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It is obvious in this century that the staff of every company act as a vital center for the institution's success. According to statistics and analysis, such programs that effectively track employee problems appear to maximize productivity by a larger margin. Employees determine the customer base for which they are willing to collaborate and the degree to which they are willing to work with the organization. According to recent research, some workers consider changing positions whilst they are still working. Despite the flourishing economy, the United States over the past years has felt the effect of crowding out as most of the employees feel neglected and their issues not adequately addressed. The problem has been considered hugely because other nations have improvised other compensation and benefits package which are more competitive that the ones offered in the United States. From this, we can deduce that the human resource department of any business entity serves as a vital element towards dictating the compensation package that the employees should be handed. Some of the common compensation packages include overtime rates, maternity leave, health and insurance among other packages which are typically discussed between the employee and the employer. There have been various comparisons which have been done to check on the compensation module in the U.S. as compared to Sweden, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
Key words: compensation, benefits, Saudi Arabia, U.S.A., Sweden, Japan.
Comparing Compensation and Benefits
Employee benefits include a chronological pay rise, paid medical expenses and a vacation among others which motivate the laborers to perform better and increase the overall productivity of the institution. A statistical analysis at Deloitte points out that close to 80% of employees would prefer extra benefits than an increase in the monthly salaries. Therefore, it goes without mentioning that the heavier the compensation package, the more involved and committed the employees will be towards their functions. In most cases, compensation may be fixed or variable depending on the policies of the corporation. The package agreement is usually signed between the employee and the employer to avoid any misunderstanding between the two parties. Many countries across the world offer specific compensation packages to their workers who have a competitive edge over other countries hence preventing instances of outsourcing. Therefore, this paper seeks to check on the various specific packages in the United States as compared to Sweden, Japan, and Saudi Arabia.
In many countries the salaries offered to the workers should respectively reflect the amount of work which they perform in the particular organization. The implication of this statement is that some wages that the employees receive should be proportional to the work they perform hence boosting their morale in the workplace. In the United States, the salary and bonus packages are compressed in one package, therefore, making the workers in this region to feel less motivated. In accordance with the research by Glassdoor Company on Deloitte firm, it is evident that close to 44% of employees are willing to get into new jobs before leaving their current ones. Additionally, the employees’ salaries are subject to taxes which are mandatory for all individuals living in the country. On the contrary, the case does not apply in Saudi Arabia as the salary packages for the workers in this region are wholesome. The economy of the area is sufficient enough to cater for the interests of the labor force. The statement implies that the policies and the regulations in the state can be implemented uniformly without infringing the rights of neither the employer nor the employees. Simchi-Levi, in his rational analysis of the economy, points out that a stable economy is beneficial to the welfare of the managers and the staff (Simchi-Levi et al., 2004). The compensation scheme in Saudi Arabia comprises of a base salary, which is timed hourly or monthly based on the standards of the firm. The salary is not inclusive of the allowances and other miscellaneous activities in the workplace.
Sweden and Japan also have distinctive salary packages, which may encourage or discourage the labor force. Sweden has been applauded for the increased performance in the global market. Most chiefs of staff in Sweden are given little wages, and they take this positively to enable them to work more to ensure they make more profits and hence increase their bonuses. It is through this that we learn that the benefits package is mainly enshrined in the bonuses which the firms make out of the entire profits which they accumulate yearly. Simchi-Levi develops an analogy in business planning where he claims that the mindset of a business person is the one that determines the overall productivity just as observed in Sweden (Simchi-Levi et al., 2004). On the other hand, a critical analysis of the Japan economic orientation the salaries are neither hyped nor are they inflated. The country has a lot of vacancies and the salaries and packages offered mainly depend on talent pool and the extent of innovativeness of an individual. There is little compensation and benefits with regards to the salaries paid to the individuals. From the analysis performed, the U.S. can introduce lower tax rates to the employees which will help them increase their morale towards their works. From the case example of Saudi Arabia, the United States can introduce the specific rewards programs which can be used to recognize the most diligent employee in any institution.
