Nowadays, organizations in different business industries tend to focus on their customers in order to maintain competitiveness in the market and increase demand. However, it is equally important to create appropriate working conditions for employees, as the motivation and satisfaction of workers are considered the driving power of the company’s success. Therefore, companies’ management needs to define possible benefits for their employees, which can include compensation, rewards, and other elements aimed at engaging staff members. This idea will be discussed further through the example of a sportswear company and the analysis of other organizations from the same industry.
Background of Organization
In order to design a benefits package, a sportswear company will be used as an example. The reason for this choice is the growing demand for sports clothes, footwear, and fitness equipment. The industry is dominated by companies like Nike, Adidas, and Puma, which can boast a great variety of benefits for their employees, as demonstrated in Table 1. The sportswear organization, for which the compensation and benefits package will be developed, is a growing company specializing in clothes, footwear, and a limited range of other sport-related products like fitness equipment and sports supplement.
The company targets the general audience, mostly young adults, teenagers, and families with children. Since it is not as developed as the industry’s leaders, it is a branch with a small number of outlets. Nevertheless, it has various positions available: the company’s personnel includes executives, customer service employees, designers, IT specialists, human resources, manufacturing workers, and other narrowly focused specialists.
Compare/Contrast of Industry
Table 1. Comparative Analysis of Companies within the Industry.
|Approximate salaries||Benefits Packages|
|Nike||$11 – $20 per hour, |
$41,000 – $390,000 per year
|The company cares about different aspects of employees’ work and personal life. Nikeassists employees in moving to a new work location. The organization provides opportunities and discounts for fitness activities, pays holidays, time-off, and summer working hours. Educational programs allow workers to develop their knowledge and skills; the company also provides insurance and healthcare packages (We take care of our team, n.d.).|
|Adidas||$10 – $19 per hour, |
$16,000 – $200,000 per year
|The company accentuates the importance of balance between its commercial purposes and the private life of employees. It provides flexible work opportunities (such as remote work), sabbaticals, parent/child offices, and day-care facilities. The company offers short-term and long-term incentive plans and retirement plans. Adidas also encourages the career development of its employees and offers educational programs and courses (The company, n.d.).|
|Puma||$10 – $16 per hour, |
$55,000 – $200,000 per year
|Puma offers easy access to work, such as work from office or home. Flexible working hours provide a balance between work and family life. Concerned about the health of workers, Puma has free gyms, courts, and different kinds of sports training available for employees (Working at Puma, n.d.).|
The engagement of employees is considered an important condition for the overall successful performance of the company. This notion is described as the extent to which an employee feels connected to and supported by a company “to drive an organizational growth” (Gupta et al., 2019, p. 2). CEO Terry Davidson (2018), however, confirms that it is rather challenging for a benefits expert to create “a healthy and supportive work environment” (p.7). It is necessary to find ways to make workers motivated for effective performance.
Different researchers suggest various ideas regarding the issue of employee engagement. According to Gupta et al. (2019), positive employee engagement is associated with “a growth in organizational performance, financial benefits and reduced attrition” (p. 1). The researchers analyzed different studies related to employee engagement and defined around twenty features that make a worker feel content and motivated.
The most important aspect is organizational justice and trust; other elements include job resources, work-life balance, organizational culture, rewards and recognitions, stress (Gupta et al., 2019). The less important factor for engagement is considered to be employee demographics (age, gender, and other characteristics of workers).
In order to create appropriate working conditions for employees, the researchers suggest introducing the five most important measures. It is necessary to respect employees’ dignity, facilitate the work process, develop trust-based relationships, pay attention to the suggestions and complaints of personnel, and provide every worker with responsibility (Gupta et al., 2019).
Therefore, a company needs to develop engagement measures targeting both individuals and all personnel in general. Provided that employees have appropriate conditions of work and are emotionally involved in the business process, the company’s overall performance will be influenced in a positive way.
There is another approach to define the kind of benefits that would engage employees. Berk and Simmons (2012) suggest that according to the business context, the company needs to define its benefits strategy. Researchers advise focusing on the employees that are most significant for achieving the company’s goals. Engagement is connected with the general rewards-and-recognition system, which includes “compensation, professional development and corporate culture” (Berk & Simmons, 2012, p. 19).
