Reframing employee R&R to extend your compensation strategy

Bringing this subject to life will be two industry experts – Sajjad Parmar, CEO and Founder at The Talent Accelerator and Emma Harvie, Senior Manager of Customer Success at Achievers and AWI Advisor as they talk on how leaders are leveraging employee recognition and engagement initiatives to make an impact on the bottom line. Uncover how organisations can empower employees to make that meaningful difference, build trust, and demonstrate value by balancing their emotional and financial needs

2023 presented organisations with unique set of challenges, many grappled with the dilemma of recalling employees to the office and navigating the complexities of hybrid work models. Simultaneously, employees faced uncertainties, struggling to place trust in their organisations amidst sporadic layoffs along with rising inflation and cost-of-living. The Achievers Workforce Institute’s 2024 Engagement & Retention report finds that the #1 reason to job hunt in 2024 is for better compensation — a big change from past years, with twice as many people saying they will job hunt to find better compensation in 2024 compared to 2023.

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Kylie Speer [00:00:00] And welcome to today's webinar ''Reframing Employee R&R to Extend Your Compensation Strategy'' brought to you by Achievers and HRD. My name is Kylie Speer. And I'm so happy to be your host over the next hour that we have together. Thank you all so much for joining us today. Our intention for today's webinar is for it to be as informative and interactive as possible. So just a couple of housekeeping items to begin with. You will notice there are a number of polls incorporated throughout today's presentation, as well as a q&a session at the very end. I'd like to encourage you all to please participate in the polls and to submit as many questions as you'd like via the q&a or chat functions. Your questions can be anonymous. Or if you'd like a shout out, feel free to include your name and organization too. And lastly, just a reminder that today's webinar is being recorded, and it will be emailed to you all after its conclusion. It's now my absolute pleasure to hand over to Mark Barling, RVP Sales APAC and global accounts at Achievers who will be helming today's presentation. Welcome to you, Mark. Over to you. 

Mark Barling [00:01:15] Fantastic. Thank you, Kylie. And thank you to everybody joining us today one of the hottest topics I should say in today's world of HR is compensation. Pay the dollars, no matter who you are the cost of living increases over the last two years in particular have focused households rent Australia and agents speaking about compensation at work. But isn't just about pay shouldn't be looking more broadly at how to reframe the compensation question. I'm joined by two amazing guests today to take us through some of the insights recently generated by the Achievers workforce Institute on compensation, emotional salary, and some real world comparisons. We'll start firstly, with Sajjad and with over two decades of global HR experience working in leadership roles for Fortune 500 companies like Unilever, GSK, and eBay, refinished as Head of Total Rewards for the International Market. Sajjad is the CEO and Founder of the Talent Accelerator, a recognized total rewards leader in Asia. He has extensive experience in total rewards top management, performance management, people analytics. Please join me in welcoming, Sajjad. 

Sajjad Parmar [00:02:17] Thanks, my pleasure to be here quite excited by the agenda at hand and you know, providing practitioners view in terms of the impact from a competition point of view, but obviously a key, I guess, misunderstanding on many items around recognition. So looking forward to today.  

Mark Barling [00:02:33] Good stuff. Thank you. Thank you so much again for joining us. Through pioneering great work every day in her roles. Customer Success Lead for Achievers across APAC and with leading roles in the Achievers DE&I committee, member of the UN Women Australia Strategy Gender Equity Council, Achievers Workforce Institute and Advisor. And as the APAC Lead for the Achievers Women's Network, Emma Harvie is actively working to share information, best practices, education and experience that will help one another develop leadership skills, career advancing opportunities needed to drive success. This is also someone that I'm proud to be a friend with. Please join me in welcoming Emma Harvie. 

Emma Harvie [00:03:11] Thanks for having me, Mark, really looking forward to today's conversation and the questions from the audience as well. 

