affordable - companies like Perkbox, Thanks Ben and Reward Gateway are examples of companies that help package these sorts of offers.

Wellness programmes - companies such as Headspace, Libratum and Mercer offer customisable wellness programmes for employers across the UK.

Home office budget - set aside money to help your home-working employees benefit from an up-to-date, ergonomic workspace at home.

Company equity - more relevant for startups and senior hires, offering equity aside from salary and bonuses creates advocacy and determination to help the company thrive.

Flexible gym membership - rather than book your people into a fixed space, offer something closer to home or family.

Commuting assistance - the price of commuting is skyrocketing. So help your people get to your office in a way that’s sustainable and you’ll see a marked improvement in in-office working and new hires wanting to work for you.

For further reading, there are some great references from the CIPD on workplace benefits which you can read here.

The bottom line.

Fair remuneration means more than simply paying talent what they’re worth. It’s about creating a positive compensation culture that meets the demands of a modern workforce.

For more information, contact Evolve