Constantina Tribou: Global reward strategies during Covid-19

Constantina Tribou: Shifting global reward strategy during Covid-19

To maintain resilience in this shifting landscape, many employers are starting with their global reward strategies as a way to adapt to the current Covid-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic.

Employee demographics in the workforce are changing and situations are moving quicker than organisations can adapt. As a result, there is a pressing need for greater flexibility as staff relocate and ensure that this is catered for in this new working environment and people feel valued with a sense of purpose and the skills/tools they need. 

Skills-based employment is on the rise with employers exploring options of employees being rewarded based on their skills for the work they are doing. Therefore allowing flexibility with work and adapting rewards packages accordingly, including investment in learning and training. 

HR and reward practitioners are at the front-line of the biggest challenge to face global work conflict, with organisations making widespread redundancies and pay cuts to spend and structural costs. The big story next year is whether they will digitise so that they can take a more imaginative and intelligent approach to manage reward, with all its many contractual and regulatory obligations. For instance, many employees would prefer to dispense with rewards like gym membership and take cash. With a digital approach, organisations can be more agile and flexible to personal circumstances.

The UK government is encouraging people to retrain to find new work, but this can include an internal shift in focus for employers who can offer packages to incentivise and reward employees who retrain for mutually beneficial roles within the business. Unilever is supporting employees globally by helping them choose valuable new skills and holding employees’ jobs open, paying a salary, supporting training and reflecting this in benefits packages that contribute to learning costs.

For some organisations, this can also be considered for those facing redundancy, engaging in discussions with employees facing redundancy to offer them a reduced package in return for training to make them more employable for new jobs on higher pay within the firm or externally.

 Constantina Tribou is the head of global reward at Unilever.