Transparency Five Key Considerations for Global Reward Managers

Today, reward strategies can create that comfortable environment by providing transparency and real value, rather than just being used as a tool for recruitment and employee retention.

A transparent workplace is defined, simply, as an environment that ‘operates in a way that is open and honest between management and employees.’ This type of workplace increases trust, builds relationships, increases productivity and boosts innovation as employees can communicate effectively and feel comfortable in their surroundings.

Today, reward strategies can create that comfortable environment by providing transparency and real value, rather than just being used as a tool for recruitment and employee retention. When biased and opaque reward systems are created, the lack of transparency can create internal conflicts that may lead to serious problems with staff motivation. Therefore, when it comes to being transparent across a multi-location, global, workforce, there are various specific factors you need to consider.

What are your corporate goals?

What’s the main factor that ties your workforce together? The company.

This means that regardless of how many locations you have, each workplace is bound together under common business ownership and instilled corporate goals.

If your company values are transparent across all locations, it becomes evident to all employees that you pride yourselves on certain features of the business. With these features encouraged across all locations, you can set a global reward process that is transparent across the business.

It is therefore important that you consider your goals in terms of the wider business. Your business vision needs to be wide-spread understandable so that you can align set and structured corporate goals with your reward strategy and infuse your global workforce with a sense of company mission.

Will you link to performance?

You need to decide whether you will operate extra benefit on a performance basis. For example, some industries operate on a base salary plus commission basis, where rewards are openly linked to accomplishment. In this environment, transparency can be achieved as employees understand that other staff members receive reward due to performance.

However, this transparent system may provide difficulty when rolled out company wide, especially if you have multiple locations.

In a sales role, it is easy to provide a commission benefit, yet if you have admin staff or a marketing department, you may have to think about what factors warrant reward for performance. Employees will understand that those in commission roles can easily generate extra reward and so may resent the fact it is not as easy in their role.

If you have a multi-location workforce, you also need to think about how you would provide this performance benefit. Factors to consider include exchange rates, cost-of-living, and whether remuneration is the best path for reward.

Who will reward?

For many businesses, it is common for management to reward employees. However, one of the largest issues that companies face is the lack of confidence employees have in senior management. In many cases, employees may not work directly alongside employers and in a multi-location company, employees may have management figures in other offices. This separation means that management may miss employee indicators that warrant reward.

Peer recognition is one of the most effective forms of reward, because employees can recognise anyone at a company in real time and reward great accomplishments.

As well as this, a globally-accessed platform that rewards employees mean that achievements can be shared company wide. This emphasises transparency with your global reward strategy.

However, if everyone can see who receives benefits, they can also see who does not. This may embarrass and demotivate employees who are not performing as well as their colleagues.

How long will it take for employees to receive their reward?

It’s vital that you are open and honest with employees and let them know from the outset when they can expect to receive any rewards or benefits the company offers.

When rewarding employees for performance, you may want to reward them as soon as possible after the accomplishment, or you may want to wait until the following payday depending on the nature of the benefit.

However, if you are a global company, there may be issues when deciding on when to reward employees. For example, it is standard for employees in America to receive fortnightly pay, whereas most companies in the UK receive monthly salaries. If your reward policy states that employees receive benefits on their following wage, it is likely that American employees may receive benefits before the British.

Will cultural differences affect your reward scheme?

If you have a variety of different locations across the globe, you’re going to need to come up with a transparent reward strategy that is beneficial for everyone, regardless of location. However, cultural differences may affect the way your reward strategy works.

For example, pay and benefits in one location may not fit the culture of another. Then, if you adapt for each site culture when needed, it leads to less company consistency.

Understanding and respecting cultural differences is critical to engaging a global workforce. By implementing a transparent formal global rewards program, your business can supply meaningful and fulfilling rewards both globally and locally, with all employees understanding why and how other offices may receive something different.

The problem with this, however, is that although employees should understand differences in reward, some staff members may be frustrated if they feel other locations receive better rewards than them.