Although it’s fashionable to talk about robots replacing humans in the workplace, the truth is, driving business performance through people remains as important as ever. Study after study shows that to win in the digital age, companies must overcome and adapt to a widening array of people risks and challenges.
Chief among these risks is the ability to identify, attract and retain visionary leaders and agents of change— people with the capacity to truly transform how you operate. At Aon, we specialize in helping our clients create the rewards programs and strategies they need to make the workforce of the future a reality.
Digital transformation projects are omnipresent these days, but what really matters is having the right people in place to lead and sustain these efforts. Many companies learn this the hard way late in the transformation process.
Around the world, disruptors are shaking up traditional business models at an accelerated pace. What's more, these companies often lead the way when it comes to creating innovative and compelling employee value propositions.
In the digital age, industry lines are blurring fast, forcing companies in every sector to compete for an increasingly finite group of critical technical, creative and business talent. This ratchets up pay and the race to offer unique perks.
Do we have the people and skills we need for the future?
All good rewards strategies are grounded in important choices about what a company values most, and increasingly, this means thinking far more carefully about the skills you need today vs. tomorrow.
Are we aware of what it takes to compete for those skills?
Mapping out your current and future talent needs is a good first step. From there, it's imperative to keep up with pay and talent trends in fast moving markets, especially for mission-critical "hot" skills.
Is our leadership team aligned on how we'll manage careers and pay for our IT and technology talent?
Every company is unique, so there is no right answer. Still, choices must be made. Are we going to support separate career and pay paths for technical talent and what does this mean for our culture?
How can our rewards programs make us more innovative?
For many, this sounds like the holy grail of HR, but it doesn't have to be as complicated as you think. It's about creating horizontal and vertical career paths, providing recognition, and yes, incentives.
How can rewards support our unique value proposition?
Competing for great talent isn't just about paying more. You need to provide a compelling culture, career growth and great projects. Your rewards programs should emphasize what makes you special.
As issues like pay equity rise in prominence because of growing societal pressure and a rapidly changing legal landscape, companies would be wise to reconsider how they define what it means to be competitive. Taking time to reflect on how your organization balances company vs. employee needs and external vs. internal market forces is a great place to start.
Living in the digital age only accelerates the need to act. Many younger employees no longer consider it taboo to discuss pay with coworkers and are also more likely to question pay decisions using crowd-sourced data. This has a profound impact on what people expect from their employers and where they choose to work.
We help clients adapt to a more transparent, digitally-enabled world by providing them with world-class data and analytics connected to deep insights on shifting business needs and cultural expectations.
What is right
for our company?
What is right
for our people?
Are we competitive
with the market?
Are we consistent
LEARN MORE ›
Over the past three years, several global automakers have turned to Aon for advice on how to attract, retain and engage talent at their Silicon Valley-based R&D centers. In particular, local HR and business leaders noted they often struggle to convince colleagues at headquarters about the need for more aggressive pay levels and programs for key technical and creative talent in and around the San Francisco Bay Area.
In each case, our team delivered comprehensive insights on pay practices and trends observed at technology firms based in Silicon Valley, including information on base salary levels, incentive plan design and equity strategies. Follow-on projects included developing design principles for building pay programs at innovation centers, and in some cases, the implementation of new salary structures, job architecture systems and equity grant guidelines.
Leveraging our extensive Radford survey database, we quickly bridged the divide between local leaders and headquarters staff in a fact-based manner. With a common understanding of market realities in place, we were then able to partner across geographies to deliver flexible plans that met local needs while aligning to global practices. Our clients now report accelerated talent acquisition timelines and reduced turnover.
Several years ago, our client became one of the first companies to publicly acknowledge the use of pay adjustments to close gender-and ethnicity-based pay gaps. While they were widely praised for taking action, leadership at the company wondered why adjustments were needed on an annual basis to maintain parity. As a result, HR and compensation leaders were challenged to develop a more sustainable solution.
Our team was engaged to support a larger reinvention of pay at the company, including a top-down mandate to institutionalize fairness and transparency into rewards while also remaining highly competitive. We began by defining consistent job evaluations all employees, then assessed pay for internal and external variances across every job type and employee level, and finally delivered new salary structure recommendations along with estimated implementation costs.
After implementing new job classifications and salary guidelines across the organization, our client realized an immediate reduction in pay equity exposure relative to their previous salary structure. They are now contemplating follow-up work to establish fairer career frameworks, including clearer job definitions and career progression metrics that can be used to assess whether or not all colleagues are progressing within the organization fairly.
The market for technical talent in and around key innovation hubs is as saturated as ever, meaning high-growth companies increasingly need to look at novel locations to fuel headcount growth inside the U.S. As our client considered new locations for future investment, a trusted source of rewards data with robust and consistent information across key markets was needed to evaluate labor costs and talent supply considerations.
Using the Radford Survey database, home to more than 6 million verified employee records across two thousand technology firms, we were able to provide accurate labor cost estimates (base salary + bonus + equity) in more than 30 U.S. cities. Importantly, our analytics team was able to use powerful algorithms to shrink the assessment process down from weeks to days, and used statistical projection methods to predict pay levels in some smaller markets with less data.
Aon’s ability to combine Radford Survey data with powerful analytics tools allowed our client to make investment decisions with a new level of confidence. First, our client was able to clearly confirm that labor costs in their home markets were accelerating at a much faster rate than previously predicted. And second, they were able to zero-in on key target locations for future growth, with the right combination of manageable labor costs and strong talent supply.
As the competitive market for logistics equipment and services began to evolve, our client found itself needing to rethink its information technology capabilities to fuel the development of new products and revenue streams. However, its existing job architecture system was stale, resulting in a patchwork of old and new jobs with inconsistent descriptions and requirements. As a result, attracting and retaining key talent was a challenge.
We built a team of technology, manufacturing and transportation experts to work directly with the company's Chief Information Officer and HR leaders. Up first, the group identified areas for functional consolidation and change based on the firm's new business strategy and succession plans. Following that, we assessed the client’s current job architecture and job descriptions to propose a brand new job leveling hierarchy, plus new job roles with modernized titles to attract top talent. Finally, we designed new salary structures, with corresponding bonus targets and equity grant guidelines to support market competitiveness and reinforce internal equity.
Through Aon’s partnership, the company was able to improve its organizational effectiveness by eliminating silos within its IT functions and promoting greater collaboration within its technical teams. Furthermore, the firm's new, simplified job architecture system presented employees with streamlined job families and clearly laid out career progression pathways. The client found the work so powerful for its IT division, Aon has now ben retained Aon to expand the work into other areas of the business.
It’s never been a more exciting time to be a rewards professional. The challenges are big, but the opportunities to influence the future of your business are bigger. Let us know how we can help.
The Rewards Solutions practice at Aon and other Aon group companies will use your personal information to contact you from time to time about other products, services and events that we feel may be of interest to you. All personal information is collected and used in accordance with our privacy statement.
If you do not wish to receive these communications, please check here: