For some time now, we’ve heard company leaders talk about their employees as their greatest asset, the engine that propels their growth. And while that’s certainly true, in today’s challenging economic climate we’re also reminded that our people are also our biggest cost– or as I prefer to think of it, “investment.” 

We’ve seen layoffs, hiring freezes, and rescinded offers as companies grapple with higher borrowing costs, reduced investment, supply chain issues, and slumping demand. There’s little margin for error on people-related spending, and it’s put an enormous strain on business leaders trying to figure out where and when to pare back.  

The first step in vetting your rewards strategy is understanding which employees are most critical to your business. I know this may sound like picking favorites among your children, but let’s face it; at different times in a company’s growth, having top experts in key roles is disproportionally critical to success. From the sales pros who consistently outperform, to the engineers who drive innovation and deliver the best product on time and under budget, it’s important to have unified view on the roles driving your company’s growth. Only then, is it possible to begin calibrating your people spend and right-sizing without risk to the top and bottom lines.  

Once you have identified these mission-critical roles, you’ll need the insights to ensure you are spending the right amount in the right places. You’ll need to know: 

  • How much are we at or above benchmark for total rewards in these key positions? 
  • Have we been successful at retaining people in these roles? 
  • Have we hired too many or too few team members to effectively carry out our mission? 

At Sequoia we’ve long helped companies invest in their people, from ensuring that they are delivering the most engaging health and wellbeing benefits and retirement plans, to providing guidance on pay and equity strategy. Now, in today’s world of work, we have gone even further to help companies connect their investment in people to their business results, an approach we call Total People Investment (TPI). 

With 75 percent of a company’s total costs residing with its people, the difference between success or failure can often depend on how efficient a company’s reward structure is at retaining and recruiting the top people – and how quickly you can adjust to the shifting needs of the market. Yet many companies don’t have a reliable way of measuring and evaluating their people spend and determining if it’s effectively furthering their business goals.   

Having the right information at your fingertips lets you make the right decisions at the right time to continue to grow your business.  Without real-time data delivered on an easy-to-use software platform, the process is incredibly tedious and time-consuming. Just ask anyone who has had to do this for a board meeting, by the time all the reports are generated to begin evaluating spend and outcomes, those reports are out-of-date.  

Our platform helps streamline this process and our experts are here to help design a holistic strategy to drive decisions and action and better engage the employees who drive your business forward year after year.  

We’ve worked hard to make our People Platform the essential resource for both finance and HR leaders’ decision-making, creating a community so we can all share our knowledge and support with each other during this difficult period. 

Over the last 20 years we’ve learned quite a bit about how companies can effectively invest in their people in any market, and over the last year we have continued to build and refine our expertise and access to real-time benchmarking data so our clients can make sure this investment is driving the business outcomes they desire.

With every question, every bit of feedback, we get that much better at serving our clients. And we would love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to myself or one of our advisors with questions or concerns as you review your investment in your people.

Michele Floriani — As Chief Marketing Officer, Michele is responsible for leading the marketing and brand experience for Sequoia. He works cross functionally to grow the business and ensure the product and service quality is at or above Sequoia’s historically high standards. In his free time, Michele enjoys spending time with his family, listening and playing music and Formula One.