Monday, 1 August 2011

Pros and Cons of C&B

From the hourly rates and daily wage structures of the 1800s to today’s total rewards, it has been a long journey for the discipline of Compensation and Benefits. The changes in the methods and practices of payment have been typically triggered by imbalances arising out of an economic crisis or by shifts in the demographics of the employee pool. Recessions and depressions, as well as epidemics and natural calamities, changed the objectives of the compensation philosophy, and kick-started social security legislations in many parts of the world. The participation of women in large numbers in the workforce brought forth the need for restructuring of leave days. Advances in transportation and communication helped in the globalisation of businesses and led to transnational C&B packages.

Modern day compensation structures have been credited with the power of enhancing performance through increase in sales efficiencies and improvement in the quality of products and services. HR professionals love to tell stories about how Xerox increased sales of a particular model with a tweak in the incentive structure of the sales division, and many such stories abound. In the recent past, compensation has also been cited as a reason for failures in corporate governance and business ethics. The recent meltdown in the finance industry in the United States and in Europe has opened the eyes of the general public to the fault lines in today’s compensation practices.

This issue of The Human Factor looks at the various facets of compensation structures across industries and around the globe, both in the public and the private sectors. We have spoken to a number of experts, both in the industry and academia, to bring to you the best practices in the discipline. I believe you will find this issue to be a worthy read.

Also worthy of note was the SHRM 63rd Annual Conference & Exposition in June 2011, which took place in Las Vegas. The Human Factor was a keen participant at the world’s largest and greatest HR event, represented by Planman Media’s CEO, Deepak Kaistha. He confesses to us that it was a thrill to be one amongst the 18,000 strong contributors, over the three days of the event. Not only was this an enormous learning experience, interacting with the likes of Sir Richard Branson and Michael J. Fox, it also shed light on how HR leaders of tomorrow can tackle hurdles to emerge as HR champions.

Moreover, in this issue of the magazine we rub shoulders with Harshavardhan Neotia, Chairman of the Ambuja Realty Group. Hailing from a business family may have given him the additional jolt of confidence, but this real estate baron built everything else from scratch, as he talks to us about the foray into other sectors like hospitality, education, and healthcare. A must read.

You will be glad to know that we have been awarded “Asia’s Best HR Magazine” this year. This is a proud moment for all of us here at The Human Factor, and I would like to congratulate the entire team for their untiring efforts to keep improving the magazine. My sincere thanks to all our patrons and readers; you keep motivating us to give our best.

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