Compensation and Benefits

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Learning Objectives

The world is anticipating a global economic crisis and the much discussed topics for everyone is South East Asia at this time of the year involves the rate of inflation in this region and how its implication on cost of living, which are expected to increase significantly for the working class in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Brunei. Already, businesses and HR leaders are anticipating an intriguing and challenging 2nd half of the year for compensation and benefits professionals across the region. Compensation and Benefits training course has been designed exclusively by CapSource to arm C&B and HR professionals with the knowledge and know-how they need to keep their organisation competitive during challenging times, whilst maintaining a quality workforce, fair practices and keeping to budgets. During this two day training, our expert trainer will walk you through practical, relevant and actionable strategies to ensure you are fully prepared for the road ahead.


About the Course Facilitator

The expert trainer has over 20 years of experience acquired in Rome, London, Milan, Paris, Turin, Dubai and Abu Dhabi. She spent these years specialising in International Compensation & Benefits at Philips, France Telecom, Sita, Apple, Microsoft, Fiat Group based out of Europe then in the UAE, at Majid Al Futtaim and Mubadala, leading Performance and Reward globally for these two prestigious regional organisations.

She is now offering specialised C&B training, consulting and keynote speaking services throughout the GCC and Asia. She shares hands-on, pragmatic approaches with her clients, ensuring that the projects will have immediate impact and business value and don’t remain “an idea on the shelf”. Through her exposure to multiple industries, countries and challenges, Sandrine learned how “good” Compensation & Benefits approaches support your company strategy, improve employee engagement and retention, and increase control over human capital costs. As part of her outreach to educate the HR community on these topics, she authors a blog, Compensation, with over 260 articles published to date. She is also a regular speaker at HR conferences and private events in the region.



Who Should Attend

Junior to mid-level compensation professionals and HR generalists of all levels of seniority who are looking to broaden their understanding of the role of the rewards function, and how it brings value to the organisation. This course is also open to senior compensation leaders who are interested in hearing about real life best practices and examples from well-known global organisations. This exclusive training is also an excellent refresher, delivered in a practical and useful manner.



Why You Should Attend Compensation and Benefits?

  • Analyse the various approaches to position descriptions and job evaluations
  • Understand which grading system to apply within your company and how to create the related salary bands
  • Analyse the different ways in which the rewards function supports your recruitment efforts
  • Review best practices and tips for effective performance management approaches
  • Learn how to best set budgets for salary reviews
  • Get help applying differentiation for salary increases and promotions
  • Really understand the important principles that should always underpin company incentives (annual bonus, commissions etc), including case studies
  • Get practical tips for analysing your data and other implications of rewards projects
  • Understand employee engagement and how best to link it to rewards


Exclusive Interview with the Trainer

1. How to structure a compensation and benefits plan that benefits both the company and its employees?

There are many elements to look into setting up a C&B plan.

The organisation needs to protect itself by making sure it takes into account 3 main factors :

The economic environment (inflation, mandatory minimum wages or annual increases, demographics of the labour market such as talent shortage or lots of available talent)
its own economic viability (ability to pay increases, company strategy (growth into new countries or new industries, status quo, facing economic threat...)
the internal environment and culture of the organisation (trade unions, retention or attrition of key employees, employee engagement and productivity levels...
At the same time, the organisation also needs to take into account the needs of the employees :

If employees are underpaid and there's a poor company culture, they will leave in droves, which means high costs of replacement, loss of productivity, negative impact on revenue for the company.
If competitors are offering elements of package which are attractive to the best performers, such as a retention scheme, an attractive pension or savings plan, or great career opportunities correlated with regular increases and promotions, then the company will also lose its key employees and be negatively impacted.
So in effect, the company needs to balance its need for being cost-conscious and financially viable, with the needs of the employees.

2. What are the implications of a well-planned C&B plan? What will go wrong if the company fails in strategizing it’s C&B plan?

The main risk of not having a proper strategy behind the C&B plan is that you create a series of totally disjointed programs. There is no consistency in the message sent to employees through the different elements of the package.

For example, you may have no salary increases and no bonus payment because of a difficult financial situation, but at the same time, there's an old retention scheme which is still in place and targets employees who are not at risk of leaving, or there's a highly publicised stock-option plan for executives that is paying them massive amounts.

Then, employees will be confused at best, maybe even resentful, and they will quickly be disengaged. Discretionary effort will go down, revenue and quality of customer service will be impacted, and everyone will lose.

In another example, you may have a new competitor entering the market and disrupting the labour economics in your industry. Maybe your employees are being actively poached by the new entrant, because they've been trained by your organisation, but now, their pay levels are just at market or even a bit behind. If you don't adapt your C&B strategy, you'll quickly lose your best staff.

3. Are there non-monetary benefits that you would recommend employers use?

Non-monetary benefits are an essential component of the Employee Value Proposition. They range from employee wellness initiatives, to benefits in kind such as a free canteen or massages on-site, to CSR initiatives, to work-life balance policies such as allowing telecommuting or flexible hours, to recognition schemes and more.

