Total rewards survey

Complete results from the survey on total rewards from the Jan. 30, 2006, issue
By Todd Humber
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 02/06/2006

The Jan. 30, 2006, Report on Total Rewards, a special section in Canadian HR Reporter, took an in-depth look at how organizations are using total rewards and recognition.

Below are the complete results of the survey. To read the articles from the report dealing with this survey, click on the related articles link on the bottom of this article.

About this survey

The Reality Check Survey on Total Rewards and Recognition was completed by 108 people online between Dec. 13 and Dec. 31, 2005. Not all questions were mandatory, so that explains why some answers had less than 108 responses.

Survey responses

Has your organization adopted a total rewards philosophy to compensation?

(108 responses)

Do you use the phrase “total rewards” to communicate your compensation and reward practices to employees?

(70 responses)

If no, what term do you use?

(48 responses)

•Total compensation


•Recognition awards

•Benefits and Perks

•Don't really use a term

•Total Compensation

•Total Compensaton

•total compensation


•Total Compensation

•Total compensation

•Don't currently use anything to market our Total Rewards Program - but will definetly be doing so in the new year.


•Recognition awards

•Benefits Package and Long Service Awards

•Total compensation

•Employee Benefits

•Total Compensation

•Total Compensation

•employee benefits package

•compensation package

•Total Compensation

•Total compensation package

•total person

•Compensation & Recognition Program

•Compensation and benefits

•No special term

•Total Compensation

•Incentive programs

•Total compensation

•Compensation package Service recognition

•Compensation and benefits

•Service Awards

•We do not use it at all.

•there is no term used that is communicated to employees; it is a very informal process at this point.

•Total Compensation

•Compensation Package Employee Recognition Program

•Employee benefits

•Compensation Plan and Incentive Plan

•Benefits statement


•Do not really have a buzz word or term.

•variable compensation

•Total Compensation

•Total Compensation


•Compensation System

•total compensation

Please list all components of your total rewards package (check all that apply):

(68 respondents gave 364 responses)

If other, please explain:

(34 responses)

•Contribution to our RSP's

•Discounts at other retailers, free skiing at other mountains and resorts,

•Corporate discount at wellness centre.

•Bonus Incentive Program

•Stock Purchase Stock options Scholarships for children of employees Health facilities Subsidized cafeteria

•Occasional Bonus

•service awards

•Work Boot Allowances Winter Outer Wear Allowance for those working outdoors Attendance Bonus Health & Safety Bonus Perfect Year Round Attendance goes in draw for trip for 2 to Concrete Show in Las Vegas Spring Employee Appreciation BBQ Summer Family Picnic - service awards handed out Christmas Dinner / Dance Christmas Cash Bonus Christmas Sears Gift Cards Christmas Ham Currently looking into EAP for 2006 Hats & Shirts (Sport Teams)

•Opportunities for Improvement - this is where TMs submit ideas for improving their work environment, productivity, health and safety or customer service - these ideas are put into practice a $ value is assigned/OFI and the team can spend the money for recognition. Open Door Policy - where anyone can stop a member of management to discuss concerns/ideas/suggestions Task Forces - groups of TMs get together to resolve concerns/problems

•Meal Plan

•Fitness reimbursement, bonus payment, long service awards

•Staff discounts

•Christmas Shutdown Days S&C Days - (floating holiday days) Seniority Awards Attendance Awards Patent Awards Safety Awards

•stock options, dependents scholarship plan, savings plan

•Health spending account Profit sharing Bonus program Stock options Company car

•Wellness information newsletter

•Profit Sharing

•12 sick days -5 family days -One extra week vacation above Labour Standards Requirements -Christmas Gift Certificates

•Fitness and professional membership fees reimbursement; sick days; personal days; closed between Christmas and New Year's (paid); games room; flex-time; employee referral program; social committee made up of employees; free parking; and to demonstrate our commitment to listening to employees (which is part of the positive working environment) we conduct employee satisfaction surveys and 360 evaluations.

