tax cuts

Close your eyes and think about what you love most about your job. Is it the job title? The salary band? Do you enjoy logging into your laptop and checking email? If I had to guess, your answers would fall into one of three categories: money, moments, and meaning.

You’re not alone.

Data from the WorkHuman Research Institute shows you don’t stay with a job because it pays a little more than it did in 2017. Likewise, you don’t stick around and work for a company where the leadership team is disconnected from the workforce, you feel isolated from your colleagues, or you lack a central purpose in your career.

You keep a job because there’s a meaning behind your work. The best jobs turn co-workers into friends and pay employees enough to achieve financial goals.

Money, moments, and meaning are the divine pillars of the best talent attraction and retention strategies. Those three components help leaders and HR professionals find and keep the best and brightest workers in the marketplace.

So, why not implement creative strategic HR programs to find talented people, pay them well, and keep them motivated with meaningful work? You can do it. Mercer reports that about one-third of American companies plan to redirect tax reform savings to employee rewards. You can leverage the new changes in our tax laws to benefit your entire workforce.

It starts with a little research on the opportunity at hand.

The HR Opportunity Behind the Tax Cut

A few months ago, the U.S. government implemented the most significant change to the tax code in more than 30 years. Some businesses now have a 21% corporate tax rate instead of 35%. Also, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act calls for a one-time tax rate of 12% on cash returns and 5% on non-cash for corporate money repatriated from overseas.

Without getting too complicated, this influx of cash could represent an unexpected opportunity for both global businesses and small companies to invest in the workforce.

Tax reform is already driving changes in corporate recruiting strategies. More than 260 companies have announced bonuses or wage increases as part of this new tax law, which is a good start. Some people call this a PR stunt, but wages have been flat since the Great Recession. The workforce is due for a raise.

But that’s just the beginning. While I think the tax cut provides an opportunity to reward workers for helping companies emerge from the recession, there’s an opportunity to go beyond short-term thinking and show your organization’s commitment to creating a human work environment.

Invest Your Tax Savings Into Social Recognition

As a leader, you can take this historic moment and hand out a check, or you can invest in long-term strategic initiatives that recognize individual performance and rewards excellence.

I’d spend the money on a strategy that shores up your culture. For example, social recognition is a proven management practice that unlocks the full potential of people by providing purpose, meaning, and appreciation for the work they do every day.

Investing in your workforce is not only responsible in a fiscal sense, but it’s also an opportunity for you to elevate your employer brand. Leading companies such as Hershey and Bristol Myers Squibb have embraced social recognition software and crafted rewards and recognition programs that ensure employees have a sense of purpose and meaning throughout the year.

Social Recognition Pays Long-Term Dividends

Work is all about money, moments, and meaning. You can’t separate one without compromising the other. Social recognition is a practice that incorporates all three elements and is scientifically proven to aid in talent attraction strategies and make existing employees feel valued.

So, it’s essential to seize this opportunity and consider the consequential changes to the U.S. tax law. Use your company’s tax benefits to elevate the employee experience. Invest in money, moments, and meaning through the acquisition of social recognition software. Be creative and take this historic opportunity to differentiate your company’s brand and gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

You won’t regret it.