Mark Barling [00:03:18] Brilliant stuff. Thank you. Thank you both. Let's get started. Pay. For decades, one of the biggest drivers of retention for employees pay afford a job security certainty. Base level needs were assured. simpler times were met by arguably simpler means a solid wage meant food on the table mortgages paid kids to school pay was visible. The calendar entry here is that it's payday. From personal experience, my dad would come home from work and with every second Tuesday have whatever physical page summary and generally not make it past the living room before mom said Hand it over. But then a revolution started. Cue the 1990s, we discovered engagement. We wanted to feel and then science started to kick in organizations that prioritized engaging their employees performed better. They made more sales, they had employees stay longer. It wasn't just retention or profit people more engaged was safer. They were more productive. They were happier. We added intrinsic to our extremes. The challenge to science though, was what did we achieve? Engagement is statement largely flat for years Gallup show that engagement globally has stayed relatively flat over the last couple of decades. Worryingly so you could argue, organizations and leaders now grappled with what next? Because engagement is actually getting more complex not less than more we understand about it. we fast forward into today, the dollars are back through a perfect storm of forces long term wage stagnation COVID interest rates even Taylor Swift concert tickets, salary is back as the number one reason people are reviewing their employer, am I being fairly paid? Could I earn more elsewhere? I need to earn more. We are seeing two times the number of people searching for roles now based purely on compensation. It is in the moment there is no question about it. We scratch a little demon. The picture isn't super clear. Research from Harvard says Pay fairness paid dialog is higher indicator employee satisfaction than just higher salaries alone. Our argument is that salary is appointed time requirement driving increased job searches no doubt. Pay is relatively fixed. The inelasticity tied to company profit capacity for better or worse corporatization and market forces limit pay in the long run, pay cannot over engage as the point it can meet minimum standards. Innovation in the experience is still required to create a reason why an employee should want to feel like they belong with an employer to feel like they are recognized. So it is time for a reframe. It is time to consider one's emotional salary. our working lives have grown in complexity and maturity, pay is the number one reason to look elsewhere for a job. But how I feel at work. How I'm recognized has become the dominant intrinsic requirement for workers across multiple demographics. And he's one for my team, even for outside lead to sales leaders like me. So before we dive into the main topic, before we get into the conversation with Emirates agenda, what I want to do is pose this question to everybody and get a real sense of what's happening in your world. What problems are you trying to solve with new techniques, new innovations, not just compensation to help change your approach to recognition? So let's get some insight into this from our from our audience a little while to answer the question. Are you looking to increase engagement? Is it more about productivity is it just I need to have something in place? We disinvesting in other programs as priorities where budgets been spending to come tested right across the organization. Some interesting results in down we'll quickly get into a dialogue on how reframing this intrinsic approach to employee satisfaction can work. I'm gonna be talking about our report. And we'll dive into the into the find extra few more seconds close off the poll. We have to come back with just some results on this. Em, let's bring you back whilst the poll continues on. And let's get you sharing your insight into what we're very very proud of here at Achievers and that is the 2024 engagement and retention report. 

Emma Harvie [00:08:14] Thanks Mark. The Achievers Workforce Institute or AWI, as we call it is a strategic practice of workforce and data scientists that connect global business leaders with research community and advisory services to drive better business outcomes. The 2024 engagement and retention report that was released just last month, for the first time since we started asking employees and HR leaders around the world about six years ago. Compensation is the number one reason to job hunt, which has surpassed flexibility and career growth as the previous top reasons for looking for another job. But it's not all doom and gloom though we found that as long as a fair market rate is paid. Employees can be motivated beyond salary through cultural alignment, frequent and meaningful recognition, relationships, feedback and career progression. And today, we're going to summarize those findings as connection, celebration, compensation and choice. Let's look at why connection matters. For the last three years that AWI has studied what leads an employee to feel like they belong, and connection is one of those key pillars. And its most simple level connection is about that opportunity to build a diverse network inside my work circle and ideally beyond that. Our research shows that when employees feel connected, they are more than twice as likely to feel like they belong in an organization. That's all very nice, but why does connection really matter? It matters because most employee raise have difficulty dealing with change on their own. Our research showed that just 28% of employees feel capable of meeting unexpected challenges, which I guess surprised me a little bit when I reflect on the adventure of the last couple of years, whether it's social justice issues, new modes of working a global pandemic, mental health conversations coming to the fore as it was we never had before. To me, it's been a demonstration that employees can survive and thrive through just about anything. And yet, when I remember that employees are people first, people fundamentally don't love change, there's probably less surprising. And so we studied this. And we found that the top three drivers of an individual's resilience are all related to connection. First, the connection I have to the mission of the organization, second, the connection that I have to my manager, and third, the connection that I have to my peers, or put another way, my friends at work. 