An important suggestion is an 80/20 balance, which means that 80% of benefits should be standardized, while 20% may vary in different business locations (Berk & Simmons, 2012, p. 19). Finally, proper governance is vitally important to maintain the standards of a company’s benefits package. To sum up, employee engagement is a combination of tangible elements, like financial bonuses, and intangible factors, such as peers’ respect and trust among personnel.
Proposal for Benefits
Taking into account the engagement aspects discussed above, it is possible to enumerate the following benefits for the employees of the sportswear company:
- Intangible benefits: recognition and healthy interpersonal environment.
- Guaranteed payment according to the relatively small size of the company ($10 – $15 per hour, from $15,000 per year), financial rewards, discounts for the company’s sportswear products.
- Work – home balance: flexible working schedule, the possibility to work remotely, when applicable.
- Work – leisure balance: paid time off and vacation, paid sabbaticals, free fitness and sport opportunities (gym).
- Professional development of employees: the availability of educational courses and programs and their financial coverage; short- and long-term incentives.
- Financial compensation: medical reimbursement, health insurance, retirement plan, childcare.
The enumerated ideas were defined according to certain employees’ motivation theories. For example, the equity theory motivation suggested by Adams implies that satisfaction and consequent motivation depend on the distribution of resources within a company. “Inequitable relationship” may lead to stress and demotivate workers; therefore, it would be better for a company to create equal working conditions for employees (Hester & Adams, 2017). Therefore, appropriately equipped workplaces and benefits like free fitness facilities should be available to every worker in order to increase motivation. At the same time, the “perceived ratio of contributions and benefits” should be fair (Hester & Adams, 2017, p. 186). Therefore, in the example company, healthcare services, time-off conditions, and other benefits are applicable to every employee to the extent possible.
The two-factor theory suggests that the provision of basic working conditions like salary is not the primary factor of employees’ engagement, and recognition and responsibility play a more important role. Herzberg et al. (2017), to whom the idea belongs, state that workers’ engagement can be achieved by the two main factors: motivators and hygiene. The first notion includes all intangible factors that make an employee feel significant for the company: recognition of a worker’s achievements, responsibility, and meaningful tasks.
Therefore, possible benefits may include financial or other rewards depending on the overall performance of the company; the availability of educational programs would also help workers’ achieve professional and personal growth. The hygiene factor is associated with interpersonal relationships, salaries, fringe benefits, security and good conditions at the workplace, and other aspects, the absence or insufficiency of which may cause dissatisfaction of personnel (Herzberg et al., 2017). Therefore, the goal of the analyzed sportswear company is to create an ideal combination of high motivation and high hygiene and provide fair and comfortable work conditions.
Employees’ satisfaction is one of the factors that significantly influence the performance of the company, and compensation and benefits are something that may make workers interested in the work process and motivated for better results. In this paper, the benefits package for a sportswear company has been created according to the analysis of other companies in the industry and some of the popular motivation theories.
The results showed that the best solution for a company is to create a positive working environment for its employees and distribute sources like fringe benefits and medical coverage fairly. Moreover, it is important to not only care about the working conditions of personnel, but also contribute to their health, leisure time, and other spheres of life not related to work. To sum up, in the modern world, justice and trust towards the company is something that matters most to employees and leads to their own and overall company success.
- Berk, A., & Simmons, T. (2012). Benefit plan risk: A global perspective. Benefits Magazine, 17-21.
- Davidson, T. (2018). Cut through the complex. Benefits Magazine, 7.
- Gupta, A., Tandon, A., & Barman, D. (2019). Employee engagement: Evolution, approaches, and perspectives. In N. Sharma et al. (Eds.) Management techniques for employee engagement in contemporary organizations (pp. 1-19). IGI Global.
- Herzberg, F., Mausner, B., & Snyderman, B.B. (2017). Motivation to work. Routledge.
- Hester, P.T., & Adams, K.M.G. (2017). Systemic decision making: Fundamentals for addressing problems and messes. Springer.
- The company (n.d.). Adidas. Web.
- We take care of our team. (n.d.). Nike. Web.
- Working at Puma. (n.d.). Puma. Web.