Total Communication for "Total Commitment"

With greater commitment comes higher service quality, higher productivity, greater retention of talent, and, ultimately, better financial performance. The question is: How committed are employees to the organization? How can we make that commitment last?

Recent studies done by Mercer demonstrate a significant correlation between employee commitment and productivity. With greater commitment comes higher service quality, higher productivity, greater retention of talent, and, ultimately, better financial performance. The question is: How committed are employees to the organization? How can we make that commitment last? How well does a person know the organization he or she works for, and how willing is he or she to contribute to its success?

 

According to Javier Tabakman, Director of Human Capital for South America at Mercer, and Jodi Macpherson, Mercer Communication and Change Business Group Leader for Latin America and Canada, the key is employee communication.  Organizations must build commitment through communication of the company’s total rewards value proposition to its employees.

­In this context, and in addition to knowing how satisfied employees are in an organization, it is important to know what employees think of the total rewards package they receive from the company. This means salary and benefits, training, career development but it also includes intangible factors such as the relationship with one’s boss, company processes, the physical environment, interaction with colleagues, etc.

 

The diagram below highlights five levels of total rewards communication.  As you move to the right, the organization is clearly transmitting the total value of working for the company which in turn improves the level of employee commitment.

 

 

 Being aware of each employee’s level of commitment to the organization also matters, and it matters a lot. The most visible commitment is rational commitment (how aligned are personal goals with those of the organization); ­but we must also consider emotional commitment (how proud is the employee to work at the organization), discretionary effort (the extra effort that the employee is willing to put in at work) and the employee's intention to stay or leave the organization over the medium term.

Understanding the level of employee satisfaction in the organization is also critical and here, a country's culture has a major influence. Tabakman comments: "Generally speaking, emerging countries have higher indices than developed countries, where indices are inversely correlated to expectations. That is to say, the lower the expectations, the higher the satisfaction and, conversely, the higher the expectations, the lower the satisfaction.­­ By contrast, in more developed countries, where basic needs are covered, expectations are higher.­ There are greater demands and, consequently, the level of satisfaction is lower."

­Even within Latin America, studies to measure these indices reveal differences by country within the region. As Tabakman explains, “Argentines tend to be more ­­demanding, and therefore satisfaction, commitment and workplace environment indices are lower than those of Brazilians or Colombians, who tend to be more optimistic and whose indices, therefore, tend to be higher.”

Seven key actions for effectively communicating your total rewards value proposition:

1. Have a master plan, but communicate in phases.

2. ­­Communicate employment proposals in a broader context, covering all aspects of the rewards value proposition – base, variable, benefits, professional & career development, workplace environment, etc.

3. Keep employees­ informed of all matters relating to their compensation. A single campaign is not enough.

4. ­Communicate in ways that are interactive, personal and attractive, holding the interest of the employee.

5. Do not forget managers. Often they need a different, more personal type of approach.

6. ­Address different audiences using different media.­ Not every employee works behind a computer or in a production plant.

7. Combine high technology with personal contact (hi-touch).  Younger generations are very tech-savvy and very accustomed to communicating using the latest technology. However, that does not mean losing the personal touch

 

 

 

About the Authors

Javier Tabakman 

 Human Capital Business Director for Mercer in South Latin America and Head of Compensation Information and Consulting as well as Climate and Talent Management, Javier is a specialist in strategic Human Resource management, including Compensation and Human Resource Development topics.  javier.tabakman@mercer.com

 

 

Jodi Macpherson

 ­Partner and leader of Mercer's Communications business in Canada, Jodi has extensive experience in the field of public relations, and has specialized in organizational communication and management of communication in crises.  ­­She is a member of the IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) and the CPRS (Canadian Public Relations Society). jodi.macpherson@mercer.com
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