Mark Barling [00:11:07] Yeah, that's awesome. The researchers say can be quite surprising at first. And so I'd love Sajjad, to understand how you see this in the field? How are organizations interpreting, either interpreting this? Or how about what are you seeing around this aspect of connection? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:11:26] Yeah, so I think it's quite apt, I think, let me let me put an angle of employee experience in this right. So a lot of what I've seen, what I have seen myself in the companies I've worked for, but even certainly, right now that I speak to almost new companies every day, a big part of employee experience is hinged around the manager. Yeah. And so I think it's been, it says that I feel connected and supported by my manager. The reality is, if you look at performance management, in general, overall, we've seen really miserable numbers around, you know, how happy employees are with the performance systems. And I think a lot of that is driven by the manager. So if you're not connected to the manager, you're not connected to the organization, you're not connected to your peers. And that impacts how you feel part of the organization, right, and that's the connection piece. So if you want to drive connection, I think manager comes in, becomes a very pivot to that equation. Right? And of course, I've seen I can give you two like examples, good examples. In one of my companies, I actually worked for the leader of the function ensured almost every month that they would bring the team in, we would talk about what's at hand, what are the challenges, how is everybody feeling always encouraged, right? Always, always talked about collaboration, collaboration, teamwork, teamwork, trust, have each other's back, it'd be really had a sense of, you know, commitment towards each other sense of connection, and a link it to the fact that that number, that's, that's 28%, two times of change, if you know, you have connection with your team, you have connection with your manager, any big change to your job to the to the company, it just becomes a little bit easier. Because you don't feel alone, right. So that sense of connection becomes quite important. If you know that you're part of a team where they have your back, you can collaborate, you can reach out to them for help, you know, so it becomes quite, it becomes easier to manage any sort of change. On the flip side, there have been unfortunately, I've seen examples. In fact, couple of companies recently, where I had one of my, one of my friends move in, and they're like, we're born like robots. We go in, we have a weekly meeting, but there's like, there's no connection. We go in, we talk about what needs to be done in 45 minutes, the manager is like, Alright, next week, you know, and, you know, she's quite lost, you know. So again, I think the connections, you know, speaks to that person, that, you know, she's part of a team, but there's, there's really no trust, there is really no connection. And so I think that if a change comes through, I think she's going to be quite lost. 

Mark Barling [00:14:01] There's an interesting piece of it that isn't suggesting that the connection doesn't. You don't have to force a connection. You've got multiple angles with your with your team members, and as leaders to connect with individuals, whether it is on the work product, or whether it is on the personal the authenticity that's necessarily behind that is a real skill. Are you seeing from an enablement of managers that that's an area that organizations can focus in on? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:14:29] Absolutely, and I would say that one, one, the biggest change I have seen in performance management in the last 30 years, predominantly has started after COVID. And I think is hinged around, making managers more effective, starting with making them as coaches. So we want managers to be coaches and not drivers. Right. And to that extent, that's the skill set around making them having upskilling them around having critical conversations. The big challenge around performance management is managers don't speak with employees. Is how do you build connections when the manager and employee don't speak? And I can give you 50 examples of people I know over the years who have come to me and said, I speak to my manager, maybe twice a year. There, you can do everything else, you're not going to build connection. 

Mark Barling [00:15:16] Connection because ultimately cases that does one thing, doesn't it? It builds trust. Yeah. Which is, which is absolutely critical in the in the leader employee relationship. Okay, good, good, good. We want to hear from you, we want to hear from our audience. We want to understand, as we're talking about the ability to reframe levers on compensation and R&R recognition of being one of those we are seeing R&R evolve, we are seeing and modernize it is no longer qualitative. It's quantitative. So in the poll, that is going to pop up on your screen, which there is which of these areas are useful? Or starting to explore with R&R in your organization. But that poll up on the screen? Go. stuff so please jump in, add your voice to the question. And we will come back with answers as we go through. Emma, our second seed celebration? 

Emma Harvie [00:16:27] Yeah, this is where I start with full disclosure that Achievers is a recognition company. We've been doing recognition for 20 years and our focus on workforce science, smart technology, and trusted advice has made us an innovating star performer. according to analysts, firms who write about our category. A prime focus of our practice is the study of recognition, reward and celebration of all sorts. And every year we published our state of recognition report, and I'm glad to share some of the things that we found frequent recognition drives business outcomes. We've previously reported that one recognition per month is that tipping point where recognition impacts business metrics such as engagement, retention and productivity, the latest finding is that weekly recognition is the great multiplier. Now, weekly recognition might sound like a lot, especially if you're new to a recognition program. We're talking about all types of recognition and throughout the employee journey for moments that matter, recognition for effort for progress for outcomes, service anniversaries, awards, welcome celebration cards for new starters, volunteering, exclusive behavior, inclusive behavior, supporting de IB initiatives, and so on. recognition that is free flowing across the organization top down bottom up and across the organization, every moment makes a difference. And this is why three quarters of employees say that feeling recognized would inspire them to be more productive. Two thirds say it would reduce their desire to job hunt. And more than half say it would reduce the impact of having a salary below their expectation. 

