Many of you may know WorldatWork by its original name, American Compensation Association. The name changed 12 years ago because the Scottsdale-based nonprofit HR association is no longer just American, it’s global, and it has expanded to offer benefits and work-life training and certification in addition to compensation. For ease of reference, WorldatWork refers to compensation, benefits and work-life programs as “total rewards.”
Total rewards are the monetary and non-monetary returns provided to employees in exchange for their time, talents, efforts and results. Total rewards involve the deliberate integration of programs and practices that effectively attract, motivate and retain the talent required to achieve desired business results.
Who should be a member?
If you are a human resources professional responsible for strategies and tactics to engage and motivate employees, then WorldatWork is for you. Here are the five types of professionals in our membership base and a brief description of each:
- Compensation professionals work to reward employees fairly and appropriately.
- Executive compensation professionals ensure that the multitude of complex and interrelated executive compensation issues and challenges are considered, as they design an effective program to attract, motivate and retain leaders to carry their organization through any economy.
- Sales compensation professionals bridge the gap between management and its sales force to develop accurate and fair sales compensation plans that will win the support of the sales team, as well as achieve overall organizational goals.
- Benefits professionals make sure workers can focus on their jobs by providing programs that protect their families’ health, welfare and finances.
- Work-life professionals serve as organizational change agents implementing and communicating the business impacts of practices at the four-way intersection of work, family, community and self.
Join us for this FREE webinar
Compensation Outlook 2013: Trends, Practices and Drivers of Change
March 19, 2013 | 10:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Originally published on the Schwab Talk Blog Posted by Sarah Bulgatz
Schwab was one of 27 companies recently awarded the annual Gallup Great Workplace Award. According to Gallup, the award honors “organizations whose employee engagement results demonstrate they have the most productive and engaged workforces in the world.” Schwab Senior Vice President of Talent Management Mary Coughlin shared her perspective on what makes Schwab a great place to work, as well as what she sees are the challenges and opportunities in maintaining a high level of workplace engagement.
SB: First off, why don’t we start by defining “employee engagement,” which might sound to some people like a buzz-phrase. How would you characterize it for Schwab?
MC: Every company will define engagement in their own way. To define it loosely, I’d say it’s what gets us going in the morning and energizes us about coming in to work every day. I think of “engagement” as the spark that inspires and motivates employees to achieve their best and deliver a great experience for our clients.
SB: In your opinion, what are the greatest opportunities for employee engagement, and how does Schwab tackle them?
MC: It’s critical for employees to feel connected to our company’s strategy and values, which center on the service we deliver to our clients. We believe that strengthening employee engagement will further fuel this passion for serving our clients. Engagement also fosters an environment where innovation and collaboration flourish across the organization. Combined, these elements enable us to deliver the great client experience we’ve come to be known for, the strong business results that follow from that, and help us differentiate Schwab as an employer to attract the best talent in a very competitive environment.
SB: What do you think makes Schwab a great place to work?
MC: I have to bring it back to the enduring commitment we have to serving our clients, one another and our communities. Of course, we have a core suite of benefits and development opportunities that we believe are as good or better than other firms that want to keep talent. But you have to look beyond the benefits to get to the heart of what makes any company a great place to work and what motivates employees here is the sense that their work matters. Our company’s culture is also critically important to what makes us a great place to work; employees believe in the value and impact of what they do day to day, as well as the vision, values and ethics of the organization. There is a very strong sense of community as a result. Finally, senior leadership and management at all levels take an active and open approach to communication and engagement which helps bring everyone together and ensures we’re in alignment on priorities.
SB: How does diversity figure in to the mix?
MC: Diversity and inclusion are core elements of our culture, transcending ethnicity, race, gender, age, experience and perspective. We believe that diversity helps optimize individual, team and organizational performance and enables the firm to deliver an exceptional client experience. Like engagement, valuing diversity and the strengths of every employee fosters innovation that helps Schwab deliver an exceptional client experience. In that regard, we are proactive about attracting talent from a variety of cultures, such as the military. And, we are grateful that our efforts there have been recently recognized as well.
For additional information on Schwab’s workplace as well as job opportunities, visit bit.ly/CSBCAZ
“Don’t give your customers what they want. Give them what they need, even though they may not know it yet.” – Jaime Casap, Google
This was just one of the tidbits of encouragement from the 100 Best Arizona Companies celebratory networking and education event held by BestCompaniesAZ at the auditorium of the U of A College of Medicine on November 13.
Denise Gredler, CEO of BestCompaniesAZ, noted that in the ten years since the founding of BestCompaniesAZ, workplace culture has progressed from “fluffy HR initiative” to an essential business strategy. Five leaders of award-winning companies shared how their cultures have given them the competitive edge.
