Soon offices across the country reopen the questions will start around what type of working model will work best for your organisation, and how pay and reward will fit into this new working model. These new ways of working are uncharted territory for many, and employees will want to transparency around the new policies you intend to put in place to better suit a hybrid working method, especially how these changes could affect pay and reward. These decisions could have a huge impact on your organisation and your staff, so they should not be made lightly.

Research shows us that currently in the UK around 69 per cent of people are considering a job move this year, which is a 43 per cent increase from 2019 and 2020 when just one third said they expected to job hunt. With this in mind, employee retention and attraction should be a big consideration when considering changes to your working model. If organisations don’t meet the mark when it comes to setting clear and fair parameters around hybrid working, their people will soon find a job at an organisation that will.

These decisions will influence your employer brand, which will determine how easy it is to attract new talent. All in all these decisions can massively influence the future talent pool of your organisation, and it should be up to leaders in the company to find a way to stand out from the crowd as an organisation who is getting it right!

Whilst this may seem like a daunting task it could also be seen as a fantastic opportunity to ask, what can we do differently? What is going to set you apart from other organisations? What is going to make staff want to not just join your organisation, but stay here? And what does this mean for how we think about pay and reward?

Retaining and attracting talent

We are seeing now that the demand from staff around hybrid working is incredibly varied. Some staff want to return to the office full time, others want to remain fully remote and everything in between. You can’t please everyone one, but you can try your best to please the top performers in your organisation. Identify your top performers and try work out a split that would best for them.

This might mean that specifically top performers are given more freedom over their office – remote split, or it could the guidance for all employees is built around what works for the majority of your top performers. It’s important to remember that staff are now fully aware of how well they can work from home, and many have proved to managers and HR they are as productive at home as in an office, this is why many won’t be happy with an office based heavy plan.

There are several questions organisations may wish to ask themselves when considering their new working model, two that we think are important are:

1) If retention is an issue, how do we ensure our reward strategy is tailored to really support our top performers?

2) What about our employee value proposition (EVP)? What do we need to differently with reward to remain competitive?

It’s also important to consider how pay equity and transparency might be a factor moving forward. The concept of all staff knowing what their co-workers earn might seem alien to many people, as often pay is seen as a private matter between employee and employer. However it is important for many to know that they are receiving fair pay in relation to other people in the organisation, and what they can aspire to earn from progressing. If employees aren’t getting this transparency with their company they may wonder why, if their organisation isn’t paying staff equally, and this could make them look for a company who is more forth coming with this information.

A new way of hiring

Since the start of the pandemic many organisations have put less importance on location for new staff. After all when all of your staff are working remotely for the foreseeable future why tie yourself down to only recruiting via office location? This is something that is bound to continue as we move forward into a hybrid working world. If you can find a fantastic new team member who can do their job remotely, you won’t want to pass them up just because of where they live.

For a lot of organisations this change in the location of their staff members may affect the way they deal with pay. Many choose to pay employees more or less based on which office location they are based in, due to living costs in those areas. But now that there are an increasing number of employees without a permanent office location, how do organisations fairly work out pay for everyone?

And if organisations are being transparent with pay they will need to address these pay differences to their staff so they understand why people in similar roles are getting paid different amounts. Though this is a tricky subject, openness and honesty will set you apart from other employees, and this will help you to attract and retain your valuable staff members.

What we recommend

A key thing to remember when re-thinking pay and reward in your new working model, it to always keep these conversations separate to performance management discussions. You can use performance management to identify those who are performing well, and this can be helpful information in pay and reward discussions, but ensure that performance and development discussions are kept separate.

Performance management will be more important than ever in a world were staff are split between remote and office work. This will be unknown territory for my staff and managers, and the waters don’t need to be muddied by trying to include pay and reward discussion into a conversation about goals or work load.