Mark Barling [00:18:13] These are huge statistics, aren't they? And in terms of the impact that been celebrated at work and have Sajjad to you, let's get a real world insight into this. The numbers are research based. What's that real world telling us?  

Sajjad Parmar [00:18:30] Yeah, so I definitely agree that in terms of engagement, productivity, all of that there's a direct link, right? I've seen really fantastic examples of companies that have a culture of recognition. And especially when it's peer to peer driven, there is almost direct impact on engagement, on how you feel. I'll give you a very, very good example of one of the companies. They have peer to peer recognition call you made my day. And anybody in the world can just send one of the colleagues a nice ecard on anything like you rock you made my day, thank you so much for your help. You are fantastic. And they will even send out the link to the recognition program, when they had their annual promotions, just to encourage people to send each other cards, right. And I've seen countless examples of people coming to me in team members, oh, I'm just, they were just more happier someday. And we're like, oh, what's happening? And they will say, Oh, somebody just sent me a card, you know that, you know, they did something nice. And they got recognized, right? And it's just a very simple way. We're a beautiful way of impacting somebody's day. And so you could do it daily, you could do it weekly. And I think that that speaks to me around the culture of recognition, right, that almost becomes part of of your daily routine. If this if somebody did something nice to you, you're like, oh, yeah, let me send them a card. Because, you know, I just, you know, they were really helpful, you know, and in turn, you basically recognize them. And then the on the other hand, I've seen another example of where a really nice functional recognition program and then one of the companies with this I ended and I was told that the entire function used to look out for it at the end of the year because they were so excited by it. Because it was reasonable recognition. And there was a whole nomination process. And before the even process started, qualities were coming into the regional team, or when are we going to start that program, that recognition program, because all our members are like, they want to know what's going to happen, and they want to submit their nominations. And, you know, whatever it is, and it's just such an amazing example of how recognition impacts engagement, how people are excited by it. And I think you got to build that culture of recognition, a period of time. So I think when you talk about productivity, the fact that, you know, there's less job hunting, I would say, Absolutely, I've seen direct examples, and I've got more examples. Salary freeze, may be a bit questionable to me, to your point, Mark, I think, in the last two years, that salary, pain and anguish around, you know, hyperinflation, and all those and everything has become so expensive, has just become very acute. So maybe not so much directly. But I think every other aspect in terms of engagement, productivity, and I would say, I learned very early in my career, that celebration is one of the best things you can do to be part of a team and to take the team forward, right. And so even in my in my jobs, I made sure even if it's a small event, you get the team together, you go for a coffee, you go for lunch, and even those one celebrations actually add up to a huge deal.  

Mark Barling [00:21:23] Yeah, I want to just grab a couple of points out of that. And the questions are sort of the same endpoint, which is, across Asia, do you see celebration, have the same impact on a person's desire to stay with an organization agnostic of compensation and to the salary impact? Because I think that research absolutely does probably challenges some of the some of the other data that comes out around cost of living, etc. Has salary pressure, and the impact of that on retention had had a similar impact across Asia. So to sort of a two fold question it's already making so long. 

Sajjad Parmar [00:22:03] Sorry, can you say the first one again? 

Mark Barling [00:22:05] So the first one is on job hunting, productivity, etc.? Have you seen? Have you seen a similar impact across Asia? And on the salary side of things? Likewise, have you seen it hit the same everywhere? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:22:16] I would say, not the same everywhere, but definitely the job hunting side? Absolutely. There is no direct link, I think, look it'll numb the pain if you're living in a culture of recognition, right? So job hunting and all of that. Yes, there is, like I said, there's more direct impact. I think the salary one is a bit more complicated as well, because again, our markets in Asia are also very, very different, right? We've had a variety of different inflationary pressures and, you know, different macroeconomic environments, operating in across Asia. So but in general, I would say the salary is still a, so you would still go out and salary would hurt more. Right? If you are, if you have a salary freeze. But I think like I said, while you're at the job, if you're living in a culture of recognition, you're more bolt on. So it speaks directly you're part of the team. If you do a salary freeze, it's going to hurt you. It's not going to help you it might not retain you. But while you're part of the team, which has culture where you celebrate, I think as long as you're part of that team, it makes a difference to you. 

