More than 40% of senior human resources professionals at financial services firms identified a stronger focus on pay issues over the next 12 months than on other HR changes, according to a poll conducted by global consulting company Towers Watson.

The survey respondents noted risk adjustments to financials or incentive pools as the most expected shift in pay policies, and a focus on pay issues rather than other changes, such as linkage of deferred vehicles to business unit performance (16%) or longer vesting periods (15%).

The Towers Watson poll included 130 senior human resources professionals from more than 60 of the largest global banking and financial services organizations in the world. More than a third of those respondents noted pay issues as the most important HR priority, followed by talent acquisition (23%) and the redesign of the employee value proposition or “deal” (20%).

Further, two thirds of the group believe that public officer executive base salary levels have not yet stabilized, while there was general agreement that base salary levels for lower-level employees have stabilized.

The survey respondents noted their views on the likelihood of regulators increasing the degree of global coordination in approaching industry regulation, with just over half believing they would.

Chris Fabro, global co-lead of Towers Watson’s talent and rewards financial services practice, said, “The financial services industry is beginning to reshape itself in response to altered business environments and strategies. Many of these organizations need to fundamentally align their talent management and workforce practices to shifts in the business environment. Top of mind will be pay strategies that reinforce the desired culture; ensure market competitiveness; differentiate among people’s roles, skills and performance; and deliver the right employee behaviors at a cost the organization can afford."

Pat Speer writes for Insurance Networking News, a SourceMedia publication.

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