As compensation experts, here at Astron Solutions we recognize the importance of using the Total Rewards approach to employee compensation. Both compensation and benefits have become increasingly important aspects of the workforce. Often, organizations are already providing more than adequate benefits to their employees. Unfortunately, these benefits and how they tie into employees’ overall compensation packages are not always effectively communicated to employees. This results in an organization losing the opportunity to heighten employee engagement and retain talent. In this Astronology® we discuss some tips to more effectively communicate your total rewards programs to your employees.
Tip 1: Find Out What Your Employees Don’t Understand
Some benefits, like paid time off and health insurance, are easier for employees to recognize and perceive value. Other benefits (such as work/life balance provisions and a healthy work culture) can be harder for employees to quantify. The best way to learn what your employees recognize as part of their total rewards package is to ask them! Some organizations will conduct informal conversations or administer brief surveys to capture their employees’ understanding of their total rewards. Often the challenge employees face is simply not understanding the overall total rewards philosophy and how it impacts them personally. Once you can identify “what” employees do not understand, you can craft the message and deliver the appropriate “why.”
Tip 2: Have the “Why” Message Originate from the Top
Since total rewards essentially communicates to an employee how much an organization values them, it is best that leadership, specifically the CEO / President / Executive Director, take the lead in introducing total rewards. Some organizations will provide letters or even a pre-recorded video message that explains the organization’s approach to total rewards. Some areas that are included in this communication are
- How total rewards provide a more rounded, or all–inclusive approach to compensation.
- The advantages employees receive from the organization’s total rewards program.
Observing that a leader deeply believes in the organization’s total rewards package can infuse employees with confidence to trust the program.
Tip 3: Use Total Rewards Statements
What are total rewards statements? Total rewards statements are personalized, itemized statements that show the overall value of an individual employee’s compensation package. A SHRM article explains, “All the generic information in the world won’t have the impact of giving employees their own personal snapshots.” Since the purpose of using total rewards statements is to properly communicate the total value to the employee, be sure to include all quantifiable rewards in these statements such as
- Bonus, incentive, and / or sales commissions
- Cost of health / wellness benefits
- Cost of retirement benefits
- Cost of quantifiable work / life benefits
- Cost of any other quantifiable perks
Be sure to include any non-quantifiable total rewards elements as well, to ensure employees’ complete understanding of their total package.
Interested in developing your own total rewards statements? Astron Solutions’ web-based Talent Management System Flare® has a Total Rewards module. This module makes administering total rewards communication simple and easy. Employees can review their total rewards in real time and receive communication on your organization’s schedule (daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, or annually). Contact us to learn more about our Total Rewards module.
Tip 4: Offer Frequent Opportunities for Answering Questions
To continue to instill confidence in your organization’s total rewards program, keep the lines of communication open. Sending the standard “contact Human Resources for more information” message is not enough. Some employees may not know how to articulate their questions and may be reluctant to schedule time to speak to the Human Resources department. More effective options can include providing a quarterly or annual webinar to address any program changes and discuss frequently asked questions. Providing one–on–one sessions to educate managers on the topic of Total Rewards and preparing them to answer questions they might face from employees can be helpful. The goal of these communication efforts should be to offer candid, actionable discussion about the different aspects of your organization’s total rewards program and how employees can make the best use of it.
Tip 5: Train Managers on How to Talk About Total Rewards
Aside from communication through top leadership, another key group in communicating total rewards is managers. As the most visible type of leadership employees have, managers hold a valuable role in communicating to employees the value the organization sees in them and how this value is compensated. Thus, it is important to train managers, so they can reinforce the importance of the total rewards program.
In this time of high inflation and scarce talent, taking the time to ensure your employees understand their personal total rewards package can help you retain talent and encourage employee engagement – time well spent! What are some strategies your organization uses to communicate total rewards? Do you have some tips not included in our list? Share your thoughts in our reply box below.