Mark Barling [00:23:20] Fantastic. Thank you really appreciate that. Em, let's come back and talk compensation. 

Emma Harvie [00:23:28] This one will be reasonably short and sweet because we need to pay our people fairly. It's plain and simple. Our 2023 status recognition report found that just over half of employees so 53% feel that their salary is fair and competitive in today's market. Interestingly, that number jumps to 70%. When someone feels that they belong at a company, and 73% when they say that they are recognized weekly to recruit those employees that we already have, we need to pay them fairly. But there's, there's more to that story than take home salary, or the reason Gartner reimagining conferences in London and the US they talked about trust. They pointed to pay equity is an area where organizations are often falling down. Only 1/3 of employees feel that their pay is fair and just and just 12% of organizations actually share pay equity goals. And this is important. Our own engagement and retention for a report found that 72% of employees say being paid market value and or being celebrated frequently would strengthen their sense of belonging. But just over half, their company was actually prioritizing this. Now, many of you are not only dealing with labor shortages, but you're also dealing with hiring and salary freezes. And as I mentioned earlier, when talking about celebration, our research showed that frequent and meaningful recognition can outweigh a salary freeze. 

Mark Barling [00:25:04] A lot to unpack in this, I know we've only got a few minutes, and we will do the very best we can. Sajjad I was intrigued on a couple of statistics that Emma shared here from the research combined, being paid fairly. So meeting that almost that base level of what Maslow describes as our media data security piece that I spoke about at the in the beginning of the intro. Combined with being made to feel like I'm belong, I'm less likely to move, I'm less likely to to go. Yeah, organizations aren't doing that they're not meeting that, which you may not be able to name them by names, but what are the organizations doing? Well, what are the characteristics of that that are doing it? Well? What are the characteristics of those not doing it? Well? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:25:47] So if you look at the numbers, the last slide, right, I think that's very spot on. I think there is a huge challenge around pay perceptions, right? How employees understand their salaries. And I think a big gap generally, I would say, 80% of the companies that I'm talking to right now, they do a very poor job around pay transparency, right. Now you've got a loss coming in, in many markets, which are dictating things to change. But as things stand now, we are doing a very poor job in the way we tell employees, how they get paid, how we arrived at the salary. So the whole, all those numbers speak very, very, very much to me, right. It's almost my daily, it's almost my daily discussion, I will probably challenge, you know, that recognition is going to help numb the pain around a salary freeze, in my experience, at least probably not the case, as we talked about, I think compensation right now, after a few years is probably the number one reason why people would move, right. And so if you get a salary freeze right now, it is going to hurt. I would say that maybe recognition numbs a little bit, the pain but I think if you get a salary freeze, it's not going to get no amount of recognition or engagement. And all of that is going to help. And I think there's, like I said, primarily the financial, the macroeconomic financial factors that we're seeing the dynamics that we're seeing high inflation, everything is expensive, the rents have gone through the roof. This compensation is just like the most important thing for people right now. Right? And so everything else, yes, important. But if you do a salary freeze, I think it's not going to help. Right. But like I said, the previous slides, the numbers, I think they're all spot on. You know, companies need to do a better job around how we explain, you know, how we arrived at salary speed, transparency is horrible. Generally, it's improving. But it's still most companies are far behind there. 

Mark Barling [00:27:40] Yeah, it's good. And I appreciate this a couple comments just said their talking about the audio, they do all the all the tech run throughs in the world, and everything seems fine, but the audio doesn't work. So we will continue to work on this. So thank you, potentially, I really appreciate that. We love voices, the challenge research. So first and foremost, agree with that. And salary is such an emotional component when it's not met, right? Pay it's one of those things isn't it can never over engage, but it can certainly disengage really, really quickly. So really, really, really important point, thank you, and our fourth, C, choice. 