•Has over 700 part-time drivers and we offer them annual safe driving awards, long service awards based upon 5 year milestones, attendance bonuses, special clubs such as The Shifters for those who drive a standard bus and corporate vouchers that start at $25 for the first three years and increase with tenure to a maximum of $125. Full time staff have medical dental, work-life support services and our mechanics receive tool and boot allowances and an RRSP contribution program. Additionally, we provide free in- house driver training, covers all the costs associated with required government medicals, background checks, drug testing. This summer we also set up a free babysitting service for trainees who do not have the resources for child care when they take our 40 hour training program.


•Compressed work week, stock purchase plan, matching grant program, children scholarship program

•Similar to Pension Plan & we have incentive plan

•Success celebrations

•bonus, incentive pay

•enhanced group benefits package --monthly credit to buy corporate product (i.e. meals) --paid bereavement leave --1 extra statutory holiday per year --employer paid provincial health care premiums

•Have a unique Flex Benefits Plan; unique in the Public Sector.

•RSU's, variable pay, president's club

•Educational bursaries for siblings for employees.

•RRSP company matching to employee contributions

•Fitness Reimbursement

•Health Spending Account Flex-Time Earned Days Off Christmas Shutdown Off

•Group RRSP, Lunch 'n Learn seminars on various nutritional, health issues; fitness membership.

•Computer purchase plan, Fitness centres and fitness reimbursement, RRSP matching, matching of charitable donations to United Way, etc.

For how long has your organization taken a total rewards approach?

(64 responses)

Were employees involved in the creation of the program?

(63 responses)

Are employees involved in evaluating the program?

(64 responses)

Is your organization considering a total rewards approach to employee compensation and benefits?

(51 responses)

If yes, what is the likelihood of adopting some variation of the approach within the next two to three years?

(37 responses)


The following series of questions focused on recognition, including service awards and how organizations are using on-the-spot recognition.

Do you offer awards to employees for length of service?

(105 responses)

At what intervals do you give employees service awards? (Check all that apply)

(85 respondents gave 98 responses)

If other, please explain:

(26 responses)

•1 yr, 5 yr, 10, 15, etc in increments of 5 years

•10 years 15 years

•Starting at 15 years of service and every 5 years thereafter

•6 months 5 years 10 years 15 years 20 years 25 years

•start at 10 years of service and then at 5 year intervals thereafter


•10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years

•3 years 5 years 10 years

•every ten years

•First on is at three years, then 5 years and every five there after for the non-cash portion. Cash portion begins on 3 years and then every year thereafter


•after 10, 15, 20 years recognized at the employee barbeque after 25, 30, 35 years recognized at the annual general meeting

•5 yr intervals i.e. 10, 15, 20 We also recognize employees for every year of service via e-mail at the beginning of every month, although only those with 5, 10 etc. yrs get a gift.

•5, 10, 20

•We also have an internal award of excellence that is provided annually. Local winners get a pin, dinner out with management team, $500 cash and a write-up in the local paper. The overall winner from 8 nominees receives an additional $5,000 cash from our head office.

•10, 15, 20, 25

•10,15, 20, 25 and 30

•We start at year 10; then every 5th

•every 5th year, starting at 10 years

•After 10, 20 & 25 years service only.

•After 3 years and then every fifth year

•After 3 yrs

•15, 25, 35, 45 and 50 years of service

•Every ten years

•But also year one.

•3,5,then every 5

Does the award increase in value with the length of service?

(88 responses)

If no, how much does your organization spend per employee on a service award? (Enter a dollar amount)

(14 responses)






•$15 per year of service




•7 - 10 per year; 290 FT EE


•$30.00 per year



Do the service awards given to employees have a company logo on them?

If yes, why? If not, why not?

(68 responses)

•Our 25 year employees only receive watches with logo. Logo is to add 'souvenir' significance to the gift. For other anniversaries the employees receive gift certificates for electronics

•So they know who they came from.

