Its Not All About Money

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    05-Apr-2018

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    ITS NOT ALL ABOUT money...Its a known fact that employee engagement and motivation are prime issues

    of concern for HR. And how are they addressing it? They say that to serve a

    larger purpose (read: retention), its vital to understand that employees these

    days prefer nonmonetary forms of benefits as opposed to monetary onesPriya C Nair

    Employee rewards have been an integral part of India Inc and are considered a

    must for enhancing employee engagement and productivity. However, of late,

    there has been a drastic change in the employee rewarding system as employeesare keen on receiving several intangible benefits from the employer, apart from the

    usual monetary benefits. Heres how people managers are re-working on employeebenefit schemes to match changing employee expectations.

    You think a good compensation package and annual perks satisfy your employeeand keeps him/her going? Think again, as experts say monetary benefits alone will

    not work anymore as todays employees count on several non-monetary benefits

    from employers to stay productive at work. Monetary rewards have very short-

    term benefits as opposed to non-monetary ones. Also, its been observed thatemployees often complain after receiving monetary gains and usually arent

    satisfied with the benefit given. Therefore, it is better to move from monetaryforms of benefits to intangible ones, feels Rahul Sharma, senior vice president

    (human resources), India Infoline Ltd.

    A good salary is a significant factor that plays a huge role towards influencingthe decisionmaking process of an employee while choosing his/her employer. Butaccording to experts, as the person moves up in his/her career ladder, aspirations

    regarding benefits from the employer also change. It depends more on the level ofcareer one is in, experience, personal needs, etc. The expectations from non-

    monetary benefits proportionately increase according to the level an employee

    grows in his/her career, says Guruvayurappan PV, AVP and headhuman

    resources, Omega Healthcare Management Services. An entry level employee

    expects monetary benefits and a supportive work environment; the supervisory

    staff may expect a competent pay structure wherein they could earn more, have tax

    provisions and receive timely appreciation from the management to encourage theteam toperform; the managerial staff will be looking beyond all this and expectopportunities to shoulder empowered roles including responsibility with authority,

    freedom to choose working hours and basic decisionmaking with respect to their

    teams, etc, explains Guruvayurappan. Adding to it, Ulhas Aher, head of HR,

    Datacraft India Ltd says that employees at an early stage of their career prefer

    short-term and monetary benefits since settlement in life is their first priority.

    However, a simple letter of appreciation or pat on the back as well as trainingnomination or special assignment, which is beneficial for career advancement,

    excites the younger generation.Experts say that the benefits that employees look for from employees depend on

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    their personal priorities too. For example, a working mother would look for

    benefits like work from home, flexi-working hours, transportation facilities,

    etc. Sugato Palit, head human resources and communication, Perfetti Van Melle

    India points out a few benefits that employees look for which are flexi-timings,

    work out-of-home, daycare centre provisions, etc; also, family engagementinvolving the family in various aspects of the companys work practices, free time

    to pursue ones own research/hobby/pet-projects, paid sabbaticals to furtherenhance academic knowledge, paid holidays, additional leaves for paternity, gifts

    in kind or gift vouchers, etc.

    Employees look forward to a good working atmosphere where meritocracy is

    respected, various employee engagement activities are practiced, good talent is

    recognised and opportunities are provided to grow and interact with members of

    the senior and top management, adds Sharma.Such intangible benefits are advantageous for both, the employee and

    organisation. Experts believe that such intangible benefits help in creating anemotional connect between the employee and organisation, that could turn

    beneficial in the long run. Employees seek recognition for the job which they are

    performing, irrespective of the kind of work, explains Dr Ashutosh Karnatak,

    founder, Plus Approach Foundation.However, there is a word of caution for employers before implementing non-

    monetary benefits for their employees. According to Palit, non-monetary benefitswork well under two circumstances: (1) when the employee is well paid and the

    company is comfortably positioned on the salary benchmarking scale and (2) there

    is a limited ability to pay and thus, a need to be creative. It is only when employees

    start realising that their cash flow has reached a plateau and they are also

    comfortably placed vis--vis the market, would he/she start appreciating non-

    monetary benefits. Thus, good employees need both, tangible and non-tangiblebenefits and it is time organisations invest in providing a steady mix of both to

    their employers to attract and retain the best talent.priyac .nair @ timesgroup .com

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