Peter Lemperis

  • Global Director of Compensation, Benefits and Mobility

  • Aramex

Profile

Reporting to the Global Chief Human Resources Officer, Peter is responsible for the design, implementation and administration of performance management, recognition, total reward and benefit programs (health, life, disability and retirement) across the globe for Aramex.

Prior to joining Aramex, Peter led the human resources function for the Restaurant Division of Kuwait Food Company (Americana).

Peter is a firm believer that organizations are more likely to achieve their strategic and financial objectives when they re-position the employee and customer to be at the heart of what they do. Peter has a wealth of experience in developing people and compensation strategies for global and regional organizations across North America and the MENA region. He brings a broad executive experience, a strong track record of building diverse and capable teams as well as creating shareholder value.

Interview

Historically, total rewards have operated in a very opaque and confidential manner. Today, leading organizations are flipping the switch to be more transparent and proactive about total rewards within their organization. The transparency and proactiveness enables greater trust between employees and employers, improved employee experience and engagement which in turn enhances the overall culture of the organization and productivity within teams. A clear, consistent communications strategy about the rewards process, can help reinforce an organization’s key messaging around vision, mission and values and can help align employees to messages that are relevant to business goals of the organization. It’s important for organizations to recognize that reward communication is a journey – different organizations will be at different places on the journey.

For many organizations, labor cost represents one of the largest expenses. As such, many organizations will be monitoring this expense item particularly closely in the coming months. For organizations that are labor intensive, I anticipate that they will review the feasibility of providing any merit and inflationary increases in a cost effective manner. Depending on how quickly economies and businesses recover, I believe that a number of organizations will reduce annual incentives due to the impact of COVID-19 on the financial performance of the business. Despite these changes, COVID-19 has also encouraged us to think of innovative ways to drive culture of recognition. These could include new integrations with virtual platforms, or just traditional ways of highlighting teams and employees that are going above and beyond. This culture of recognition is crucial to boost engagement, motivation and collaboration in these challenging times.

During this challenging and unprecedented time, clear, consistent communications is crucial. A robust employee communications strategy, can support employees understand COVID-19 precautions and measures, build awareness about wellbeing, highlight best practices, and continue to ensure they are learning, connecting, and growing within their roles.

Leadership communication also plays an essential role in reassuring, informing and mobilizing teams. Employees want to hear about how the organization doing, its ability to manage the impact and have a better understanding of the influence the crisis has on the organization. Leaders who are authentic and honest can help build trust, increase morale and motivation and drive a positive culture and employee experience during this pandemic.

Now more than ever, two-way transparent communication is imperative. This is where organizations have an opportunity to check the pulse of the company through surveys and other traditional feedback options. These initiatives can help organizations, quickly understand if their actions on ground have made a difference and impacted the lives of their employees. This is an opportunity to assess, enhance and realign COVID-19 actions to further improve the employee experience and drive engagement.

It all begins by creating alignment around the “shared vision of the organization”. A shared vision is a goal / objective that everyone in the organization is working towards. It is important that any KPIs / goals / objectives / OKRs are closely aligned and support this shared vision. Beyond that, it is important to closely link the performance and achievement with the incentive process within the organization. Employees must understand how their individual contribution is connected to the higher objectives and impacts the ability of the organization to achieve their goals and ultimately how they will be rewarded for this contribution.

Maintaining a high level of engagement within your organization is critical at this time. Leaders need to understand how their organization can support employees and their well-being during this difficult time. Second, each leader should ensure that they communicate what is expected of employees during this time – what are the key objectives, focus areas and activities that they need to complete in order to enable the success and survival of the business. Finally, I would encourage organizations to create an active digital workplace environment by requesting that cameras are on during all virtual meetings. I firmly believe that being able to see another colleague creates an a more engaging environment where both sides are equally invested.

COVID-19 has created a unique opportunity for HR leaders at every organization to take a seat at the leadership table. HR Leaders will need to learn to balance the requirements of business continuity coupled with compassion and empathy for employees. Companies and leaders that can take an infinite mindset will emerge with a stronger value proposition.