The entire health condition of the staff is important as it dictates the level and urgency of productivity. A carefully streamlined health insurance policy is sufficient to ensure that the morale of the workers is not affected hence maintain an equilibrium in the level of service delivery. The United States of America has been able to improvise various health insurance policies which tend to examine the overall condition of the labor force critically. WorldatWork points out that the managers have the main role in ensuring that the health of the staff is carefully insured to avoid instances of misunderstanding between the staff and the officials (WorldatWork, 2015). Some of the significant milestones the health insurance policy the U.S. has managed to implement include the paid maternity/paternity leave, general parental leave, paid holiday allowances, paid sick leave and the exquisite unemployment benefits. The paid parental leave enshrined in the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act), allows for the staff to cater for other things like sick children and to care for elderly parents other than attending to childbirth alone. The case is similar in the Swedish state where the health insurance policy is given a lot of consideration. Sweden is linked with one of the most sophisticated and best health systems in the world. The health insurance adequately checks on the welfare and health of the women in the country (Boslaugh, 2013). Additionally, in Sweden, the parental is very lavish and astonishing to many individuals. The sort of parental leave is what most of the American parents wish for from their employers. The Swedish parents are given 480 days of leave per child of which up to 390 days of the parental leave, one is paid 80% of the total salary (WorldatWork, 2015). The enactment of such compensation packages encourages the employment of more women in the corporate world. In the United States, the number of female workers is 10% less than the number in Sweden.
The case is not entirely applicable in both Asiatic countries of Japan and Saudi Arabia. The health insurance policies are not adequately streamlined to adequately cater for the welfare of the staff as a whole. The Saudi State offers such benefits in instances, where the labor is outsourced, and their input in the firm surpasses all the other employees. Such privileges are provided individually, and therefore it relies solely on the individual effort an individual adds in his area of expertise. Furthermore, the country also has the Saudi Aramco Incentive Plan (SAIP), which is mainly based on the overall corporate and individual performance of the firm. In Japan, the situation is not much of relief as the employees suffer almost the same fate as those Saudi Arabia. Paid leave is also part of the benefits package which employees in the Japanese economy tend to enjoy. The average employee in the region is entitled to a minimum of 10 days per year which should be after a period of six months. In special instances, the allowance for such leave can be pro-rated for the partial years which the employee has worked. Compared to the United States, the numbers of days are very few and thus very disheartening to the labor force. On another perspective, there are no sick leave rights in the nation. When an employee falls sick, he uses the paid vacation to seek medical attention. In this case, foreign firms make use of this opportunity to offer sick leave to their staff as special compensation or benefits. A critical analysis of these examples, the United States can adopt a system similar to the one applied in Sweden to help incorporate more women into the corporate world.
Paid-time off also counts as one of the main advantages and compensation packages which the employees are entitled to enjoy. The paid-time off sum up all the days in which an employee is off duty and is expected to relax before resuming the normal routine. Busin, in his analysis, explains that based on the level of enticement of the entire package then a firm can be able to attract or repel a potential workforce (Busin, 2015). In the United States, the paid-time off is quite encouraging as compared to other regions, especially in Europe. The paid-time off includes the holidays, vacations, and the overtime hour which individual work. The United States has specific firms which pay vacation days for individuals thus increase the level of employee retention in the organization. The paid time off also caters for the unforeseeable events like bereavement, and this is very motivating to the employees, and therefore builds a strong culture of diligence in the organization. The compensation plan can also be translated in the Saudi Arabian economy, where the workers are catered for adequately. Overtime pay is also part of the benefits which the staff members working in the country enjoy. Any employee is expected to work for a minimum of 40weeks per week. Any extra hours worked, one is entitled to an overtime pay except when one works as a manager. The employees in the country also benefit from the Ramadan Bonus, which is mainly paid during Ramadan period. Additionally, other minor compensation modules, which the employees benefit from, include the settling in allowance provided to newly hired employees into a new region in the country. The overtime (shift premium) also applies in the compensation calendar for most firms in the country.
