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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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Using a Job Description as a Multifaceted Tool at Your Firm

Effectively developed employee job descriptions summarize the roles and responsibilities of each team member in your firm providing them with the foundation needed to reach desired goals and outcomes.

We outlined the components job descriptions should include in our blog, “Learn why Job Descriptions are Essential for Overall Effectiveness at Your Firm.” https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/03/30/learn-why-job-descriptions-are-essential-for-overall-effectiveness-at-your-firm/

Understanding each component and realizing their value will aide you in modifying and updating job descriptions by:

  • Establishing the role that each position plays in attaining overall firm goals
  • Determining how critical each job is
  • Deciding how positions in your firm interact with one another
  • Defining current employee roles and identifying the characteristics and skill base needed
  • Attracting qualified new candidates and aide in hiring
  • Evaluating performance accurately based on the expectations of the position

A job description needs to provide a positive impact fostering consistency and clarity for everyone involved.  Creating, reviewing and updating job descriptions should be included in your overall business strategy.

Using Job Descriptions as a Multifaceted Management Tool

Although job descriptions are utilized as a valuable hiring tool, a well-crafted job description should be used as a communication tool and a means to review other workplace functions such as:

  • Performance management:  Set measurable and attainable performance goals      based on the duties included in the job description.
  • Training and team development:  Review each job description      for areas that can be used in training and team development workshops.
  • Salary:Outline a compensation program that shows      minimums and maximums for each position in your firm.  Doing so will demonstrate growth      potential for your team member resulting in increased production, loyalty      and overall job satisfaction.    
  • Incentive Plans:  Use your job descriptions as      a baseline for salary;  include      incentives and rewards for employee’s performance levels that go above and      beyond.  
  • Discipline:  If an employee is not meeting      the requirements set forth in the job description, schedule a meeting to review      the requirements and focus on areas to aide them in      achieving goals effectively.

Flexibility is the key when it comes to creating and modifying job descriptions.  Consider creating broad-based descriptions utilizing attachments which delve into the specific tasks required of each employee.  A more generic job description is easier to maintain and won’t require a complete modification as minor changes that takes place.

How often do you use or refer to the job descriptions at your firm?  I’m curious?

Contact us for assistance in developing job descriptions that can be used as a multifaceted tool at your firm.

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 Plan

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
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Is Your Compensation Plan Boring Your Employees?

It’s not surprising that one of the most frequently asked questions of advisor firms is how to attract and retain talented people and reward them effectively with a remarkable compensation plan. Compensation packages are one of the largest line items in a budget. Ironstone finds that many firms are struggling to stay abreast with changes and new trends in salary and compensation beliefs while experiencing confusion on how to properly control organizational costs and remain viable.

Today’s compensation trends are moving from a base salary package to plans that include:
• A measurement system for variable pay
• Less emphasis on increasing base pay
• Overall firm goal achievement
• Flexibility

By implementing a compensation plan that includes the directives listed above, both the employee and the firm benefit. Compensation plans that incorporate these strategies foster teamwork that focuses on the concrete goals of your firm.

In order for firms to stay competitive, you must frequently change your compensation program and have a plan in place to do so. Your imagination is your only limitation to retaining and motivating the kind of people who are catalysts for the success of your firm.

We recommend that your firm be pro-active in developing and refining your firm’s compensation plan. Recognize that “quality of work life” rewards and appreciation play a vital role in the value of your firm’s benefits package. Your firm can be pro-active and creative by adding an array of perks to the overall benefits package you offer. Consider the following:
• Recognize results with a one-time monetary payment
• Offer opportunity for flexible work arrangements
• Write thank you notes to acknowledge a team member’s “above and beyond” actions
• Present pre-paid legal, education, and insurance benefits
• Place an emphasis on training and development of your team
• Introduce employee wellness initiatives

Lastly, remove the dead-end sign. Your team needs to see a clear and concise view of the opportunities within the firm for growth. You can add a suite of perks to your compensation package, but without the chance for growth and development, your dazzling compensation package won’t work.
As you contemplate the strategic changes you want to make in your compensation plan, do not forget that your team can be your most valuable asset. It is in your best interest to focus on reducing stress at work and in your employee’s personal lives. Reward your team, without hesitation, if you hold a team of energetic, talented and growth oriented individuals.

Developing and offering a compensation plan to your employees with traditional and non-traditional elements is both egalitarian and accountable.  Download Ironstone’s Compensation Planning Checklist!  CompensationPlanningChecklist

Contact Ironstone for more information and additional strategies that will assist you in developing and strengthening your compensation plan.  You can find more information regarding compensation in our blog- “Human Capital Strategies.” https://aeschlapia.wordpress.com/2012/03/19/human-capital-strategies/

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: Business Development-Marketing Plans

• Email us at info@ironstonehq.com
• Call our office at 800-917-8020
• Connect with us: