In Brief

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 January, 2008, 12:00am

Firms to boost HR technology in 2008

Companies will focus on upgrading and integrating their human resources technology this year, according to global consulting firm Watson Wyatt Worldwide. Other trends include increased adoption of advanced web solutions, such as wikis, blogs and social networking, and a focus on improving employee service and satisfaction. Richard Hubbard, director of Watson Wyatt's North American technology and administration solutions practice, said technology would continue to help companies manage the most intricate HR tasks, including talent management, that were once done more by intuition than by data analysis. Other areas in which employers are expected to make inroads this year are the growing use of decision support tools and self-service applications.

Holiday bonus loses appeal in US

The annual holiday bonus continues to lose credibility in the United States as an effective way to reward employees, a Hewitt Associates survey shows. The worldwide HR services company's 2007 survey of more than 350 organisations revealed that 63 per cent of the companies would not award holiday bonuses for last year, though 90 per cent said they were relying on variable pay plans, such as performance-based bonuses. More than half (53 per cent) of the companies surveyed had never offered a holiday bonus, while 10 per cent had stopped them. Fifty-three per cent of those that cancelled the holiday bonus did so between 2000 and last year. Among those that said they would offer holiday bonuses, 41 per cent said they would award cash and 25 per cent said they would give employees a gift of food, such as a turkey or ham. Ken Abosch, Hewitt's North American compensation practice leader, said companies continued to realise the value of performance-based awards as a way to motivate and reward staff.