Ter Beke continues to shape its strategic rewards

Ter Beke, one of our earliest corporate partners, recently renewed its Foundation Partnership1. “Although rewards remain high on our research agenda, the events, seminars and training courses for our own staff form an equally important component of this partnership”, says Dirk De Backer, HR director of Ter Beke.

Why is Ter Beke so interested in strategic rewards?

Dirk De Backer - Ter BekeDirk De Backer: “Ter Beke has always taken a keen interest in corporate governance. Remuneration for top management has been a hot topic in this field for years. In the beginning, the focus lay on remuneration for the executive top management but when Vlerick decided to create a second centre for strategic rewards – the Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards – we made the switch. After all, at Ter Beke we also wanted to take a close look at our own strategic reward policy.”

In concrete terms, how did this take place?

Dirk De Backer: “Within the centre, as well as sparring with other members, we also had particularly useful discussions with Professor Xavier Baeten. This academic approach, which was based on various models and case studies from other companies, allowed us to create a canvas for shaping our strategic rewards. We are currently in the implementation phase. We first examined the fixed rewards, are now focusing on the variable rewards and in 2018 we will take a close look at the non-financial rewards.”

Dirk De Backer, HR Director of Ter Beke: “The discussions with Professor Baeten helped to form the basis of our strategic reward policy.”

Centre for Excellence in Strategic Rewards: 4 pillars

1. Transparent networking

The Centre is a community of HR professionals, primarily compensation & benefits managers. Strategic rewards are discussed in complete openness. Anyone who joins must subscribe to an ethical code which guarantees this transparency. Online, members can raise any questions and comments on the Cesar extranet and in a closed LinkedIn group.

2. Interdisciplinary research

If rewards are to be truly strategic, they need to be incorporated into the company's strategy. For his activities within the Centre, Professor Xavier Baeten therefore collaborates with fellow professors including Dirk Buyens and Koen Dewettinck (both HR, people management & leadership), Kurt Verweire (strategy) or Katia Tieleman (negotiation).

3. A critical view of the outside world

What are the current strategic reward trends? Some companies work with a points system based on a specific gross salary, others apply mass customisation techniques from the marketing domain etc. What are the effects of these techniques? Do they work? What do employees think of them?

4. The remuneration of the future

How will strategic rewards evolve? Should we evolve towards rewards which are more resistant to economic shocks? How should we communicate when it comes to rewards? Which role can big data play in the remuneration arena? And how will the shift towards an ageing population affect the composition of remuneration (a greater focus on healthcare)? By examining these challenges more closely, the Centre wishes to make a greater contribution to the social debate in this area.

With thanks to our Chair partner

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1 Previously known as the Knowledge Partnership