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Is cash still king?

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Salary is still the main driver for employees today, but are companies implementing the right strategies and delivery methods to complement this to attract and retain talent?

Participating at a panel discussion at Benefits Asia 2013 today, Achla Tanna, director of C&B LAPAC for Reckitt Benckiser, said the meaning of “cash” is seen differently from an employer and an employee’s perspective.

While employers look at cash in a more “holistic” and broader sense, employees look at it as their base salary or bonuses, she said.

In fact, salary is also valued differently by different generations, making an HR leader’s job to compensate fairly even more difficult.

Typically, older employees care more about healthcare and retirement savings, said Brent Tignor, Stepan Company’s regional HR manager of APAC.

He compared fair and balanced compensation to how we generally define how attractive someone is.

“It is in the eye of the beholder… it’s not as straightforward.

He also believes pay is “psychological” and that many of us as employees and hiring managers have different ideas of what we should be paid.

Therefore, when negotiating salary and pay packages with potential employees, it is be crucial to think strategically and find out where his “psychological pay-line” stands.

He also highlighted the importance of matching an employees’ pay with his responsibilities, citing a “criticality rating” his company uses for each position to differentiate.

Similarly, Amanda Guo, SABIC;s director of C&B CoE for APAC, said it is important to align longer-term incentives to an employee’s pay structure.

“We have to think about working environment and career development… employees stay not just because of cash.”

She added it is also useful for companies to be as transparent as possible in their existing benefits by conducting “awareness sessions” to help them get a better understanding on long term cash rewards.

For live updates from Benefits Asia, follow the #BenefitsAsia conversation on Twitter @Mag_HR.

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