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By: Paul Davis on September 11th, 2015

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How to Best Leverage the Employee Total Rewards Concept

Total Rewards

I’ve recently been noticing something interesting when I tell people in social situations that I work for an HR consulting company. Instead of asking whether I help organizations 'run payroll and fire people', I’ve been hearing individuals say a lot of things like, 'so, you work with new things other than pay to make employees happy, right?'

Well yes, they’ve described one piece of what I do. What they are loosely describing is actually the concept referred to as Employee Total Rewards. The fact that they separated ‘pay’ and ‘things other than pay’ is an understandable distinction, and one that that’s worth reviewing in further detail.

Putting it another way, employers can view their strategy towards how they’ll excite prospective candidates and engage and retain their current employees through the lens of Total Rewards, and compensation is just a piece of that overall picture. Let's look at how you can further incorporate total rewards into your business.

It’s my experience that the best approach to Employee Total Rewards is to create a customized solution that is going to vary by company. This is where the concept of Total Rewards really becomes fun.

Top 5 Steps to Best Leverage Employee Total Rewards:

  1. Understand Your Company Culture. Your culture is going to inform the Employee Total Rewards strategy that your organization creates.
  2. Create an Employee Total Rewards Strategy. Consider how all the components of Total Rewards are connected. Viewing each component separately is like putting on one piece of clothing and then asking whether your outfit matches. The overall strategy is only as effective as how the different components complement each other.
  3. Customize. Consider your workforce and what motivates them. If it’s unclear what your workforce wants, it may be a good time to conduct an assessment. Then begin to consider what components you will include in your total rewards package.
  4. Communicate. Some offerings by companies become underutilized when their presence and utility isn’t clearly communicated. In addition, it’s important for companies to reinforce their offers as part of their Total Rewards strategy in order to use it as a tool to attract prospective candidates, as well as to engage and retain current staff. Here are some things to consider when you don't communicate total rewards clearly.
  5. Continue to Evaluate. As with just about everything, it’s never a good idea to implement something and then walk away without evaluating performance and making adjustments. This is certainly the case with Total Rewards.

In summary, a robust total rewards package will be custom and unique to reflect your organizational culture, align with your overall business strategy, communicated clearly and evaluated often. Once this is in place, you'll be on your way to attracting, engaging and retaining an energetic and motivated team to help execute your business objectives.