•We give cash recognition - we do give staff a new item of corporate wear (jacket, shirts, toques, etc.) once every six months - these items are logoed.

•Employees have the choice of gifts to choose from a distributor, such as jewelry, leather products. Not necessarily logoed.

•They indicate the length of service, but not the company logo. We don't do this as a form of advertisement. People will remember where they get their gifts from.

•Employees seem to value gifts like airline tickets etc. more than logo merchandise.

•We let the employees pick out there gift from the store of there choice.

•Part of engraving with "10 years of service"


•We generally don't put the logo on things although we do identify the gift as recognition for service with the employer

•The gift is accompanied by a plaque that does have the logo.

•We award plaques with the company name on them to go on the wall in the employees' office but these are just a small part of the award 50-80 dollars worth. The trip and/or cash award obviously doesn't have a logo

•we place a logo but very inconspicuous - wanted a memento

•employee selects personal gift

•We consult their spouses or family members to purchase a gift specifically for them.

•To remember the company by

•We want employees to associate recognition with Company and be proud to wear the logo.

•Not on all

•Some do and some don't depending on what type of award is being given.

the service awards are a recognition of tenure with the organizatiion. TMs like wearing the company logo.

•The employees like the logo as it is a remembrance from the company

•No space on item

•To reinforce the message that it is the employer recognizing the achievement.

•Branding Pride

•Some gifts do. It depends on the selection made by the employee. If they chose a watch, it would have the information printed on the back. If it was a pearl necklace, it would not be.

•The 5, 10 and 15 year awards have our logo on them. 5 & 10 year are lapel pins, 15 years is a signet type of ring. The 20 and 25 year awards do not have a logo as they are individual gifts (trip, golf clubs, etc.)

•Memento, pride in the company

•employee/corporate recognition

•Part of the purpose is affiliation with the company

•Most do, some do not. I don’t know why or why not.

•To promote the team spirit.

•Awards are usually in the form of gift certificates or jewelry.

•just a certificate

•To add symbolic value

•Yes, for the 5yr gifts which are usually less personalized items (i.e. pens). No for bigger gifts such as diamond earrings; portable DVD players etc.

•So people seeing the award (i.e. employees or others) are reminded about the company.

Wherever possible we also personalize the item with the name of the award recipient. For example: A watch would have the company logo on the face and also have : June Read - 25 years -

•it's a company service award in recognition of company service

•As a souvenir from the workplace. Something with a meaning and that they cannot get anywhere else.

•To promote mutual recognition and appreciation.

•Sense of belongingness. Only on gifts where it is possible.

•have length of service & logo and also senior mgt signatures

•People are proud of where they work and employees have said they appreciate the logo.

•Some do but depends on EE selection

•Staff are proud of their achievement, and loyal to the company.

•Company makes it mandatory for the pins to be issued for designated service mile stones

•link the gift to the company

•Give cheque

•Identify with the organization

•Employees have a choice. some want a logo, others do not.

•Only one year award; other year engraving is optional

•Unless the employee requests a logo...

•It is in recognition of service to the Company, paid for by the Company, a reminder of the Company....

•Doesn't make sense for some product selections. (ie) tents, golf clubs.

company recognition

•To personalize it as a service award from us.

•To show appreciation towards the employee for service loyalty and dedication.

•10 year pin is in the form of the company logo. 20 & 25 year awards do not have logo.

•Employees choose a gift from a catalogue - not all gifts would be able to have a logo added

•5 to 20 yrs, we give a service pin. 25 yrs, we give a watch 30 to 45, we give service pins

•To acknowledge the organization they gave service to.

•Pride in working for the employer

•So as to make the gift unique.

•We purchase items that the employee wants - leisure, electronics etc...

•To recognize employees' loyalty to the company. Only the plaques and company rings contain the company logo. All additional gifts chosen by employees (10th year of service and up) do not have the logo.

•Identifies the source of the award; intended to instill pride in the organization

•The majority do in order to remind employees that it is recognition for service to the company.

