Reward professionals feel under pressure

Reward professionals believe they are under more pressure to minimise costs and improve return on investment this year in 2009, according to research published by Thomsons Online Benefits.

The Employee Rewards Watch 2009 revealed 88% of respondents felt under more pressure this year, yet less than one-in-ten (9%) organisations said they were able to measure the return on investment obtained from their reward spend.

For those who offer a employee benefits package, more than a third (35%) have not measured its success, and only 9% have measured any costs savings generated.

More than half (53%) of the 523 respondents reported that adverse economic conditions were the biggest issue facing their reward strategy.

But despite these financial restrictions, more than a third (38%) of employers plan to review their health and wellbeing offering, 30% plan to introduce total reward statements (TRS), and 28% plan to introduce flexible benefits in 2009.

Pensions confusion

The vast majority of respondents (91%) said the objective for offering a occupational pension scheme was to provide their staff with adequate funding for retirement, yet a third (32%) said they do not know many employees are members of their pension scheme.

Furthermore, almost half (47%) do not know how their contribution levels with change as a result of personal accounts in 2012. More than half (51%) do not have the facility to auto-enrol staff into their pension scheme.

Salary sacrifice

There has been a rise (5%) in companies which have implemented salary sacrifice options since the 2008 survey. Now, almost three-quarters (73%) of organisations offer salary sacrifice perks, with a further 13% intending to in the next year.

Respondents with a salary sacrifice arrangement in place were asked if they generated the level of tax and national insurance savings expected. Nearly a third (26%) have not measured the savings.

Reward communication

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Seven out of ten employers (70%) thought their employees did not realise the full value of their reward package, and the same amount did not offer TRS.

Despite nearly half (45%) believing it is very important to brand their benefits package, only 13% have a specific reward brand. Nearly half (46%) do not gather information from employees about the impact of their internal communication.