Tag Archives: Hybrid Workforce

By Tracy Emmerich and Tracy Long

Finding and retaining top talent is a core strategy of all businesses. Without a top-notch team of people dedicated to delivering on the promises of the organization, the most well-conceived business plan is not sustainable. Total rewards are key to ensure you are rewarding and recognizing your talented team.  At Leap Solutions, we support our clients in the development and implementation of their total rewards plan and systems. As you read the newsletter, consider how you recruit and retain your team, what is working, and what needs to be strengthened. Finally, consider what your best would look like when you have all the top talent you need delivering on your promises.


In this issue of our newsletter:

  • Recruitment and Retention
  • Total Rewards Defined
  • Total Rewards Strategy
  • The Changing Workforce
  • Pay Equity
  • Compensation Analysis


Recruitment and Retention

The signs are everywhere – HELP WANTED… Now Hiring!…Hiring Bonus!

Labor shortages caused by instability in sectors like leisure and hospitality are compelling people to seek different career opportunities. Parents (mainly women) laid off and caring for their children have either not returned to the job market or are finding alternatives that provide a better work/life balance. And there’s the trending concern about the “great resignation,” predicted to create a Turnover Tsunami (HR Magazine, Summer 2021, Society for Human Resources Management) of employees who wanted to protect their income during COVID and are now burned out, dissatisfied with their employers’ return-to-office policies, and/or are just looking for better opportunities.

Employers are struggling to find, motivate and retain top talent.  So, what is the key to recruiting and retaining employees? Assessment of your recruitment and retention issues — effective onboarding, meaningful work and relationships, and well-trained supervisors — are musts, and as is evaluating your organization’s total rewards strategy.


Total Rewards Defined

Total rewards are a combination of direct and indirect compensation.

Direct compensation includes base wages of hourly pay, salary, or piece rate; differential pay (for example shift pay); commissions; bonuses; and incentive pay.

Indirect compensation includes health and welfare benefits, medical, dental, vision, short- and long-term disability; retirement and other long-term benefits like 401(K) match, SEP IRAs contributions, HSA contributions, profit sharing, and stock options; paid leave such as vacation, PTO, sick, holidays, and bereavement; and perquisites (perks) like employee discounts, training and development opportunities, social or gym memberships, childcare assistance, pet insurance, recognition programs, flex-work, casual Friday, and more.

Total Rewards Strategy

Developing a total rewards strategy requires knowledge of employee motivations and desires. For example, twenty-nine percent of employees say that their mental/emotional health has deteriorated as a result of the pandemic (Willis Towers Watson Survey 2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey). This is a significant number that can even be higher for essential workers and not something that many have paid attention to in the past.
Additionally, your strategy needs to be in alignment with the company’s goals. What is your value proposition? Are you the low-cost leader or are you pioneering innovative products or services? In what phase of the life cycle is your organization? Are you a start-up that places value on basic benefits and wages, but emphasizes high incentives, or are you a mature business that values expanded benefits including perks and bonuses? Your answers help you decide to lead, match, or lag the market in pay and benefits.


The Changing Workforce

Selecting the ‘rewards’ of total rewards should be reflective of:

  • your company’s values
  • the nature of work (in office or work from home)
  • employees’ changing expectations regarding pay transparency, stability, well-being, and flexibility
  • employee demographics and the employee behaviors that you are trying to encourage

Don’t assume one size fits all. Rewards should span the employee life cycle, from accommodating single employees just entering the job market, to mid-career with families, to those nearing retirement.

Total rewards are not just for full-time employees anymore. Employers embracing part-time employees will find a larger pool of potential employees who can be more committed than their full-time counterparts.

Pay Equity

Many companies are realizing that pay equity issues are built into existing systems and require concerted efforts to eliminate inequities. California, Oregon, and Washington are among several states that have banned employers from asking job applicants about their salary history; questions which can reinforce and perpetuate pay inequality. Inequities can be identified through annual reviews of wages.

Work from home has created its own pay equity issues. Employers have primarily based pay on the location of the employee. For example, if you have lived in a lower cost of living area, you have typically been paid a lower wage based on that area, and vice versa. Employers allowing their workforce to work from anywhere must decide pay based on location (where the employee lives or where their home office is located), pay based on the type of position and level of qualification, or a combination of the two. Complicating the location issue is nomadic employees who may work in multiple locations throughout the year while companies allow employees to work remotely.


Compensation Analysis

A good rewards strategy ensures that you have relevant, up-to-date market information to make compensation decisions. To remain competitive, semi-annual or quarterly reviews should now supplement annual wage reviews. Hard-to-fill positions or Hot Jobs may require more frequent analysis. Even if your overall strategy is to match the market, you may want a separate strategy to lead the market for certain positions that require you to be more competitive.

Leap Solutions Group Can Help

Developing a total rewards strategy is a thoughtful, deep dive process that requires understanding your business, your reward philosophy, employee needs (now and in the future), and the changing environment. Recruiting and retaining talent remain a challenge for the foreseeable future. The cost is too high not to have a well-thought-out strategy that positions you as an employer of choice. Leap Solutions Group is here to help you evaluate and develop your total rewards philosophy, assess your current compensation and benefit offerings, and create solutions for a thriving workforce.

