Learning & Development Asia 2024
Winning Secrets: Siemens ASEAN is building an effective total rewards strategy that has real impact and meaning for employees

Winning Secrets: Siemens ASEAN is building an effective total rewards strategy that has real impact and meaning for employees

A flexible working policy, flexible benefits programme, and a digital and borderless recognition tool making peer appreciation easy for all are some of Siemens' most impactful initiatives.

Siemens AG is a focused technology company, combining real and digital worlds to help customers meet the great challenges of our time. From more resource-efficient factories, resilient supply chains, and smarter buildings and grids, to cleaner and more comfortable transportation as well as advanced healthcare, Siemens create technology with purpose, adding real value for customers.

At the 10th annual edition of HR Excellence Awards, Singapore in 2022, Siemens ASEAN won the bronze award for 'Excellence in Total Rewards Strategy'.

In view of this achievement, we catch up with Siemens ASEAN C&B team on how flexibility has become top priority for employees, as they increasingly value intangibles apart from just dollars and cents, such as work-life balance and a positive environment with opportunities for growth.

Q Applauded for your excellence in C&B strategy, how does your team identify the right C&B approach that works for your employees?

At Siemens, we believe in the total rewards approach, so we are not just focused on cash elements but rather holistically on rewards. This includes the non-tangible aspects even beyond usual compensation and benefits elements, like the opportunities given to learn and develop. People are undeniably the lifeblood of every organisation. Our vision for Siemens in ASEAN is to develop a workforce of adaptive, empowered, and resilient employees to thrive and stay relevant in today’s ever-changing world. 

We pay very close attention to the feedback from businesses and employees and continually adapt and sharpen our approach. We have regular engagement surveys, and discussions with management, all that help shape our direction. For instance, Siemens globally did away with the traditional performance management process. C&B played a key role in this strategic transformation by designing an approach that is flexible and enables managers to provide differentiated rewards to high-performing, highly skilled employees at Siemens presently and in the future. Our ‘Growth Talks’ encourages leaders and individuals to foster a supportive environment of open communication, sharing, and collaboration.

Keeping up with the latest market developments and obtaining feedback – from employees and managers alike, aids us in continuously improving the employee experience and adapting to evolving workplace expectations.

Q Could you identify the defining developments that have shaped how you approach C&B?

We believe that an effective total rewards strategy is one that has real impact and meaning for our employees. Since the onset of COVID-19, flexibility has become top priority for employees, as people increasingly value intangibles apart from just dollars and cents, such as work-life balance and a positive environment with opportunities for growth. The wellbeing and flexibility of our employees are important to Siemens, and we support this through a variety of ways such as our flexible working policy, flexible benefits programme, and a digital and borderless recognition tool making peer appreciation easy and versatile for all.

As Siemens transformed itself into a focused technology company, we are in a unique position to support the business strategy by providing the right C&B programmes.

We are focusing on providing more autonomy and flexibility in decisions for managers to disproportionately reward a team or individual members for exemplary performance without being bogged down by rigid rules and processes.

This shift allows more time to be focused on value-adding activities such as learning and personalised development. We are also exploring ways and means through which market insights can be made more specific and quicker.

Q What is the most important trend in the rewards space that you want to stay on top of, and how do you see it evolving in the coming one-two years?

An increasing emphasis is being placed on health and wellness, and how this would impact employees’ productivity and overall job satisfaction. Since the pandemic, cases of anxiety, stress, and depression have been on the rise globally. Our employee assistance programme (EAP) is envisaged to destigmatise the topic of mental health and provide our employees with a safe space to get the emotional and personal support they may need.

Furthermore, with the shifting mindsets of the workforce, employees value their flexibility more than ever before. Upcoming technological advancements, such as the potential metaverse workplace, would revolutionise the future of flexibility and remote working.

The use of artificial intelligence and data analytics would be useful in generating insights on employee turnover-related predictions and other topics, helping to pinpoint areas for actionable and personalised solutions. This would improve the way we connect and communicate with employees to cater to changing needs. We will continuously think of ways to optimise our current C&B processes and tools, focusing on creating a compelling employee experience and a resilient organisation.

Q Is there a specific area of C&B that you believe deserves more attention?

Employees who feel unappreciated may be less productive, less engaged, and more likely to leave the company. According to a survey by Gallup, the top reason for workplace attrition is the lack of recognition. Companies that make timely recognition an integral part of their culture are more likely to have motivated and high-performing employees, which leads to better business results. Despite this, companies may view recognition as a "soft" benefit that is less important compared to more tangible, quantifiable components of a C&B plan such as salary, a package that includes monetary compensation and some tangible benefits like health insurance, and retirement benefits.

Siemens' 'STAR' programme enables timely recognition to motivate our workforce through genuine appreciation for achievements. Historically, achievements were rewarded during the annual cycle, but now managers can reward employees at any time.

A myriad of monetary and non-monetary options can be utilised to provide recognition – e-cards, point awards, and cash awards. Flexibility is provided where recognition of peers is not limited by geography or hierarchy.

Q A segmented vs a broad-based approach: what level of personalisation in rewards do you see working more effectively for your workforce?

Amidst a rapidly changing market and increasing uncertainty in the economic environment, we aim to continue to keep our employees engaged while attracting top talents. A segmented approach would prove to be more effective than a broad-based one as ideally, rewards should be tailored to the specific needs and preferences of different groups within the workforce, such as job function, job roles, family demographics, and performance. With greater personalisation, we believe that it would increase motivation and engagement among employees, as they feel that their contributions are being recognised and valued in a way that is meaningful to them.


Photo / Provided by Siemens

Read more interviews on why organisations have won trophies for their HR practices - head over to our Winning Secrets' section!

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region! 

Follow us on Telegram and on Instagram @humanresourcesonline for all the latest HR and manpower news from around the region!

Free newsletter

Get the daily lowdown on Asia's top Human Resources stories.

We break down the big and messy topics of the day so you're updated on the most important developments in Asia's Human Resources development – for free.

subscribe now open in new window