Other than the health policy which is implemented in Sweden, there are also other astonishing policies which the legislators are pushing to be applied. Initially, the most common paid time off in the region was set aside for exercising and fitness to improve on the work rate of the employees. The work break was done hourly per day, and the total sum was paid weekly. A Swedish legislator, Muskos, presented a motion that pushes for the work break to be extended to allow the workers to go home and have sex (Thebrofessional.net, 2017). The legislator points out that the amendment comes about because sex is deemed as a very vital exercising and maintains fitness. An enticing paid-time off package can adequately benefit the inhabitants of the United States to ensure it increases their work rate. Additionally, the firms in the United States can also consider the specific religious holidays, and this will evidently increase the employee retention capacity.
From the above analysis and statistics, it is evident that every state seeks to improve the welfare of the staff and ultimately have high staff retention capability. All the countries consider the aspect of health, proper salaries, overtime premiums and tokens of rewards for the best performing staff members. All the aspects are critically addressed by the management so as to ensure all the areas of employee welfare are addressed. The United States has worked vehemently to implement the health policies through the Obamacare; Sweden on its part adequately addresses the maternity/paternity issue.
Japan and Saudi Arabia have unique compensation and benefits packages. Japan boasts of its lifetime employment scheme while Saudi Arabia checks on the religious issues through the Ramadan bonus. From all the compensation packages and benefits, the United States can learn one or two items, which they can incorporate in their system that can improve the status of the compensation and benefits policies.
Despite the similarities, the benefits and compensation packages cannot be offered uniformly across all the countries as a result of the economic disparity. Additionally, the geographical orientation and the culture of the people in the state also tend to act as a hindering factor towards the prosperity of the policies across the globe. The beliefs of the individuals in the state also act as a determinant factor. For instance, Saudi Arabia is an Islamic state and hence, the Ramadan bonus policy can easily be applied uniformly. The case cannot be applicable in the United States due to the diverse cultures, which are found in the country. Boslaugh points out that the level of cultural and demographic bonding is essential in formulating the schemes of providing the compensation packages (Boslaugh, 2013).
It is evident that the overall welfare of the staff is an essential element in the overall orientation of any business enterprise. The various compensation packages tend to keep the employee at ease and prevent them from seeking other available employment opportunities in other firms. In this case, the United States can polish the available compensation policies making them have a competitive edge over other states in Europe and across the world. Specifically, the nation should critically check on the health issue and create a brand that cannot be implemented in any other state just like the case in Sweden. Additionally, America should be able to increase the number of vacation days for its employees since these help the latter develop holistically. Staff members who get ample time away from work often have the opportunity to unwind and let go of the stress that may have accumulated as they churned through loads of work and tight deadlines. Finally, The American economy and employers should pay keen attention to a safety net scheme aimed at ensuring that every citizen is accommodated within the healthcare system. This helps boost and culture notions of justice, equality, and peace, which are fundamental for ensuring a coherent society.
Biswas, B. (2013). Compensation and benefit design: Applying finance and accounting principles to global human resource management systems. Upper Saddle River: FT Press.
Boslaugh, S. (2013).Health Care Systems Around the World: A Comparative Guidecomparative guide. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.
Busin, M. (2015). Expatriate compensation: A practical and informative textbook for managing expatriate compensation, mobility, and international assignments in the world of work. Randburg: Knowres Pub.
Simchi-Levi, D., Kaminsky, P., & Simchi-Levi, E. (2004). Managing the supply chain: The definitive guide for the business professional. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Thebrofessional.net. (2017, June 16). A Swedish politician wants paid sex breaks for workers. Retrieved from Brofessional: http://www.thebrofessional.net/swedish-politician-wants-paid-sex-breaks-workers/
WorldatWork. (2015). The world at work handbook of compensation, benefits and total rewards: A comprehensive guide for human resource professionals. Hoboken: Wiley.
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