Achieving Healthy HR: Thoughtful Compensation

Alexander Lahargoue

Alexander Lahargoue

  • The pandemic and job market have made it difficult for employers to attract and retain talent, negatively impacting operations and profitability.
  • Mineral’s Healthy HR framework shows you what companies with high productivity, morale, and engagement have in common.
  • The Healthy HR framework is built on performing well on all four of the following pillars: thoughtful compensation and benefits, good work-life balance, the potential for career growth, and appropriate workload.
  • On average, 70% of organizations are researching competitors and looking to improve their compensation packages to attract and keep talent.

These past few years have been anything but “business as usual.” From lockdowns to resignations, new variants and economic uncertainty, companies have been forced to navigate these challenges with no roadmap. While companies had to take their own path, some have faded, others survived, and a few – interestingly – even thrived.

But could account for these differences in outcome? We wanted to do a deep dive to find out.

In February 2022, Mineral surveyed 2,644 senior HR professionals in the United States. We sought to uncover what businesses with high performance during the pandemic had in common with respect to what their HR departments chose to prioritize. Our study indicates that revenue and productivity gains are tied to employee morale. How well a company treats its employees corresponds to its ability to attain business growth. We translated our data into a framework to help businesses like yours unlock the connection between strong employee morale and increased revenue and productivity. We call this framework Healthy HR.

The Healthy HR Framework 

Companies that grew in both revenue and productivity had four things in common. These four indicators, which are all tied to employee morale, make up what we call Healthy HR. These indicators are:

  • Thoughtful compensation 
  • Good work-life balance 
  • Potential for career growth 
  • Appropriate workload  

Based on how well organizations perform in these areas, they are rated as either Weak, Average, or Strong. Weak organizations do not perform well in any category, while Strong businesses do well in all four. Our results found, unsurprisingly, that Strong organizations are most likely to succeed in increasing productivity and revenue even when faced with macro-environment challenges.  

But the amount of business value Strong organizations received did may surprise you! Strong organizations saw real, impactful improvements to their bottom line – and in more places than just the bottom line. Our study found that 68% of Strong performers saw an increase in employee morale, despite the challenges of the pandemic. Weak organizations, on the other hand, identified a 13% decrease in employee morale. 

Healthy HR doesn’t just happen, however. It requires a culture of investment in HR and proactive efforts.  

Here is what our State of HR survey found on how Strong companies perform in the Thoughtful Compensation and Benefits category and how you can imitate their success.  

How Strong Healthy HR Companies Package Thoughtful Compensation & Benefits 

Pay has always been one of the most important factors for employees. However, salary isn’t the only component of compensation. Health benefits, paid time off, and bonuses also make up the total compensation package. But how are strong Healthy HR companies adjusting their compensation and benefits packages?  

We found that roughly 60% of small organizations offer flexible remote and hybrid work options and proactively review market wages to update their compensation. This small business movement is mirrored by over 75% of large organizations doing the same.  

Strong companies are broadly putting efforts toward meeting their employees’ compensation and benefits expectations. Our survey found that:

  • 76% proactively review market wages and update internal targets
  • 75% consider employee quality of life during compensation decisions
  • 73% offer very flexible working hours with all employees
  • 70% offer flexible remote and hybrid work options
  • 64% tailor benefits packages to specific employee situations

Strong Healthy HR organizations are more than 10 times more likely to tailor benefits to specific employee situations than weak organizations. This can include offering adjusted working hours to accommodate family needs or providing additional time off to employees that need it. Employers in this job-seekers market are adjusting to their compensation practices. Is yours keeping pace? 

What Your Organization Should Do

Not every organization is able to increase employee compensation or provide new benefits. Sometimes there are budget limitations. At other times, recruiting and staffing could be pain points that limit growth. Further, not every company can take advantage of every benefit (some organizations, like services and restaurants, always require in-house staff). However, proactive steps toward Healthy HR can begin even with small steps.

Whether you’re a growing organization with little to no funds available to alter your compensation or benefits, or need outside the box thinking, here are some ways to enhance your compensation practices:

  • Be aware of trending benefits for both your employees, location, and industry
  • Consider polling employees on the type of benefits that interest them
  • Offer one unique benefit that ties in with your culture and values
    • Examples include stipends to support small businesses, allow bereavement periods for the loss of a pet, charge accounts for snacks or coffee at employees’ favorite gas stations, recess time, blue light lens glasses, game tickets, or vouchers for spas and massages
  • Establish guidelines around how and when the company discusses pay and benefits with job candidates and employees
  • Track utilization rates of your current offered benefits

Another key aspect for helping organizations improve in Healthy HR: focusing on mental health. We found in our research that every Strong organization placed a heightened focus on employees’ mental health. Strong posture companies were 11x more likely to prioritize this and tried to support it through the pillars of Healthy HR – including thoughtful compensation and benefits. From fostering a culture around wellness (71%) to revising procedures to empower managers and supervisors to check in (68%), promoting mental wellness through the compensation pillar could hold the key to elevating your organization’s Healthy HR standing.

The job market and pandemic have forced many companies into a reactive posture. But organizations with Healthy HR showcased their resilience, agility, and endurance. As it’s always a matter of when – not if – the next crisis will impact your organization, our research has revealed that a surefire way to withstand it is by proactively investing in Healthy HR.

Author: Alexander Lahargoue
About
Alexander Lahargoue is a contributing staff member at Mineral.