The importance of being intangible

Until intangibles are carefully considered, articulated, communicated and valued, HR departments will be missing the total rewards boat
By Daphne Woolf
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 03/10/2006

Once upon a time it was all so simple: employees came to work and did their jobs in exchange for some package of cash and benefits.

An employee’s remuneration was made up of tangible things like base pay, bonus and group and retirement benefits. By definition, they had an easily measured monetary value. Compensation was, in many instances, the foundation for an employee agreeing to do a job, but not necessarily the catalyst for the employee doing that job well or staying with that employer.

Things got more complicated with the realization that what can be equally or even more important to an employee are the intangible elements of the total remuneration offering. If tangible remuneration is measurable and usually has a monetary value, then it follows that intangible remuneration is not easily measurable and doesn’t usually have a monetary value.