Emma Harvie [00:28:16] The last of the Cs. Flexibility has certainly been a hot topic for the past few years, and often a source of tension between organizations and employees. And one of the many things I've learned about work over the last three years is that employees want to work autonomously, but not alone. And that's just one example of where choice can become part of your overall compensation. We tend to commit more to the things that we co create all the award winning cultures that make the list so that we read about in Forbes and great places to work, know that inclusion is central to recruiting the employees they already have. And this is not just to be viewed through the lens of diversity, equity inclusion, but more broadly through the lens of involvement. The research from AWI shows that we often do a bad job of this, just half of the organizations are asking employees about their culture, even annually and just 18% of employees have any confidence that that feedback will actually be actioned on. And yet, when we ask for feedback, when we involve employees at least four times a year, employees are 50% more engaged and 88% more likely to feel valued. People who are valued day. This doesn't mean more engagement surveys, although these have a really great utility and inspecting the conditions that currently exist at work. This does mean thinking about the lived experience of your employees, the programs or policies, the products that you're trying to bring to life and turning them and saying what do you think? Or even more powerfully, may I have your help? When employees ask for feedback? They're more engaged. 

Mark Barling [00:29:58] I think it's, Sajjad it's a really interesting, important discovery, we spoke about the authenticity of managers earlier, one of the questions that I posed to you, that takes skill, yeah, as a leader, it is something that you need to practice, you need to have front of mind. So is going outside of yourself and asking for feedback, how do organizations codify that? And enable their leaders to do this really well, to ensure that choice is a non event? It's just it's not, I think, because people want to stay? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:30:35] Yeah. So I'd probably say that feedback is going to start to make a difference. If let's, for example, your engagement survey that's basically asking for feedback, right? How do you trust the leaders? How do you tell the managers? Are you at home, whatever be it right? Now, it's going to start to make a difference if employees actually start to see companies take action based on feedback, okay, I can give you countless examples where employees have come and said, Oh, we participate in surveys, which is nice. Sometimes, when you start to see action, it starts to make a difference. There is no point of view asking for feedback, if you find out that employees have given some feedback, but no action is taken. Or if the action is taking too long. There are companies who do what we call pulse feedback, pulse surveys, right? But it's just an exercise companies are doing and in the end, it actually makes no difference to employees life, right? You say hey, by the way, decision making is very, very slow. And it's really impacting my life. And I'm really bothered by it, because I have no autonomy and ABCDE. And, you know, the company says, oh, yeah, we're only 40% on decision making, right? That's a feedback, everybody's given right? Now employees would feel a plus, if they start to see a difference. And companies working around it, or leadership working around it. If you give feedback, but nothing happens. It's not really going to help, it's going to actually going to help, in fact, your trust into the feedback is going to go down because you like every time I give feedback, nothing happens. So it's just a it's just an exercise. But you know, no actions are being taking no changes being made. So I think to an extent where yes, feedback is important. We must ask employees feedback. But if you really want to drive the value of that feedback, in terms of engagement, and you want them to feel more valued, because their voices are being heard, you have to show that action is being taken against it. 

Mark Barling [00:32:17] Okay, yeah, a real champion. It's the closing of the loop, isn't it? You asked my opinion, I gave it to you. What are you doing with it? How are you doing with it? And you spoke about being transparent in one of your other your other answers? Be transparent back because I do think there is a connection between if you need to make a hard decision, like freezing salaries, part of it is as the organization how do you show up authentically, transparently to explain the reasons why to ensure that that lands, and as you say, from your perspective, you may say that recognition doesn't necessarily cover that. But at the very least, organizationally, you can show up showing that the feedback has been heard.  

Sajjad Parmar [00:32:59] Absolutely, absolutely. 

