The pandemic has accelerated several total reward trends that were already in motion. These trends will likely shape total reward strategies go-forward.
Five actions organizations can take to have their total reward programs go from good to great
While it’s all well and good to know what leading organizations are doing, incorporating these trends successfully within your own organization can be a challenge. A CHRO client recently admitted that he and his team put considerable time and energy into updating their TR framework that he now considers unsuccessful because employees didn’t enroll in the new and updated TR programs implemented.
While many organizations are exploring total reward optimization (TRO) strategies that will enhance employee engagement and mitigate potential cost increases, here are five actions companies can undertake now to future proof their TR frameworks.
1. Know your data
Inventory your total reward programs, costs, funding sources, and program utilization to understand your current state and identify opportunities to update your TR framework. Gathering anonymized employee data (e.g., demographics, life stages, TR enrollment, etc.) can help HR establish a baseline of employee preferences and potential unmet reward needs. Organizations don’t want all employees signing up for every plan, but they do want people signing up for the plans that are right for them.
2. Engage with your employees
Seek employee feedback (via surveys, focus groups, interviews) that spans employee levels, job families, demographics and geographies, to gain employee preference insights and build stakeholder consensus. Prioritize the voice of your employees in your review process to accelerate successful outcomes and engagement.
3. Develop TR straw model scenario planning
Consider a range of TRO scenarios that incorporate alternate work schedules, work locations, employee segments, life stages and demographics to enhance the reliability of TRO analyses and other planning models developed.
4. Leverage TR tools with “digital intuition” and deploy continuous listening
The future of total rewards will be intuitive. When something different happens in an employee’s life, such as marriage, divorce or birth of a child, TR frameworks should intuitively shift to reflect the change. Companies can leverage their reward platforms to help them be more proactive “listeners”, to better understand what employees need, and to periodically evolve their TR programs to meet changing needs.
5. Tell your employee wellbeing story
Typically, one of the biggest challenges organizations face is a lack of TR program awareness. Often, employees don’t know what plans are available to them, how to access them or how to use them. Leading HR functions have embraced innovative and digital/ multi modal communication strategies to build awareness and reinforce key TR program messages and increase plan utilization.
Many companies were on total reward transformation journeys long before the pandemic emerged. The pandemic has simply accelerated the pace of these transformations. Further, it has also shifted the power that employees wield within the employer-employee dynamic. These two forces are combining to have monumental influence on the definition of future of TR frameworks.
Companies that recognize these trends and demonstrate agility in adapting their TR frameworks so that their employees are at the center of their efforts, can elevate employee engagement levels, improve financial performance, and ultimately generate long-term value creation.