The Elements Ironstone Blog

Current news and trending topics for sales and financial industry professionals


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Compensation Conflict? What Employees Really Want

Is your compensation and benefits package aligned with your firms goals and designed to attract and retain a winning team? Firms with a mediocre compensation plan are likely to lose potential qualified job candidates and deal with high turnover. Costs involved with employee turnover are high. Retain your team by giving them what they want.  Incorporate fundamental components into your compensation package to enhance morale, performance and employee retention.

In addition to salary, an employee benefits package should be standard. It is expected by today’s leading employees. Employees equivolate their value by how you compensate them. They are more productive, focused on common goals of the firm and acquire loyalty.

Most business owners are in denial when it comes to what employees want and what it takes to retain them. A new study by MetLife found that employee loyalty has dropped steadily since 2008, but employers mistakenly believe it’s on the rise.

What employees really want in a compensation package:

Base Salary Provide a base salary along with a structure of ranges. Employees want and need something to strive for. If they can’t visualize “moving-up” and advancing in the firm, chances are they will find another place where they can excel. No one wants to be in a dead-end career.

Bonuses- Bonus dollars based on performance are a great incentive to increase productivity. Set goals that are measurable and attainable, yet stretch your employee to develop and reach new heights. Performance based bonuses don’t need to be a competition in the work place, use bonuses individually or as an entire group effort.

PTO: Employees need time away.  Without it comes burn-out resulting in reduced productivity. Many firms are choosing to offer a Paid Time Off program or PTO. PTO offers a flexible arrangement that give employees a set amount of days off to be used at the employees discretion for vacation, sick leave, personal days, etc.

Health and Wellness If your firm is not offering a complete health and wellness package, you are going to fall short in attracting and retaining qualified and loyal employees. A total health and wellness package should include health insurance with dental and vision benefits, long and short term disability and life insurance. The good news for employers employees would rather pay for a portion of their benefits rather than not have them at all.

401(k) or Other Retirement Plans Employers are in the dark when it comes to determining what benefits are key drivers to employee loyalty. As referenced earlier, the study by MetLife revealed more than half (52%) of employees named retirement benefits as a vital payback. Financial insecurity has become more widespread, therefore, employees are looking for ways to plan and enhance their retirement years. Retirement plans give employees a compelling reason to remain loyal.

Flexibility- Offer some flexibility and your employees may be willing to give up some of the other “perks”. Telecommuting’s popularity is on the rise. Working from home has never been easier with the growth of mobile technology. Employees, particularly those raising families, are in desperate need of flexibility. Place trust in your employee and provide flexibility. The trade off could benefit your bottom line by lower costs of “housing” another employee along with increased productivity from your telecommuter.

Your firm’s compensation program will need continual reinforcement. Communication is vital between managers and employees to keep your compensation strategy alive. Plan frequent reviews of your firm’s compensation plan as well as frequent communication with each team member. Talk open and honestly. Encourage feedback and be willing to make changes. As a successful leader, it is important to know in today’s economy you will need to reach and maintain high levels of employee motivation, engagement and contribution.

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Implementing Team Development Programs-Often Overlooked

Learning management is a strategic component to the overall human capital mission of advisory firms and is paramount to team development.  Advisory firms should start by integrating team development programs in order to enhance employee performance.  Forward-thinking executives are continually improving the effectiveness of their teams by refining roles, expectations, and interpersonal communication in order to create accountability for results.

Your goal should be to apply and utilize a team development method that impacts your firm’s bottom line in order to gain the highest return on your learning and development investment.

Ironstone focuses on four major components that are necessary for a fully functioning workforce and implements the performance approaches to drive development.

By implementing a team development program you eliminate the need for micromanaging.

Preparation — in order to create great teams, you need to prepare to support the success of your team.  Design a culture that fuels passion, purpose, and growth.   Deliver a clear message to your team that their job is important and that you stand behind them.  Give employees the basic knowledge and skills to excel within the culture that you have created.  Share with them effective forms of communications, encourage them to ask questions, and acknowledge their contributions to the overall goals of your firm.

Incentives – Incorporate compensation into the successful execution of the firm’s goals.  One of the most powerful motivators is through the use of a performance incentive compensation plan.

Benefits –  You can become creative with the benefits that you offer to your team.  In addition to the traditional benefits such as medical insurance and retirement plans, many firms are finding that creating a flexible work environment is a good employee motivator –  increasing the desire for individual skill development for the employee.

Technology –  Providing the proper technology and training for your team to perform their job is essential to overall team development.   We have found that many firms do not take this component seriously or place much effort in assuring technology and training needs are met for employees.    Obsolete or barely functional technology tells employees their job is not important and their time is not valued.

Once you have put these components into your human capital mission, you will find that employees are capable of managing their position in the firm.  Support your team members and empower them to be as great as they can be.

“A company that does not support, empower and provide proper development

 to employees can take a great team to a problem in a very short time.”

Ironstone can assist you in developing a team development program.   We specialize in identifying gaps in your existing plan and will collaborate with you to develop solutions that are parallel in achieving the results your desire.

Contact us for assistance in starting and improving developing or starting your team development program.  We want to hear from you!   Share your best ideas here!  What does your firm do to promote team development?   We always love hearing from you!

Follow us as we explore each of Ironstone’s Fundamental 4™!

  • Strategic Planning
  • Business Development
  • Operational Effectiveness
  • The Human Element

You won’t want to miss our next in the series:  Strategic Planning-Business Model