Twitter Inc.’s head of total rewards discusses personalized offerings, the benefits of an employee learning allowance and travelling post-pandemic.

Q: What top challenges do you face in your role?

A: Remaining competitive for talent is top of mind these days. Post-pandemic, employees and potential talent consider their quality of life and personal fulfillment as important factors when deciding to accept or stay in a role.

Read: How small and mid-sized employers can offer benefits like large employers

While maintaining competitive pay is foundational to our work, we’re also focusing on the broader people experiences we create at Twitter. We’re developing a compelling, inclusive and attractive portfolio of offerings that speak to potential talents’ whole selves and holistically support our current employees.

Q: What new programs or initiatives are you looking to implement?

A: Last year, we launched our #LifeEmpowered branding of benefits for employees. We want to expand on the branding by creating more personalization within our total rewards offerings and ensure we have globally equitable offerings for our staff.

Q: How do you judge the success of a program or initiative?

A: We use traditional tools such as utilization statistics, focus groups and a robust employee engagement survey process that we run throughout the year — all of which helps us clearly hear the voices of our colleagues. We also have 11 business resource groups, which we partner with to learn what’s important to colleagues. Through the groups, we’re able to glean real-time feedback, which has helped shape some of our programming and initiatives. Our BRGs are proving to be important in our endeavour to deliver successful and valued programming to employees.

Q: What programs do you consider the most successful or that you’re most proud of?

Career crib sheet

August 2020 — Present
Head of total rewards, Twitter

February 2019 — October 2019
Vice-president, compensation, executive benefits and international HR, Science Applications International Corp.

February 2018 — February 2019
Director, executive compensation and U.S. payroll, SAIC

November 2016 — February 2018
Director, executive compensation, SAIC

June 2015 — November 2016
Executive director, global compensation, Laureate International Universities

April 2013 — June 2015
Director, compensation and performance management, Belk Inc.

October 2011 — December 2012
Consultant, strategic communications, Equitable Holdings Inc.

A: Starting this year, we have a new global family formation benefit, which offers comprehensive financial support for proactive fertility care, surrogacy, adoption, fostering, doula services and leave for any type of loss. The benefit isn’t just a reimbursement program; we also provide education, resources, one-on-one counselling and guidance for Twitter’s employees and their families. Employees don’t have to be enrolled in a Twitter-sponsored health-care plan to access this benefit, further cementing our commitment to providing as much flexibility as possible.

Q: What key human resources issues do you expect in the coming year?

A: As we reopen offices, we’re prioritizing creating opportunities that enable employees to continue experiencing our culture while working from home or in a hybrid arrangement. We’ll also need to learn how to navigate our global workforce through the endemic phase of the coronavirus, as different countries have varying views on testing, quarantining and travel restrictions.

Read: SAP Canada phasing in return to office, focusing on flexibility

Q: What do you like to do in your free time? What are your hobbies?

A: In the fall of 2019, I started a travel blog. I was able to go to Jamaica, the U.K. and South Africa before travel restrictions were implemented in the early days of the pandemic. I had a baby during the public health crisis, so I haven’t started travelling again, but I’m looking forward to getting back on the road.

Q: What’s your favourite employee benefit and why?

A: I love our learning allowance. I use it for digital subscriptions in both HR and the technology industry, so I’m informed on what’s happening in these industries globally. Employees can use the benefit for books, conferences, online courses and many other formats of learning. I really appreciate the value of self-development and empowerment this benefit conveys.

Lauren Bailey is an associate editor at Benefits Canada.