Magazine article Workforce Management

The Power of Total Rewards in Any Economy

Magazine article Workforce Management

The Power of Total Rewards in Any Economy

Article excerpt


Given the current economy and the steady stream of news reports detailing workforce reductions across all industries, there's a perception brewing that employee retention is a low-level concern. This is a mistake. While the relative abundance of talent has increased, it's still important to show existing employees that they are not a commodity and that your company values their efforts and loyalty through what might be tough times. Keeping your best employees productive, focused and fully engaged is critical, as top performers can find employment in any economy. Now is the time to communicate the total investment you're making in them and their careers to reinvigorate the bond.

From the employer and employee standpoint, a traditional compensation mindset starts and stops with specific need-driven items - compensation or benefits; education reimbursement or paid time off. However, when an employee looks at the entire investment that the company is making in them, the whole is much more impressive than the individual parts. Is it the fault of the employee that they cannot see the big picture? Of course not!

Organizations spend millions of dollars for benefits, salaries, bonuses and other programs. Yet, they don't do a good job of communicating the value of this investment to the employees. As budgets tighten and morale diminishes, it's even more important to show employees the true value of their overall rewards packages. Demonstrating "total rewards" can be a weapon to aid retention and foster employee engagement, even in a depressed market.

Many employees equate their worth with their salary. Their paycheck is a regular reminder of how much the company values their services. And while some companies have bonus plans that are added compensation, it's rare for an employee to independently consider the value of their health or dental plan as added compensation. Most employees think of healthcare in terms of how much they will pay for their individual or family plan versus how much the company invests for them to receive benefits.

Some organizations proactively provide their workforces with annual Total Rewards statements. These documents contain a summary of total compensation including salary, bonus, stock and the value of benefits paid for by the company.

Statements might be colorful printed brochures or available for download at the company's HR portal. Intended to create appreciation for the compensation and benefits offered by the employer, total rewards statements are valuable engagement tools. …

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