The Work Foundation research: Align employees’ priorities with benefits

A deeper understanding of individual employee’s priorities and needs may afford employers a degree of scope to change formal employee benefits arrangements as long as these do not alter the core component of the employment deal.

Understanding the Deal, the fourth report in the Future of HR series by The Work Foundation, outlines a conceptual framework of the employee’s perception of how their relationship with their employer is forged, sustained and re-negotiated.

Based on data from over 130 interviews across six organisations, the Deal Framework considers both the formal and psychological components of the employment deal, and evaluates the interaction between the key players in the employment relationship.

The report also highlight the implications of adopting this employee-centric perspective on HR practice in the areas of employee engagement, talent management, employee involvement, and jobs.

For example, staff at an international bank tended to see pay and bonuses as a primary indicator of organisational approval and recognition and attempting to secure future rewards acted as the key motivator. As a result, HR’s available levers to sustain a healthy relationship between employer and employee were predominantly through these channels.

This contrasts to social care staff in a local authority who are prepared to accept a far greater deal of change to the formal elements of their employment deal, as long as their professional autonomy to serve their social clients is maintained.

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