Mark Barling [00:33:02] Lovely stuff. The 4 Cs Em are compelling. The research is certainly compelling. Insight here shared from both Emma and Sajjad to help to help wrap up this that. Think certainly from the chippies workforce Institute perspective, there is a significant focus on listening to your employees, recognizing in the moment celebrating those wins, even if they are, even if they are the everyday wins, not necessarily the major milestones or triumphs. But that that works. And frequently is better, more frequent equals better results. Said you, thank you so much for sharing the insight from, in particular your world your work, we've got a great question. To kick us off into this into the q&a area here, which is just up on the screen now has a QR code that everyone can jump in download the 2024 AWI engagement report. But it might come to you Sajjad a question from Jane on you spoke about fairness, inequity is sorry, fairness in pay equity, I should say. Are companies doing any work in that space to define it? If so, how are they defining what is fair? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:34:22] So I would say there's probably clear demarcation between in terms of what's happening on the equity from a country perspective. So you've got countries like Australia, US, UK, we're definitely leading in terms of pay equity, because you've got government coming in very hard, right? You've got requirements to submit data. And therefore companies are like, well, I don't want to get and there are financial penalties by the way. Now, if you submit data and you find out there'll be equity gaps, there are financial penalties. So I think in those markets, it's I think there's definitely, you know, from a pay equity perspective, it's a lot easier, it's a lot more progressive. However, we do have many markets, Asia and example. Where be equity is not a big deal from McGovern perspective, and therefore, companies are a bit slow in on that journey. Now, of course, we've got the entire DE&I aspect to it. And many companies have gotten on board, I still don't see a lot of work around pay gender pay equity, right? I am actually in the last one week, I've spoken to about five or six companies in an emerging market. And you know, all of them have a very strong DE&I agenda. And I was very blunt with them. And I said, Okay, you if you have a DE&i agenda, tell me, what are you doing on gender pay equity, right? You're going to take care of all the, you know, female employees coming in, and you're going to do these all these things, and you're gonna put the frameworks in place. What are you doing about the employees that are working for you right now? Right, we know for a fact that there is a gender pay gap in your company right now. The numbers are publicized? Everybody knows right. What are you doing around them? Unfortunately, there is no action. So I think for a lot of emerging markets, we still have a very, very long way to go around gender pay equity. 

Mark Barling [00:35:56] Indeed, and apologies, just in case there was a little drop there. We're having all sorts of lovely technical issues here at Barling manor. That is one of the great challenges isn't that new? Particularly, we've got such a diverse set of geographies across Asia, are already doing a better than others. Are you seeing real progress in, in some markets, other markets? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:36:20] I think we're markets where the government is coming down with laws, they're definitely ahead because companies got more choices. Let me put it this way. So we want all governments to come up with laws so that companies are forced to make a choice where the government's have not come down. There are no statutory changes coming on gender pay equity. I think it's even with the so called progressive regional centers, I think we're still so far away. Now what let me qualify, also, there are some, some multinational companies who have at a multinational level decided that they will do something about it, right? If a company decides globally that they're gonna do something on DE&I, then some action is taking, irrespective of which country you work for. But if you take market by market, I think unless a law comes in from a government side that this is what they want companies to do. I think it's going to take some time. And there's a big gap there. 

Mark Barling [00:37:10] Yeah, indeed, we look at this time to leaders don't we in the in the field, we look to people like you could sell from we look to organizations around the world who are doing this, right and using that to, to accelerate the flywheel of pressure on those that aren't doing it, that aren't doing it right. Switching gears a little bit, Emma from pay equity to the perspective from the cheapest workforce Institute and the research that the found that frequent recognition is a good thing, frequent recognition drives fantastic business outcomes. Talk to us, share with us some of the examples that you're seeing in your world where people are living the dream when it comes to connection, celebration, offsetting copy, choice, etc., etc. Tell us tell us the good stuff that's happening. 

Emma Harvie [00:37:56] Those that are doing it best are embracing technology to do so the workforce is dispersed, and it's going to stay dispersed. We we're no longer working in organizations where everyone is in the office. And it's, it's really easy to celebrate birthdays and milestones and life events in the office in person. There are also increasingly more business who complicated, they're working shifts, they're flying, they're global. And so technology actually allows you to bring those celebrations and sharing them with everybody, no matter when you work, how you work, or where you work. So those that are embracing transparent, all inclusive recognition programs that have digital celebrations that you can also bring into the in person in the moment. Are those that are doing it best. 

Mark Barling [00:38:51] Yeah, lovely. Sajjad question for you that I'd be keen. You've got broad experience right across the Asia Pacific region, and no doubt have global connectivity as well. Is all recognition and reward equal in all markets? Do you think? Or are there nuances based on culture based on race based on maturity of market? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:39:14] So competition? Absolutely, I think there are vast differences, I would say, market by market, or to give you two simple examples, if you look at the developed market in general, the works very differently from emerging markets, right? The dynamics are just very different culture. However, I think. And I think culture is a little bit more complicated the way that culture is not immediate, right? If I increase the salary 30%, that's immediate to you, right? If I want to build if I want to start recognizing you, I have it's going to take some time and like I was talking about earlier, the cultural recognition needs to be built, right it takes some time. And I think that in that way, cultural can be quite a recognition can be quite what's the word can apply equally irrespective of where you are. So like, for example, the companies that do culture really well, it doesn't matter whether you are in a poor country or a rich country, or doesn't matter what job you do, if you have the culture recognition, it applies equally. And that has an equal impact on you. Right? As human beings, we want recognition, we want to celebrate. So it doesn't matter whether you're in India or you in Japan, or you're in Brazil, if you build that culture of recognition, it's going to start to have an impact. Pay. On the other hand, like I said, again, macroeconomic drivers are different. works a little bit different in that case. So the impact is more immediate, like, you know, if you have a salary freeze culture sort of recognition, I think has a different impact, because it works also a bit differently. 