No two companies can or should have the same "mix". Each company needs to assess what its employees value most and what fits with its culture and strategy, before proposing non-monetary benefits.

4. Can you share about your experience in C&B and how these experiences are applicable in Malaysia’s (Tanzania’s) situation?

I'm a true C&B geek :-) ! Twenty-two years in the field, and I still enjoy it like the first day.

In my career I've worked for companies in many different industries such as manufacturing, high tech, telecoms, retail, real estate/construction, and many more. Starting from France, I quickly grew in international responsibilities and have covered the EMEA region, as well as "International" areas which basically meant "the world except the Americas".

From this vast pool of experience, I can say 2 things :

It's a reality that each country is unique in its culture, and has its own specificities in terms of standard composition of packages. This is especially true when it comes to benefits. Try to compare a UK Defined Contribution pension scheme with the mandatory French "retraite par repartition" for example, and you'll see how different an approach to pensions can be ! So, what applies in the UAE may not be directly copied in Malaysia or Tanzania.
However, the underlying concepts and models of C&B apply equally across the world. People are people, whether based in Rome, Johannesburg or Singapore. The psychology of motivation and engagement is the same. Principles of work organisation are the same : matrix, geographic, per industry vertical ? Methods of benchmarking and analysing data are the same, even if the data itself varies from one country to another. The types of components possible to build a pay package are the same : a base salary, maybe some allowances, maybe a bonus or an incentive, maybe some benefits...
Once you understand and master these fundamental principles, you can learn the specifics of the country you're supporting, and design a C&B approach to fits the needs of your company in that market.

In that sense, my experience and training are quite relevant and applicable to the local market. For example, when the government cut some subsidies in Malaysia in 2014, I received questions about how to react to employees who would be affected by the increase in cost-of-living. Some companies were thinking of implementing a cost-of-living allowance. I did not think this was the most appropriate way to handle the situation, and was able to give some feedback and ideas, based on my experience in similar situations in other countries.

5. What does it take to be a good C&B professional?

Many things !

A good C&B professional is someone who marries a strong sense of analysis and technical competency with a great understanding of human beings, internal politics, and when to be flexible... or not.

Communication skills are essential, as a good C&B pro always makes sure that the programs and policies developed will be fully understood by employees as well as al other stakeholders. After all, the compensation package is something that will universally be scrutinised, from the most junior staff to the highest executive in the organisation !

For a more in-depth understanding, here are 3 articles which I've written on topics related to career aspects for C&B pros :

6. How important is it to ask the right questions in a C&B interview with the employees?

Sorry Wayne I don't understand this question ???

7. What are some of the topics that you will cover in CapSource’s upcoming C&B training?

This is my flagship training and I am very honoured to be partnering with CapSource to bring it to Malaysia/Tanzania.

In this training, I have condensed my 22 years of experience to distill the most important principles and aspects of C&B, following a "building blocks" approach.

We start by covering job descriptions, job evaluations and how to design the salary ranges related to the job grades/levels. We look into how C&B supports recruitment activities.

Then we explore the latest trends in performance management, and see how to link pay and performance through salary reviews, promotions and incentives.

We cover retention and engagement, and also look briefly into all the other elements that C&B covers, such as benefits, international mobility, and more.

Finally, we end the training with some real-life advice on how to get buy-in from executives and implement your ideas for C&B plans.

Throughout the training, I share anecdotes, examples, case studies and exercises so that the training is rooted in practical aspects, not in some remote theory. Participants will learn techniques and principles they can apply to their day-to-day responsibilities.

8. What is your advice for HR professionals who are looking to develop their career in C&B?

If you want to work in C&B your best shot is to change job within your own company. After all, your current company knows you and appreciates your performance, dedication and willingness to take on new challenges. Mention that C&B is an area where you are looking to grow internally, so that they know to consider you for internal mobility if there is an opening.

Then, get involved internally.

Volunteer to participate in projects related to Compensation & Benefits. Your C&B department, if there is one, will for sure be happy to see an HR generalist who is willing to get engaged in their projects !

It will also give you the background needed to understand the building blocks of the Rewards function. Finally, the best point is that learning by doing is one of the best ways of getting credibility internally as you exhibit value-add, and externally as you can include this experience into your resume and will be believable during an interview.

And then, never stop learning.

Read books, watch webinars, network with other C&B pros online or in events, attend conferences.... Any opportunity to be exposed to new ideas, and hear about how others are reacting to challenges, is an opportunity for you to be creative and grow in the job. For instance, I once "stole" a concept widely used for executives in the hospitality industry and transformed it into a completion-bonus idea related to succession planning for a real-estate organisation. It was fun to work on this project, and it's an example I still use with clients to encourage them to adapt from others, not copy/paste their schemes.

In-House Training

If you have a group of people with similar interest in this course, and want a cost-effective approach, CapSource can help bring this training directly to your workplace. This course can be customized to fit the requirements and needs of your organization. For more information, kindly contact us at :

In-House Training

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