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DotCOMP Sets the Industry Standard

[Sydney, AUSTRALIA] New economy employers are offering innovative compensation and renumeration programs and flexible work practices to attract and retain staff, a new renumeration survey of dot-com companies has found.

Consulting firm Arthur Andersen, with the support of online recruitment agency MillsHarding, has released the results of dotCOMP, a survey of compensation and share plan practices in the Internet industry.

Results were based on responses from 25 selected high profile dot-com companies, including AOL, BMCMedia.com, Cable & Wireless Optus, ecorp, e-Ventures, Excite@Home, F2-Fairfax Interactive Network, IBM, Kgrind, MLC, ninemsn, OzEmail, Peakhour, St George Bank, The Fantastic Corporation, The Spot, Ticketek Online, UUNET and the Westpac Bank.

Participants were asked to match their job positions with survey descriptions and provided information on base salary and salary increases, annual incentive payments and share options plans, schemes and design.

The survey found that senior positions had a higher percentage of total rewards delivered through incentive payments, with fixed pay representing a lower proportion.

According to the report, flexible work practices were an essential offering for dot-com companies, with a variety of work practices available to employees, including dress regulation, leave and additional benefits.

"These findings confirm what we have suspected - financial rewards alone are not sufficient to retain all employees," said Arthur Andersen partner Jon Scriven. "Rather, providing interesting work and opportunities for fulfillment can often be a stronger retention factor than cash or even share plan arrangements," he said.

However, the survey confirmed perceptions that new economy companies rely heavily on share option plans to reward staff, with the majority (64 percent) of respondents having share plan programs in place where the long term sustained performance directly determined rewards.

Over one third of these used a restricted share plan, through recent share market fluctuations resulted in a risk associated with rewarding staff in this manner.

"This survey has highlighted differentials between the new economy and more traditional sectors," Mr. Scriven said. "This was evident in the treatment of incentive plans, such as bonuses."



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