Give us a call so you can take that help wanted sign out of your window!




Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management, organizational development, and human resources, and executive search and recruitment professionals who have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. Our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. We are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

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For the foreseeable post-COVID world, organizations will be managing a hybrid workforce. You want your employees to be engaged and stay with you. At Leap Solutions, we believe it is important to have clear policies and guidelines to keep your hybrid workforce engaged and productive. We provide you with the tools you need to create the strategies you can use to support the hybrid workforce. We are dedicated to keeping you informed and empowered with relevant, up-to-the-minute information and resources, working with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization.

In this issue of our newsletter:

  • Understanding the Hybrid Workforce 
  • Post-COVID Strategies to Consider for your workplace

The Hybrid Workforce

For the foreseeable future, organizations will be managing a hybrid workforce. It’s possible that what’s taken place in 2020 could usher in more non-desk (work-from-home) work than anyone anticipated. But, if we want employees to be engaged and stay with us, we need to have clear guidelines about the work and how it will get done. In 2020, organizations made many decisions with very little information… and that’s okay, that’s what it took to keep things working. We have more information now, and it’s time to create better employee strategies.

Estimates put the number of people working from home to be double pre-COVID numbers. That will necessitate new patterns that successfully integrate larger numbers of work-from-home employees with office employees.

In addition to a hybrid workforce focus, there are critical and simple strategies organizations can use to ensure successful employee engagement.


Post- COVID Strategies to Consider

Discover current best practice workplaces

Research or, better yet, have an employee or a group of employees research best practice workplaces for more information and knowledge.

Identify hybrid virtual workplace approaches

How is your organization preparing for the post-COVID work environment? Are you ready for a majority hybrid-remote office model?

Policies for Hybrid workforce

Create policies, within or separately from your handbook, that outline the rules and regulations for working from home. The employee and the employer need to be on the same page to avoid confusion and pre-empt potential misunderstandings.


It’s time to consider non-desk work when creating jobs. Job descriptions should include whether a position can be a work-from-home job, information that could be helpful to individuals when they’re reading the job posting or applying. In this post-COVID era, perhaps it’s time to design the job position with remote work in mind, instead of designing the job position then asking if it can be a non-desk role.

Customer Service

The way we manage a hybrid workforce has an impact on customers and the business. Remote employees need the tools and technology to take care of customers, be trained to handle customer issues, and know what to do if they need a manager’s guidance.

Refocus on Mission, not COVID

In some cases, COVID has caused leaders to centralize decision-making. For speed and efficiency’s sake, decisions were pulled into the leadership team without feedback from key stakeholders.  While necessary for the short-term, this will need to change for long-term effectiveness and employee engagement. Moving forward, leaders will need to delegate participation in decision-making outside the leadership team and closer to the front line.

Communication of the organization’s strategy improved during COVID. Organizations did a good job communicating internal COVID strategies so the wheels wouldn’t come off the wagon. Research found that employee perceptions that an organization was meeting its goals actually improved during the pandemic, and a ‘perception,’ disagreed with by some, that remote employees worked more effectively.

Increase communication efforts to keep employees informed during remote work.

Employee Engagement and Culture

As the COVID vaccine takes hold and workplaces ramp back up, employers will need to reconnect with employees at a new, different level. With the increased stress of being cooped up, less work-life balance, and kids at home, consider the issues affecting your employees now and how you plan now to address those issues.

Refocus on your Values

With people coming back to a physically close workspace, and the relationship challenges that come with that — which couldn’t happen on Zoom — it will be time to refocus on organizational values.

Re-engage your top talent

Post-COVID, disengaged employees will take advantage of options and choices. While Society of Human Resource Management says employees are spooked by continuing high unemployment and staying put in their jobs in ways not seen in nearly a decade, will “the return to normal” tempt your best people to leave?

Get those 1 on 1’s back in action

Organizational cultures are moving from “performance management conversations” to “development conversations.”  Frontline managers continue to be the key link between employees and organizations. A 30- to 60-minute weekly or bi-weekly meeting can be a treasure of mutual listening, understanding, affirmation, challenge, and action for individuals and teams.

Training managers to communicate

How comfortable do individuals feel discussing issues and concerns with managers where you work? There can always be further work in this area so don’t overlook it.

At Leap Solutions we have assisted companies with these strategies and more to help them prepare for re-entry, full re-entry, or hybrid solutions. In some cases these strategies were new, in other cases it was a simple reminder, tweak, and new policy implementation to ensure all parties were on the same page.



Leap Solutions is a diverse group of highly skilled management, organizational development, and human resources, and executive search and recruitment professionals who have spent decades doing what we feel passionate about helping you feel passionate about what you do. Our HR specialists can help you get a handle on the ever-changing COVID-19 guidelines, programs, and legislation that may impact you and your employees. We are available to work with you to develop practical solutions and smart planning decisions for your organization’s immediate, near, and long-term needs.

To print this article, click here