The concept of segmentation is well known in marketing – defining potential customers into groups and organising responses logically. In the HR world we tend to tailor reward and talent programmes for some groups, like executives and sales, but for others the response is a quite undifferentiated one-size-fits-all. At Towers Watson, survey research has supported our conversations with clients that this might not be sustainable, especially in light of prevailing economic conditions.

When we talk to HR directors, they recognise that we’re all in it together’ is not the right choice if recession and austerity are the prevailing orthodoxy rather than a passing phase. They ask themselves ‘would we drive better engagement and performance if people programmes were better tailored to the different types of roles, teams and people in our organisation? Should we be making the same sorts of investments uniformly across the business?’

This perspectives explores the idea of organisations taking a more commercial orientation to the alignment of reward and talent strategies with the role and business needs of different employee groups.