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Wondering how to stay competitive with your benefits and compensation processes?

During SAPPHIRE/ASUG 2015, I will be conducting a micro-forum on how to “Stay Competitive with Your Compensation and Benefits Processes”. The session ID is 20631 and is schedule for Thursday, May 7th from 9:00 am - 10:00 am.  You can check out the details of the session here.

In this forum, we will evaluate best practices in the compensation and benefits area. You will learn how to improve your organization's competitive advantage and how to drive engagement and productivity with robust compensation and benefits solutions for your employees. The micro-forum will be an informal discussion / roundtable where you will hear from other customers about the ways they are staying competitive using their compensation and benefits processes, policies, and systems.

The following topic areas will be discussed:

Drive customer adoption with user experience

Certainly with processes that could affect all employees (e.g. annual benefits enrollment) or all managers (e.g. annual compensation planning), a robust user interface is paramount to adoption. This applies to any tool in the marketplace today, but especially for users who use an application only once a year.  Compensation and benefits applications need to be crisp and clear in their user experience or the process can fail.

In many of situations, what has helped with adoption is implementing a familiar framework in place for these sites. For example, an Amazon-like “shopping cart” concept when selecting your benefits and coverage options. Or, in compensation planning context, a wizard (step 1, step 2, step 3, etc) for completing the planning process. In these scenarios, you’re integrating constructs from consumer IT into the enterprise, which will often help with user experience. Naturally, users like familiarity.

Simplify complex processes and policies

Simplicity with process has been a theme for several years now from SAP and other competitors in the marketplace.  We know now it’s really NOT about the number of clicks to achieve something on a website or application, but rather only if each click is “a mindless, unambiguous choice”. (Read Steve Krug’s book “Don’t Make Me Think” for more on some of these principles). 

More than just simplifying process – look to simplify your policies. Bonus plans and their calculations should looked at to ensure they make as much sense to the employee as they do to the compensation team. Individual and company / team performance should be measurable and employees should understand clearly how achievement numbers have contribute to their short-term incentives.

Salary planning should be simplified; for example, is it is really necessary to automate the proration of new hire/rehires, or can this policy be eradicated since the money saved is inconsequential.

Deliver a "360 degree" view of total rewards

Providing a holistic view to managers, HR, and compensation professionals is a key to ensuring that proper rewards management is implemented.  To be clear, this is not about simply providing last year’s compensation during this year’s compensation planning process.  (In fact, we all know that past performance should NOT be a factor in determining current compensation). But it is important to understand how to effectively deliver the total picture of compensation to our managers.  It’s not enough to show salary, bonus, and equity in today’s world. Rather, how has the company contributed to compensatory items, such as benefits, recognition programs, and perquisites.  It matters to employees to show their “total snapshot of wealth”. Many companies don’t spend the time to illustrate the investment, and most employees don’t know to ask.  But it matters.

You know it's all 'bout that data, no trouble

Alright, I couldn’t help myself with this cute title, but the truth of the matter is without data, you won’t have a tool, application, or system that works.  So, although it’s not ALL about that data, it one darn big piece of the puzzle.

As hybrid scenarios become the norm for many platforms, there is increasing awareness that the beloved interface from your core HRIS to your benefits, compensation, or talent system is critical to master. Establishing protocol around the frequency and manner in which to integrate the data is a critical success factor.  What’s the plan for running full files versus delta files? Do the master data constructs sync up between the two systems (e.g. reporting structure)? How do systems handle global employees?  In which system does eligibility get stored?  These are just some of the many questions many project teams are grappling with.

Ensure proper compliance and audit measures

Last but not least is handling the audit requirements for compensation and benefits.  In a compensation context, European works councils in Germany, Austria, and other countries often have influence on compliance and regulations for how compensation is administered (e.g. Tariff employees in Germany). Collective bargaining agreements and unions in the US, UK, Ireland, and other countries often prescribe handling of salary, bonus, and benefits.  In the UK, for example, the Pensions Act of 2008 gives the right to be automatically enrolled in a basic occupational pension.  In the US, recent regultioans around the Affordable Care Act implement new audits including those around dependents verification.  How does your solution support requirements such as these? And how will you convincingly show your audit team that you have compliance risks covered?

In addition to the session above, I am moderating an ASUG panel on HR Renewal. HR Renewal Panel: The New Core User Experience for SAP ERP HCM: Landing Pages, Lanes, Navigation, and More. You can check out the session here.

I hope to see you at SAPPHIRE/ASUG 2015 in Orlando.


Twitter: @jeremymasters

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