Interview with Anne Teggart, European compensation and benefits lead, Sapient

A surge in employee awareness about the benefits available to them at global services business, Sapient, is the greatest career achievement to date for European compensation and benefits lead, Anne Teggart.

A surge in staff awareness about the benefits available to them at global services business Sapient is the greatest career achievement to date for the organisation’s European compensation and benefits lead, Anne Teggart.

Teggart, who joined Sapient in June 2010, has worked hard to boost employees’ understanding and take-up of perks, while rebroking benefits contracts to save the business money.

“Employee communications were also ramped up so that people could feel the impact I was making,” she says.

Communication is at the heart of Teggart’s role at Sapient. She has overall responsibility for seven countries across Europe, and two of her colleagues have responsibility for the Americas and Canada, and India and Asia-Pacific (Apac), respectively.

“As a team, we’re very well connected,” she says. “We chat a couple of times a week, or daily when we’re in the thick of bonus and pay reviews. We have quite a mobile workforce, so what we do in one region can impact the others from an internal equity point of view, so we’re very mindful of that. That’s why it’s crucial the compensation team keeps in touch with our HR and management colleagues to understand what’s going on and where the compensation and benefits team can help.”

The economic downturn is helping to shape employers’ compensation and benefits strategies, says Teggart. “I’m aware of the increasing adoption of pay-for-performance activities being introduced or focused more on. Businesses need to focus more on the key skills they need at a particular time, while trying to remain nimble enough to support the changing needs of their customers, and meet the threat from their competitors.”

Teggart attributes her success to date to her ability to keep up to speed with current industry news and developments. “Learning about employee relations, proactively keeping up to date with legislative changes and how to deal with potentially tricky situations has helped me greatly,” she says.

Teggart began her reward career as assistant to the head of employee relations and reward at Vue Entertainment, where she spent three and a half years while also studying part-time for her Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) qualification.

Focus on reward

“After a great grounding in most aspects of HR, I decided to focus solely on reward,” she says. “The reward side was my passion, in terms of how that can translate into making an organisation profitable and successful, and being able to make a difference.”

Teggart applies this to Sapient by helping to create a working environment where each employee understands how their contribution is valued. “I work with my HR business partner and the learning and development and recruitment teams to ensure we attract and retain the best staff,” she says. “When done right, this is a vital piece of an organisation’s success.”

Q&A

How would you describe yourself?

I’m pretty open to change. I view it as essential in a reward role, as well as being creative in approach. I make time to ensure people know why a change is happening, or give them enough detail to be able to advise others of, for example, the roll-out or change of a benefit.

Do you have a role model or someone who has inspired you?

My manager at Vue Entertainment inspired me, because she supported me throughout my CIPD qualification and gave me the confidence to go for it. Also, my manager at the BBC, [who I also worked with at] Sony Pictures was great to learn from. He worked hard, but he knew how to make work fun too. I learned a lot from him.

Do you read management books?

I read a lot of articles online. They’re helpful for generating ideas, travelling to and from work, or finding out the most up-to-date information on a topic. I also keep up to date with what my own [organisation] and its industries are doing via the various [information] sources that are produced internally.

Curriculum vitae

June 2010 – present: European compensation and benefits lead, Sapient

September 2007 – June 2010: Manager, international compensation and benefits, Sony Pictures Entertainment

January 2007 – August 2007: Compensation and benefits analyst, BBC

August 2003 – December 2006: Human Resources co-ordinator, Vue Entertainment (formerly Warner Village Cinemas)

April 2003 – August 2003: Recruitment consultant, Hays Accountancy Personnel, Belfast and London

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January 2003 to April 2003: Human Resources assistant, Ulster Folk and Transport Museum, Belfast

April 2000 – December 2002: Office manager, Orange (formerly Wanadoo and Freeserve.com)