Retaining your best workers during an economic downturn can make the difference between success and failure for any company.
When pay is squeezed and standards of living seem threatened, people naturally focus more on salary and benefits and less on job satisfaction.
In a recent survey by the Institute of Administrative Management, more than half (54%) of 2,000 UK workers across all sectors gave improving their salary and benefits as the top reason for wanting to change jobs. The second most popular reason (42%) was improving job satisfaction.
Last year’s survey saw 61% of respondents citing job satisfaction as the top reason for changing jobs, while 48% said pay and benefits was the most important. This reversal will make senior managers nervous. How can they be expected to keep their people – and keep them happy – in straitened times when there’s no money to spend on increasing salaries?
One way is by leveraging reward and benefit assets to ensure the best possible return on investment from them. Employees really do value their benefits and many companies do a great job of selling them to new or potential staff – but the selling often stops once people are on board.
Maintaining that focus on promoting the benefits of working for your company through effective reward communication is a form of internal marketing that can reap serious dividends in staff loyalty. There are numerous ways to communicate reward: seminars, webinars, presentations, team meetings or one-to-one conversations with line managers, podcasts, printed materials, social media, total reward statements or even advice from external experts.
Whatever method you choose, the basic principles underlying all effective reward communication remain constant whatever the economic climate – but it’s never more important to stick to them than when times are tough. They can be summarised in five steps:
- Define the journey: Establish a vision and objectives for your reward communications. Take some time to articulate exactly what you want to achieve given the difficult operating context.
- Audit and review: You may think you have a clear picture of how things currently stand and how your workforce feels, but have you researched this properly? And how are you going to measure the effectiveness of your communication?
- Framework and identity: Your reward communication must be consistent – in style, creative look/feel and language.
- Build a communication plan: Consider your audiences, your channels, your messages and your timings – and then map them all out in a way that makes it clear to everyone involved exactly what will happen, how and when.
- Ensure you can deliver: Once you have a view on what you want to say, how and when you want to say it and to whom, consider whether you have the right tools at hand to deliver your messages.
By : Caburn Hope