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Work/Life Benefits

The American Compensation Association (ACA) has recently completed a study based on responses from twelve hundred fifty–six organizations of work/life programs and compensation.

The survey found that eighteen percent of companies currently use some kind of work/life program to reward employee performance. Another forty-three percent don't currently use such programs but believe they will do so in the future.

Forty-eight percent of the respondents currently use non-monetary compensation as a reward for performance.

Twenty-four percent of the respondents use a quantitative measure to link work/life programs to employee satisfaction, but less than five percent attempted to do the same thing for employee performance. In other words, they do not try to measure such things as improved productivity, improved profitability, or improved customer satisfaction.

WALLY'S COMMENT...I don't think that work/life programs as part of the compensation mix are a major trend in themselves. Instead, I see them as part of a much larger trend which has two components.

The employee component shows us a major move toward looking at life in its totality. That includes work/life, family/life, and community/life. We are seeing people make decisions about their life that take all of these things into account. For some folks, with the flexibility that networked communications now offer, the traces in places where they can live has improved dramatically.

The employer component is similar. Employers are increasingly taking everything into account about the way that they compensate people and understanding that once basic economic levels are okay for an employee, other measures such as quality of work/life, flexible work hours, integration of work/life and family/life take on greater importance.

This is actually nothing new for smaller businesses who have traditionally had to come up with alternatives to cash compensation because of their limited cash resources. Because of their size, many small business can do these kinds of things on a case by case basis. Larger employers must, necessarily, handle this stuff programmatically.

Created/Revised/Reviewed: 9/21/01


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