Creating Meaningful Communication About Total Rewards

November 30, 2017
MRA Edge
Total Rewards
Read time: 3 mins

Value your employees? Want to attract the best candidates? You bet! Who wouldn’t, in this competitive retention and recruitment environment? But are you offering employees a complete view of the value they receive from working for your organization?

One of the best ways to show employees how much you value their time and talents is by offering a snapshot of total rewards with your organization. A total compensation statement is a tangible document that fully outlines the pay, health, life, and supplemental benefits as well as performance bonuses and all the other unique advantages of the work environment and company culture.

Employers are realizing that communicating their total rewards approach is necessary to create and maintain a competitive advantage. In fact, MRA’s 2017 Pay Trends and Talent Strategies Survey revealed some key information to support employers’ efforts in this area:

  1. 22 percent of organizations increased total rewards communication and education in 2017, and 30 percent plan to do so in 2018
  2. Another year of relatively flat, three-percent, average pay increases provides ample rationale for organizations to differentiate their total rewards package
  3. Responding employers identified the following key objectives guiding their compensation strategies for the current year and beyond:
95% Retaining current talent
89% Attracting new talent
82% Budget/expense control
68% Adjusting individual pay or wage/salary structure to market
97% Retaining current talent
91% Attracting new talent
85% Budget/expense control
72% Adjusting individual pay or wage/salary structure to market

MRA’s 2017 Pay Trends and Talent Strategies Survey also revealed the top five factors prospective employees consider when weighing an offer:

80% Good pay
71% Good benefits
67% Good work/life balance
65% Opportunities for advancement
46% Flexibility in work hours

By using total compensation statements, you can engage prospective employees in serious conversations about job requirements and ask which items are most important to them. Be bold and ask:

  • If your current employer could change two things to get you to stay, what would they be?
  • What do you like most about your total compensation package at your current/past employer?

Keep in mind that most candidates will have a list of "must-haves" or "non-negotiables" along with "nice-to-haves"—similar to shopping for a new home—that they are willing to compare, contrast, and compromise on. Each individual’s list will be different and may include pay, benefits, work/life balance, opportunities for advancement, and schedule flexibility.

Total compensation statements are the perfect vehicle to clearly communicate the perks of working for your organization by offering side-by-side comparisons of year-over-year growth, and the benefits in working for you.

Providing visually powerful total compensation statements shows employees how their efforts matter to the organization and how much their employer is actually invested in their success and well-being. The best times to distribute statement snapshots to employees are either:

  • After open enrollment to recap choices;
  • Midyear, to keep total compensation communication in the forefront year-round; or
  • Before open enrollment, to gear up for upcoming decisions.

Couple a tailored statement for each of your employees or candidates with meaningful communication and learning opportunities to ensure understanding of the full value of your total rewards package. When you do, you will encourage your employees and candidates to effectively use (and value!) their benefits, which in turn will help create a sustainable and engaged workforce!

Source: Deborah Schultz, Director, Total Rewards, MRA - The Management Association