Tag Archives: onboarding

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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You’ve worked hard to recruit the perfect fit for your organization. Now it’s time to give your new hire the ideal start!

Taking a new job and joining a team can be a time of great excitement and pride…as well as upheaval and anxiety for all involved. But with the right approach and process, a welcoming employer can facilitate the smoothest, most stress-free job transition possible.


Set Up for Success

There are plenty of steps you can take to ensure success for newcomers to your organization, including:

  • Start smart. Be mindful when choosing your new hire’s start date. Opt for a time when the team won’t be booked solid, and at least one key member can block time to specifically devote to the new employee. That member should be readily available and easily accessible, especially during the first week or two.
  • Make a plan. Prepare a complete onboarding checklist, and assign someone to every item on it so that no detail is overlooked.
  • Stay compliant. Prepare a legal checklist including all necessary new-hire documentation and forms so that your organization remains securely in compliance with all local, state and federal regulations.
  • Hand over the handbook. If you have an up-to-date employee handbook, present it, and allocate ample time to read and digest the material. (If you don’t yet have one, you should! An employee handbook is a vital resource for promoting your company’s mission and vision, establishing expectations, outlining policies, showcasing benefits and more.)
  • Spell out benefits. Communicate perks, benefits and enrollment information (including deadlines) thoroughly and clearly, and be prepared to field any questions and concerns.
  • Prepare a work station. A well-stocked employee work station includes any needed supplies and tested technology that’s in solid working order. Be sure your new employee has access to all necessary files, data, tools and software, including any required security passwords.
  • Designate a buddy. A dedicated mentor (or two or three rotating mentors) can show a new employee around, serve as a familiar resource for questions as they arise, and share friendly conversation, insight and informal guidance on company cultures and norms. (Do caution the buddy against overwhelming a new employee with information or sharing office gossip or horror stories.)
  • Conduct a tour. Look beyond the obvious when you’re touring the office; point out where the snacks and coffee filters are stocked, the best way to book the most popular meeting room, and how to find a tucked-away quiet place when you need a breather.
  • Make introductions. Avoid a whirlwind of names and faces in favor of more personal introductions, and show how each colleague can be a unique resource (e.g. reach out to this person for tech support, this one when you want to request time off, and this one when you need to order supplies).
  • Be social. Consider scheduling a relaxed team-building event as an ice-breaker—a welcome gathering, lunch or team meeting, perhaps. You might also want to arrange something casual and social outside of work hours as a fun, non-threatening way to get to know coworkers better.
  • Empower with purpose. Promote a sense of belonging and purpose by emphasizing how appreciated your new hire is and how excited you are about the employee’s potential to positively impact the company.

  • Give context. Particularly if the new hire is a higher-level manager, be sure to provide information about the entire team, including an organizational chart and outline of responsibilities, relevant points of contact and so on.
  • Keep busy. Minimize information overload (and lessen the burden on mentors and coworkers) by allotting plenty of independent work time for the new hire. Assign meaningful tasks to keep the employee busy and feeling like s/he is making a genuine contribution to the company from the start.
  • Boost wellness. Encourage your new hire to build connections with colleagues and get involved with projects, invite any and all questions and concerns, and deliver ongoing feedback and assistance. Change is challenging; remind your new employee to maintain routine at home and engage in tried-and-true stress-relieving activities outside of work—hit the gym, visit with friends, get a good night’s sleep, etc.
  • Check in. Manage frequent check-ins—at least weekly at the beginning—to be sure your new hire is getting important feedback and all the resources needed to achieve success. Even as the newness wears off, it can take a while before someone is truly comfortable and knowledgeable in a position. Schedule one-on-one sessions 60 and 90 days from the start date to express your appreciation for the value the employee has added, emphasize your ongoing expectations, highlight the strengths and opportunities you recognize and more.
  • Harness opportunity. A new hire serves as a new set of eyes and a chance to see your company through a fresh lens. Solicit feedback on your onboarding process, how your culture feels to a newcomer, and what your organization can do even better.

Leap Solutions is here to help with all of the above! Our seasoned experts can work with you to build out your onboarding process, prepare documentation and forms, create or edit your employee handbook, present quality training programs, offer coaching to new managers and teams and more. We can also aid with bilingual onboarding for welcoming and supporting Spanish-speaking employees.

A Win-Win

When you commit to hire someone, and that someone commits to join your team, the arrangement can be likened to a marriage between company and employee. The more understanding, patient and compassionate both parties are, and the more mindful and transparent the transition process, the more likely you are to find and enjoy mutual support, confidence and loyalty—and these are keys to a thriving, rewarding and lasting partnership.

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