C&B: Creating a Win-Win Solution

C&B: Creating a Win-Win Solution

Earlier, the criterion was earning a living; then it became the standard of living; now, for the new generation, quality of life is the drive and mantra.


India is a land of celebrations, and in every celebration, food plays a very important part. A  few years back, my friend from Finland accompanied me to a couple of weddings and then joined my family and me for Diwali celebrations. She was overwhelmed by the food offered everywhere and asked me about the significance of food in celebrating traditions in India. One of the elders in my family said, “We believe in keeping everyone happy and satisfied by providing something as a benefit, and when we overwhelm someone with a lot of good food, they say that they had a lot and ask us to politely stop serving . . . This doesn’t come easily when we offer anything else as a benefit. Would you say to your employer that they are giving you a lot of money as compensation and politely ask them to stop giving?” She did not have a response for a few seconds, and then we just started laughing.


I am reminded of that question now. Free or subsidised food for employees in factories and offices has been present as a benefit for a very long time. The evolution of Compensation and Benefits (C&B) across multiple eras has been phenomenal. The variety and creativity that has been applied by organisations across countries and sectors have almost clearly established the fact that the effort has been to make it a win-win between employee satisfaction and bottom-line management.


What is going to influence C&B in the coming days is a good question to ponder on, and in this article, I will highlight some of my views on factors that could influence the decisions of C&B experts. The top 5 influences could be the following:


1. Government Regulations


♦ Life insurance and healthcare benefits with minimum coverage could be defined by governments.


♦ The gender pay gap is an area that could create waves and force changes in C&B.


♦ Minimum wage requirements will change with fixed minimum wages, but more flexibility may be given for organisations to hire and fire.


2.Global/Socio-Economic Changes


♦ Change in mobility policies and the reflection of the same in C&B could be on the cards as countries modify rules relating to immigration and other visa regulations.


♦ The expertise required because of the fast pace of technological advancements might open avenues for more skill-based allowances in organisations.


♦ Internships might become a mandate for organisations to provide opportunities for younger talent in the respective countries.


3.Employee Representation Councils


♦ A paradigm shift from speaking about wages to demanding benefits is already on the rise in some countries, and this could spread across the globe very swiftly


♦ In organisations today, especially in the IT/ITES sector, where there are no worker councils or unions, there is a high possibility of this starting and becoming an influence on C&B.


4.Expectations from Employee Segments


♦ Understanding the broader preferences of the younger generations can be helpful in creating smart C&B models as organisations prepare for them to bring a significant shift in the workplace population. For instance, the pandemic has shown us the importance of financial security, and recent studies have revealed that many millennials and Gen Z professionals are struggling with financial planning and guidance. Moreover, they are more likely to stick with their company for longer periods of time if provided with financial wellness benefits. Financial fitness offerings on budgeting, short and long-term savings, student loan management, etc. through webinars, tutorials, or financial coaching can go a long way in retaining and engaging this employee segment.


Another thing to keep in mind is that younger generations expect rewards that favour performance based on output instead of hours. The pandemic has further increased this expectation by shattering the assumption that the number of hours spent at work is an indication of one’s accomplishments.


♦ Employees with parenting or elderly care responsibilities might need a model that is flexible, including shorter work weeks


♦ Most employees would be keen on health schemes for themselves and their families. Options from the sharing of leave benefits to the distribution of health benefits to all in the family could become a high priority.


Flex workers would definitely be happy with ‘work from home’ benefits like office furniture, internet, etc.


♦ Travel policies, city allowances, and car allowances for employees moving from higher-tier cities to lower tiers might need a massive shakeup.


5.Organisational Priorities


♦ Along with all of the above, there are also organisational priorities, especially in the knowledge industry, to motivate employees to gain newer knowledge and be cutting-edge consultants. Allowances for learning are already on the cards for many organisations.


♦ Employee mobility based on priorities could also enable changes as there may be expansions and other things that happen.


FOOT: A Win-Win C&B Model


Earlier, the criterion was earning a living; then it became the standard of living; now, for the new generation, quality of life is the drive and mantra.


Based on all the influences, C&B teams must create a model that is:


→ Flexible (More variable)

→ Output Oriented (Not based on time but on output)

→ Transparent (Logical and clear with options)


This model can be useful for permanent, contractual and gig workers across the globe. It might lead to a win-win between employee satisfaction and an organisation’s bottom line to an extent because nothing other than food can win that 100% satisfaction.


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Swarna Sudha Selvaraj is the Head of Talent Development for TCS Europe, UK & Ireland. She is a vibrant HR leader with over 17 years of work experience gained from association with Tata Consultancy Services and Murugappa Group of Companies.


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