August 26, 2008 — Employers in both the United States and Canada deploy a similar mix of employee rewards programs to attract and retain talent in an ever-changing marketplace with diverse employee needs.
According to the 2008-2009 WorldatWork Salary Budget Survey, telework – among all surveyed total rewards programs – has shown the most significant 12-month increase in both countries. In contrast, the use of other employee rewards programs inched up only slightly in recent years, and a few even declined.
Telework grew considerably in the U.S., from 30% of organizations saying they offered it to employees in 2007 to 42% this year. In Canada, the increase was even more significant, from 25% to 40%.
“It’s been a perfect storm,” said Anne C. Ruddy, CCP, president of WorldatWork. “Rising gas prices, leading-edge technology, and the push for work-life flexibility have all come together in the past 12 months to create a pretty dramatic increase in telework across the U.S. and Canada.”
A comparison of rewards practices in the U.S. and Canada noted a number of similarities, as well as a few differences:
Part-time employment with benefits: Offered by38% of employers in Canada and 37% of employers in the U.S.
Retention bonuses: Grewfrom 27% in 2004 to 38% in 2008 in the U.S. with similar growth in Canada
Sign on/hiring bonuses: On the rise in both the U.S. (70%) and Canada (51%)
Stock grant programs: Growing in both countries, though experiencing more rapid growth in the U.S. from 7% in 2004 to 20% this year
Stock option programs: Declining in both countries
Spot bonuses: U.S. employers are more apt to pay spot bonuses: 45% compared to 34% of Canadian employers in 2008
Pay rates: 31% of U.S. employers pay above market compared to 25% in Canada
Merit increase budgets: 16% of Canadian organizations report larger merit increase budgets in 2008 compared to 9% in the U.S
Telecommuting employees are becoming an integral part of the workforce according to this article. With telework on the rise, many companies are looking to extend their total rewards programs to these off-site employees as well. In fact, employee incentives can be effectively managed to ensure that you are getting the most out of your telecommuting employees. Just because the workers are off-site does not mean they should be out of mind too. Increase telecommuter employees motivation and productivity by implementing or extending an incentive award program to them and get great results.