In June 2020 a client called me and said, “We’d like to pay our employees a work from home allowance to help cover the cost of faster internet, new home office furniture, and increased coffee purchases.” As a remote worker for the past 4 years, I can attest to the need for greatly increased coffee purchases!
Work from home allowances are just one example of an employee perk. Perks may take a variety of forms including:
These programs are wonderful ways to increase employee engagement, attract/retain talent, and foster a sense of community within our organizations. The challenge many global organizations encounter is how to deliver perks in an equitable way. For example, if you provide a health and wellness benefit, how do you ensure that what you deliver in France is equal to your support in Japan. Here are some learnings:
- Often these perks are delivered as a benefit in kind. For example, some organizations may provide onsite childcare facilities to help working parents. Unfortunately, not all employees may be able to receive such a benefit as they may be remote or in countries where it is more difficult to provide such a benefit in kind.
- Furthermore, we’ve learned during the pandemic that flexibility is key and will drive our new normal. Employees won’t be in the office every day to take advantage of onsite benefits, so organizations are looking for ways to redeploy those benefits in an equitable fashion.
Given these learnings, the most logical delivery of perks is often cash in lieu of benefit in kind. Cash allowances provide employees the assistance they need and the flexibility to use the benefit in the way most impactful to their personal situation. But determining appropriate cash values is difficult at HQ and near impossible across the globe. There is hardly any benchmarking detailing these benefits outside of the US.
Working with reward leaders, we’ve developed an equitable strategy to deploy these cash-based employee perks both domestically and across the globe. We use AIRINC’s global cost database to convert these perks/rewards to the local cost level in each location. This provides an equal benefit to all employees and ensures that we treat people fairly, no matter their location. But we know that each organization approaches perks differently so we work with you to calibrate the reward database according to your comp strategy, tax treatment, and culture. The result is an easy to administer, flexible perk program with predictable costs that helps drive your talent strategy.
Our data-based approach to providing equitable employee perks, recognition, and rewards help organizations support, attract, and retain their talent. We would be happy to help your organization globalize its rewards program. Please contact us to learn more.