Jaine Casap, education evangelist for Google, just named #2 on the list of World’s Best Multinational Workplaces, enlightened and entertained the crowd with the principles Google has followed in becoming, well, Google. In addition, we heard from CEO Adam Goodman of Goodmans Interior Structures, CEO Chris McMurry of McMurry, VP Human Resources Stacey Mallen of Ulthera, and CEO Dr. Edgar Staren of Cancer Treatment Centers of America.
Even though the companies varied tremendously in industry and size, we heard common themes:
- Promoting and rewarding innovation throughout a company at all levels. Google encourages all staff to use 20% of their time to work on creative projects outside their daily job. McMurry offers an online tool to record innovations and track progress. In the fast-paced environment at Ulthera, Stacy Mallen believes that a high level of employee engagement is an advantage to innovation.
- Hire only top talent. Chris McMurry said, “if you aren’t completely blown away by candidates, don’t hire them. Yes, it will mean you have to interview 25 people and wait months to fill a position, but it’s worth it.” Jaime outlined Google’s team-based, thorough approach to hiring; “If you want your company to be innovative, you have to hire creative people.” BestCompaniesAZ Managing Partner Lee Vikre said, “I’ve never heard so much emphasis on hiring at an event like this. You must hire great people to build a great company.”
- Frequent, transparent communication. CTCA holds brief “alignment” meetings at the beginning of each shift in order to review mission, values, promise, and stakeholder bond. McMurry creates a daily news feed for the company’s active internal social media site. Transparency at top companies means that information is openly shared internally, even at the risk of premature leaks to the public. The risk of secrecy is greater than the risk of leaks.
- A strong focus on values. Goodmans continually emphasizes that their mission involves changing the community. Not surprisingly, philanthropy is also a common theme in values-based organizations.
BestCompaniesAZ COO Chris Bartholomew noted, “there is a tremendous demand today from organizations to develop their workplace cultures and employer brands.” If your company has a strong culture and employer brand, good for you – you’re ahead of the game. Is your company one of the ones that needs culture/employer brand development but doesn’t know it yet? Maybe you can be the one to start that innovation.
An executive recruiter I was consulting about filling a senior level leadership position glanced approvingly at the commemorative plaques lining the wall of my conference room. “Those plaques really do make a difference”, she noted. Recognition as a top workplace does make a difference, especially in recruiting and retention of scarce talent in technology, sales and other in-demand areas.
Creating a distinctive work culture with a strong employer brand has become a strategic imperative for growing companies, no longer a “nice to have” fluffy HR initiative. Need proof? #Benefits_of_Being_Recognized_as_a_Best_Company. Of course, creating a strong, trusting culture is the most important piece, but you’ll only reap the full reward if others know how wonderful your company is. All over the world organizations are increasingly reaching out for recognition through various list programs, some very high profile, and others known only in professional niche communities.
A new statewide recognition program in Arizona, Career Builder’s Top Companies, will provide deserving organizations the opportunity to be recognized, but also benefits all companies that apply. The results of the Employee Engagement Survey will provide you with specific info about what your employees think, and specifically what you can do to develop a top-notch organizational culture. With 95% of all award-winning companies recognizing the business-related value of workplace awards programs, is this something you can pass up? Register now and leverage the good work you’ve done in your company.
The war for talent has returned, but it’s dramatically changed in the past five years. Employers everywhere see a skills gap between what they need and what candidates have to offer. “Skinny resumes” are the new normal. While there’s no shortage of applicants, candidates in the sweet spot of skills, experience and culture fit are maddeningly scarce. Short-staffed hiring managers cringe thinking about the bidding wars that can erupt over a desirable candidate.
Other than bribing rockstar ninjas with exorbitant salaries, what can you do to attract stellar talent?
According to PayScale’s Gen Y on the Job Report, tech companies are attracting scarce Gen Y tech talent by offering far more than apaycheck. The top five companies chosen by Gen Y – Qualcomm, Google, Medtronic, Intel, and Microsoft, all have been recognized as best places to work.
Tech companies aren’t the only organizations to discover the secret of positive work culture. Healthcare organizations like Dignity Health, Casa Grande Regional Medical Center, and Cancer Treatment Centers of America have given themselves the talent scouting edge by developing strong workplaces, along with large organizations like Charles Schwab.
The evidence for the ROI of company culture has been researched in small and large companies over the past fifteen years by research organizations such as the Great Place to Work Institute. These numbers should impress the most bottom-line focused CFO:
• 95% of leaders in great workplaces saw measurable benefits from being recognized.*
• In terms of stock market returns, Best Companies perform 300% better than the market.*
• Great companies enjoy 50% less than normal turnover.*
• 80% of businesses recognized as top small companies grew revenue share during the recession.**
• 88% of the small top companies added headcount during the recession.**
The evidence is clear. Recognition for workplace culture may have seemed like a competitive advantage in the past, but now it looks to us more like a strategic imperative in the new war for talent. What do you think?