Holt Renfrew goes after the unique; B.C. Lottery focuses on work environment

Two total reward programs bring out two different emphases
By Uyen Vu
|CHRR, Report on Total Rewards|Last Updated: 01/22/2007

Having a total rewards program begins with knowing exactly whom to hire and retain. At Holt Renfrew, a high-end retailer headquartered in Toronto with 2,200 employees, vice-president of human resources Mark Derbyshire knows he’s not trying to appeal to all and sundry. He’s got a very specific idea of what the ideal Holt Renfrew employee looks like, and that vision serves as a reference point for the company in putting together the right total compensation package.

The way Derbyshire describes them, Holt Renfrew employees are sophisticated, fashion-conscious people who love the customer, get bored with the same-old and don’t mind having things shaken up once in a while. They’re receptive when asked to change the way they do their work every once in a while. And, conversely, they look for some “sizzle” — something different in what they’re offered by their employer.

“If you only come to the table and say, ‘Here’s our base,’ that might get them but that won’t keep them. There’s always someone else willing to offer a few cents or a dollar an hour more than you,” said Derbyshire. “I think what keeps them is the flexibility and the choice and that thing that’s so unique that no one else can duplicate.”