What are total rewards and, from a company’s viewpoint, is there value in sharing the information with employees?

What are Total Rewards?

Total rewards comprise all compensation and benefits a company provides employees, including annual base pay and bonuses, and medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance. Other company benefits could include, but are not exclusive to, paid time off, gym memberships, tuition assistance, career development assistance, commuter reimbursement, company-provided lunches or cafeteria plans, pet insurance — and more. Benefits can include both those worth a certain financial amount and also those more intrinsic, like recognition and honors.

Is There Value in Total Rewards Communication?

There are several reasons for making total rewards a key component of your overall communication strategy. And both employees and the company can benefit. In fact, communicating about total rewards could have cascading effects within the company.

  • Companies invest a lot of money in compensation and employee benefits. It makes financial sense to be sure employees have a clear picture of the investment and the commitment their employer is making on their (and their family’s) behalf.
  • Employees who don’t know the scope of their employee benefits or how to use them often have a negative opinion of their employer. However, studies show that frequent communication about employee benefits improves employee understanding and usage of their benefits.
  • Morale and retention increase when employees have a clear understanding of all of their benefits. As employees learn about all the benefits of working at a company, employee engagement increases. This leads to less absenteeism and less complaining inside and outside the company. Desirable employees tend to stay longer with the company. Recruiting costs go down.
  • Many employees are looking for more than just a paycheck. And, as most companies now realize — one size doesn’t fit all in designing employee benefits programs.

Communicating total rewards gives employees a comprehensive look at the breadth of their benefits. This can satisfy a practical, immediate need, but it can also reassure employees that their employer is offering benefits that may be needed at a later date. It can even help employees plan career development within the company, especially if tuition reimbursement and/or personal development programs are included.

How to Communicate Total Rewards

When deciding how to communicate total rewards, consider your audience demographics, their preferred method of communication and how much education is needed with the total reward information.

Printed and electronic communication can both be effective, as can both personal total rewards statements as well as general benefits listings.

Whatever the method, communication should be clear, visual and simply presented. Overly complicated messages will chase readers away.

Bottom Line

Communicating about total rewards, if done right, can be beneficial both for the company and employees.

Contact us if you’d like to talk about the best way to communicate total rewards to your employees.