Mark Barling [00:40:42] Yeah, it is a longer build a as we've as we know about culture, don't we the infamous phrase of culture eats strategy for breakfast, it is such a hard thing to create. Equally, it's a hard thing to change, isn't it? 

Sajjad Parmar [00:40:57] Yeah. But that's the beauty of, I think, recognition, from my point of view that companies will do this. Well, at least the ones I've seen it even the companies I've been part of, when companies start to do recognition really, really well. There is a very direct visible impact on engagement on teamwork and collaboration on how like we talked about the sense of connection and belonging, I think you can almost see that companies do this really well. You can see this almost on a daily basis, right. Like I've seen really fantastic examples of companies who are doing this well and how they've developed this culture. And you can see the difference in engagement on how employees act on a daily basis. 

Mark Barling [00:41:35] To finish this off Em, as we come to the come to the end of our session today, which I really hope that everybody has been online, has had the opportunity to even if it's just one thing, you've been able to take one thing away from the session and cause you to think about it in. We can't help but talk about the word connection. And think about how that's been reframed by events over the last few years. Even as of today, you know, we're now seeing the whole work from home versus work from office almost reached its way through to the legislative if not, if not legal ways. How are you seeing organizations successfully continue to connect people in this day and age? 

Emma Harvie [00:42:19] It's really thinking about those moments that matter throughout the employee journey. So going from focusing on onboarding as a starting point, how do you connect your new starters with your more tenured and experienced employees if they're not face to face in the office around the watercooler having lunch together, things like that. So using technology to create those pairings, expanding that into mentoring as you focus on development and engagement through the employee journey. So those organizations that are doing well are actually taking a look at that employee experience, right from day one through to exit and thinking about the moments in there where they can create connection and where they can use technology to assist in in facilitating the connection introducing the people who have learnings to share interests to share and those relationships to build. 

Mark Barling [00:43:11] Yeah, I think ultimately, there's an interesting parallel here, I reflect back on the results from our second poll where we saw people using R&R to drive mentorship buddy 40%, mentor 30% with buddy, interestingly, 30% said none of the above from this particular poll, I think there's a real opportunity here and a real and my challenge to everybody who's joined in today and is listening in is to think more broadly about how a program that people access frequently because they want to be able to celebrate, they want to be able to connect, they want to be able to champion the good stuff that's happening every day. Think about what are the problems, an approach like that can solve and to both such at Nemours perspective, think about how technology can actually be an enabler in that, as opposed to something that keeps people away from the in person contact because it will it will only strengthen things we are at time. It's been an awesome conversation to Emma and to Sadad. Thank you so much for everything that you contributed here. Any final comments before we wrap things up? 

Emma Harvie [00:44:18] Just a thank you to the and to Sajjad for the conversation and looking forward to continuing the learnings and the thoughts as we look to the expectations of employees that are changing as the world evolves around us. 

Sajjad Parmar [00:44:34] No, likewise, absolutely. I think it's an interesting space. It's a developing space. I think there's so much that can be done. There's always an opportunity, I think, for us and also for companies to do more, to your point where things are just getting more complicated, right? So we really need to figure out a way to see how we can help employees and how we can help companies do better. So again, thank you for having me. Enjoy the conversation. Thank you. 

Mark Barling [00:44:56] Good stuff. Thank you. Thank you all. Kylie we owe it to you. Thank you 

Kylie Speer [00:45:00] Well, thank you so much, once again, Emma and Sajjad. It was such a wonderful thought provoking and truly helpful presentation today. And to you, of course, Mark for being so brilliant as always at the helm. Thank you also to our attendees for your participation throughout the webinar, we really appreciate your valuable input. Just a reminder that the entire webinar will be emailed to you all in the meantime on behalf of Achievers and HRD. I hope you all have a lovely rest of the day and we look forward to seeing you again soon.