Recession hitting reward schemes

The global recession is putting reward strategies under unprecedented financial pressure, according to research from Thomsons Online Benefits.

The research found 88 per cent of respondents believe that reward professionals are under more pressure to minimise costs and improve return on investment in 2009.

Yet less than one in ten organisations are able to measure the return on investment obtained from their reward spend.

In 2009 around four in ten respondents plan to review their health and wellbeing offering, while 30 per cent plan to introduce total reward statements. A further 27 per cent intend to put in place flexible benefits.·

Almost half of respondents, 46 per cent, do not know how their pension contribution levels will change as a result of Personal Accounts. Personal Accounts will require auto-enrolling employees into a pension scheme, but 51 per cent do not currently have the facility to do so.

Michael Whitfield, chief executive of Thomsons Online Benefits, says: “Against a background of pay cuts and unpaid bonuses, employers are going to have to think again about the best way to reward employees, based on a new set of behaviours.

“Employees will need to be engaged all over again in order to help re-establish a working environment of trust and security which has all but been swept away in recent months.”