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News Analysis: Deloitte Acquisition Ups the Game in Rewards & Recognition

Deloitte Consulting LLP, a leading human capital consultant, has acquired the Bug Insights human resource analytics platform to help its clients design more effective rewards programs. Based on information from its website, Bug Insights is among the growing number of analytics firms focusing on the intersection of marketing and human capital to help organizations make better decisions.  

This acquisition also is the latest sign that the growth of mergers and acquisition activity in the engagement field signals not only consolidation but also integration; i.e., the acquisition of services needed to provide a broader set of solutions to clients. The company says that the “new product offering speaks to the growing importance of employee engagement. As demographic shifts and technological disruption transform the workforce, many companies are placing a higher premium on holistic program offerings and more customizable experiences for employees to attract and retain top talent while continuing to manage costs. In fact, Deloitte's 2017 Global Human Capital Trends Report found that 81% of organizations identify talent acquisition as a crucial issue, and 83% consider the employee experience to be of paramount importance.

The expansion of companies such as Deloitte in the rewards and recognition business promises to significantly change the conversation related to best practices, analytics, and return on investment. In its announcement, the company said it has acquired the technology so that Deloitte clients “will be able to determine what their employees value most from their rewards programs, a critical step on the journey to creating a total relationship with employees that can generate advantage in a market environment where talent is a company's most important asset.”

According to the company, “The rewards optimization offering leverages trade-off analysis and employee preference measurements to give companies the specific information they need about their employees' attitudes, helping to empower organizations to design effective and customized compensation, benefits and rewards programs. As organizations compete to retain and attract top talent, the rewards optimization tool delivers data-driven insights that result in total rewards packages. These packages help allocate costs more effectively and better satisfy the needs of employees, potentially leading to increased retention rates.”
"Organizations around the world are hyper-focused on creating an irresistible employee experience to keep top talent," explains Erica Volini, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and U.S. Human Capital Leader, in a company statement. "As employees' demands shift, organizations are recognizing the need for strategic management of their total rewards programs. Traditional compensation and benefits packages aren't cutting it. By harnessing the power of data and engaging employees directly, companies can use these tools and rewards programs as a strategic enabler to strike at the heart of what employees really value."  
Despite these trends, Deloitte says that its recent Total Rewards Survey “revealed that only 1 in 5 organizations currently has a fully integrated rewards program. Forty-one percent of respondents' companies offered partially integrated rewards strategies (where compensation and some rewards programs are benchmarked and designed together), and 39 percent of respondents' strategies were not integrated at all (with compensation and benefits being benchmarked and designed separately). Further, costs were identified as the biggest influencer of an organization's total rewards strategy.”
Deloitte believes that its technology can achieve both greater results and cost savings by using data analysis to identify “reward packages that 70%-80% of employees prefer to their current package.” The company says these solutions often cost less than current packages. 
"Effective human capital balance sheet management is a differentiator in today's competitive market," says Mike Niciforo, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Adopting an agile approach to rewards management is key to ensuring organizations are investing in the right rewards programs to not only motivate their current workforce, but also help plan for the needs of the workforce of the future." 
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