Disruption due to COVID-19 and the Great Resignation


Organisations across industries are evolving rapidly to digitalise and embed technology into the core of their businesses, this has been further accelerated by COVID-19. As the job market recovers from COVID-19, the Great Resignation waves have also hit Singapore as employees are moving jobs. Dissatisfaction with pay and benefits and limited career advancement have emerged as the key drivers of higher-than-usual attrition levels according to Mercer’s COVID-19 pulse survey that polled more than 850 employers globally. 


Remuneration is not the only solution for retention


As organisations struggle to attract and retain key talent, many have resorted to increasing remuneration packages in a bid to compete with the booming market. As rewards experts, we know that throwing money into the equation is not the right, or only solution – it is not a sustainable approach, and in the longer term will lead to wage inflation along with further pressure on margins which are already thin due to COVID-19. In addition to external competitiveness of pay, internal parity is equally important to ensure that pay governance and equity are maintained. Furthermore, investments by organisations need to be targeted and segmented for different groups of talent in the organisation to achieve its full efficacy. 


Job Redesign is the first step


As you gear up and prepare for the new performance and rewards cycle, think beyond the traditional job evaluation and benchmarking approach to align job sizes within the organisation and ensure remuneration achieves both internal parity and external competitiveness. Job evaluation and benchmarking may be seen as the silver bullet for rewards professionals to cure all talent-related issues. However, in this new world of work, jobs are no longer fixed and pre-defined. There are accelerated shifts in skills required at the workforce. Ways of working have evolved rapidly with new technology, tools and the inevitable digitalisation of the workplace. Jobs have evolved too - similar to the role of HR from an administrative and compliance support function into a strategic thrust for organisations to attract, retain and develop talent.


The evolution of jobs and skills has brought job redesign to the forefront.

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Job redesign is an essential first step for organisations to embark on before job evaluation or other foundational HR programmes. Job redesign allows organisations to evaluate the impact and change of technology, process, human-machine interaction to jobs in order to establish value addition both for the employee and the organisation.
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Job evaluation then ties in perfectly with job redesign. With the deconstruction of jobs into tasks, job redesign allows for future-proofing jobs, and a deeper understanding of each job in order to understand and size job changes accurately. Job evaluation is critical before and after job redesign to understand the change in job size from the exercise. However, increase in job size, value and a subsequent increase in compensation is not the sole output of job redesign. Job redesign has an impact beyond the job to improve the productivity of the organisation and as a result, improve revenue/ reduce operating or manpower costs along with improvement in customer and/or employee satisfaction. With job redesign, roles, teams and even entire departments may be restructured based on the new ways of working. This would further inform how the existing workforce can be leveraged with gigs/micro-jobs and work to be outsourced or done internally. 


With the change in tasks, job-holders may be upskilled or reskilled in order to carry out the new value-added tasks and step-up to the new asks. This in turn leads to future-proofing of their skills, greater job satisfaction and improved employee well-being. Equipped with new skills to deliver better value, the incumbents have access to more career growth opportunities and impact made within the organisation. Creating fulfilling careers for employees is the key to retention as employees are able to develop and grow within the organisation.


Your role as a rewards professional in the organisation 


To win in the talent race in the digital economy, you will need to build tools and structures to better enable employees to create fulfilling careers internally.


In summary, here are the 4 key steps we recommend you implement in your next annual review cycle:


1. Review trends and impact due to changes in the external market, digitisation or technology on key jobs


2. Assess changes and understand impact to the jobs as you see them internally or externally


a. How is the nature of the work changing? (e.g. operational, tactical, strategic etc.)

b. How is the nature and frame of communication changing in terms of the complexity and audience?

c. Is the job increasingly expected to contribute to improvements to procedures, services or products?


3. Provide inputs to leadership and business stakeholders on the impact to current jobs with potential impact and size of changed jobs along with the associated cost impact in total remuneration


4. Select the critical and key jobs impacted for Job Redesign in your organization. Some factors to include are: size of the workforce, impact of changes and disruption to the job, the total remuneration cost with current and potential future impact on the business


Finally, consider supporting or leading the Job Redesign journey for your organization – this could even be a path to your upskilling and even redesigning your own job!


About PSG-JR


Mercer is a pre-approved consultant under the Support for Job Redesign under Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG-JR). PSG-JR was launched by Workforce Singapore (WSG) in December 2020 as an enhancement to Productivity Solutions Grant (PSG). It aims to make redesigning jobs easier by providing enterprises with JR consultancy support to complement and drive business and workforce transformation. Enterprises can receive up to 70% funding support for the cost of consultancy services, capped at $30,000 per enterprise.


Job redesign consultancy – Job Redesign Consultancy - Mercer (Singapore) Pte Ltd (gobusiness.gov.sg)


About Mercer’s Job Redesign - https://www.mercer.com.sg/what-we-do/workforce-and-careers/job-redesign.html

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