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By: Helios on November 15th, 2013

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What Makes Up A Great Total Employee Rewards Package?

Total Rewards | Benefits | Best Practices | Employee Relations

What Makes Up A Great Total Employee Rewards Package?

A Review of the Components Within a Total Rewards Package

Have you thought about what it is that specifically keeps your employees loyal to your organization?

Do you believe there are steps you, as the decision maker of an organization, can take to offer your team members incentives that will excite and retain them over the years? If you are a progressive leader, you may have worked to implement a robust total rewards package intentionally. If you haven't given it much thought yet, it's never too late. You may be suprised at the impact a well-thought out Total Rewards package can make on attracting and hiring top talent.

Total Rewards is a concept that describes all the tools available to an employer that may be used to attract, motivate and retain employees. To an employee or candidate seeking new employment, the notion of total rewards includes perceived value as a result of the employment relationship.

The top challenges our clients seem to have is usually around attracting and retaining talent. It's a candidate-driven market and coming up with ways to show your employees that they are valued at your organization is critical in the race to compete. The strategy of offering employees and perspective candidates a comprehensive total rewards package is one of the best ways to attract, engage and retain talent.

What is Included in a Total Rewards Benefits Package?

An employee's Total Rewards benefits package typically contains elements of salary or compensation, benefits, work-life flexibility, performance, recognition, and growth and development. Below are a few general suggestions to consider when putting together a total rewards package:

1. COMPENSATION: In general, most employees regardless of title or role within the organization have an expectation regarding their salary. There are a range of pay strategies that provide cash incentives and encourage retention. Following are ideas of pay that can be distributed in ongoing, short and long-term increments.

  • Fixed pay — Generally, this is the base pay (salary) offered to an employee. It usually is determined by the organization's pay philosophy and structure and should be competitive based on the economy and other organizations with similar positions.
  • Variable pay — This is pay that varies and changes in accordance with the level of performance or results achieved. This is one-time payment such as a bonus, which must be re-established and re-earned each performance period.
  • Short-term incentive pay — This is another form of variable pay. It is implemented as a way to focus and reward performance over a period of one-year or less.
  • Long-term incentive pay — A form of variable pay, long-term incentive pay is designed to focus and reward performance over a period longer than one year. Typical forms include stock options, restricted stock, performance shares, performance units and cash.

FREE DOWNLOAD: Compensation Program Management Checklist

2. BENEFITS: Health, dental and vision insurance along with retirement savings plans are usually the set standard for employee benefits. For many employers, it's a low and easy investment to also offer employees benefits like pre-paid legal, pet insurance, college savings plans, disability and life, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP), or wellness programs. The key is to offer above-average benefits if you want to stand out. 

  • Health and welfare (health, dental, vision, pre-tax benefits plans, life and disability insurance plans)
  • Retirement options (up to a 6% match is the norm)
  • Wellness programs (gym access, onsite wellness, fitness programs, etc.)

3. WORK-LIFE FLEXIBILITY:  Flexiblity is highly important with all generations working today.  With technology advancements, employees are often working or accessible long after they've left the office. Leaders who understand and support the work-life integration concept and provide flexibility to their employees will advance in the talent market. 

  • Flexible schedules (compressed work weeks, modified schedules, etc.)
  • Remote work
  • Paid time off (including sabbaticals and bereavement leave)
  • Support to care for family members (including parental leave)
  • Community volunteerism opportunities

4. PERFORMANCE AND RECOGNITION: High performers want feedback and recognition. Coaching employees throughout their time with you by setting goals and rewarding their accomplishments is a best practice. There is also great value in providing a platform for colleagues to recognize their peers. Here are some of the most common recognition programs we see:

  • Goal-specific awards (quality, cost-savings, productivity, safety) 
  • Employee of the month/year awards
  • Appreciation luncheons, outings, office parties
  • Regular one-to-one meetings with employees and managers
  • Performance reviews (quarterly or bi-annually is a best practice)

5. GROWTH & DEVELOPMENT: Most high performers want to continue to grow and develop throughout their time with your organization. Whether you are helping them to grow as an individual within your career ladder framework, supporting their subject matter expertise, or encouraging their interests on a personal level, it is always appreciated by employees.

  • Tuition reimbursement and/or student loan repayment
  • Mentoring programs 
  • Training (job shadowing, classroom, paid courses, etc.)
  • Access to senior leaders
  • Leadership coaching

At Helios HR, we believe organizations should be intentional in offering a total rewards program to their valued employees. When employees feel supported by their organization, it becomes a win/win relationship. The investment translates into a more loyal, productive and engaged employee. The monetary, as well as the non-monetary benefits, are designed to encourage growth in both personal and professional endeavors.

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