•Sometimes but it depends on what gift the employee has chosen and if they wish to have it.

Does the employee get to choose the gift?

(85 responses)

What are some of the service awards your company offers?

(71 responses)

•25 - watch all other - certificate to spend at electronics store


•See answer #14

•Flights, bonuses, reductions in benefit costs.

•Watch, ring, necklace / bracelet and pendant, prints, toolkit, camping kit, luggage, glassware and tray


•Gift certificates, jewelry, sporting goods

•Clocks; barometers; framed photos of local scenery - small, medium and large sized ones; raku from local or B.C. artists incorporating the quail that live in this area

•Art work, Telescopes/Binoculars, jewelry, watches, luggage, sports equipment

•choice of a vacation based on the 5,10,15,20,25 year allotment or the equivalent cash award.

•watches, jewelry, pictures, sculptures, golf bas, car emergency kit, camera, DVD player

•gift certificates to a number of varied stores, RRSP contribution, art piece commissioned by an artist, overnight hotel stay with meal, tickets to play, music performance or sports event, round of golf, charitable donation

•At 5 years the employee gets a watch and a choice of golf clubs, computer equipment, crystal, BBQ, camera valued up to $1000.00

•bracelets for 5 years, watches for 10 years and 15 year is to be determined.

•clothing decorative accessories personal accessories High-end BBQ Sets in Steel Brief Cases •High-quality pen sets

•clothing, pins, clocks, toys (lanyards, model trucks, flashlights, zip lines for security badges, etc)

•Lapel Pins Clocks Gift Certificates to place of employee' choice

•watches, jewelry, TVs, grandfather clock, framed pictures, camping equipment, bicycles

•Gift certificates in varying amounts based on LOS

•pen/pencil for 5 years watch for 10 years travel voucher for 15, 20, 25 30 etc

•Clocks, watches, radios, golf equipment

•We use Birks and they are allowed to select from different categories based upon the years of service.

•Not for 5 and 10 years, but they can choose between a ring or a watch at 15 years. At 20 & 25 they may choose individually. We do not offer a fixed selection, it is individual to the person.

•Watch Photo albums

•selection varies based on years. Radio/cooler lunch box to a pool table

watch, binoculars, briefcase, clock

•pins, rings, watches, TV, luggage, cutlery, etc

•Clock, Crystal Vase, Watch, Jacket

•tickets to the theatre watch bracelet golf club[s] gift certificate to restaurant for 4


•Watches, Clocks, Jewelry, Art, Crystal, Office, Home etc

•We are a fairly small company so the gifts are selected based on the person. Gifts in the past have included (as mentioned above) diamond earrings; portable DVD player; pens (from Cross to Mont Blanc); pen/clock/keychain set; leather portfolio; large i-pod; camcorder; wolf sculpture...

Jewelry (pins, bracelets, rings, watches, brooches, earrings), pocket knives, key fobs, belt buckles, sculptures, prints, crystal, luggage, telescopes, golf clubs, wall clocks, etc.

•Garden Furniture - most popular has been the park bench with bird bath. Silver Belt buckles, Hot air balloon rides, digital cameras, golf clubs - brands of their choice, holiday vouchers, travel luggage.

•clocks, jewelry, briefcases, pocket knives - wide selection from service-award provider catalogue

•Pin, pen, etc

•All employees get a special plaque made by local artist and a gift. The gift can be jewelry, •watch, sporting equipment, home accessories - paintings, vases; consumer goods (BBQ, TV, DVD), tools.

•watches, jewelry, dish sets, reproductions of paintings, binoculars, Swiss army knives

•There is no service gift. it is a certificate, service button

•The money has to be used towards professional development.

•Pins. Free lunch Recognition by CEO and Dept. Head

•large catalogue for EE to choose

•Each threshold has several gifts to choose from.

•We work with Charm Diamond Company for the service awards. Charm puts together packages for each milestone and the employee can choose from the offered selection. Charm allows us to design a package around an employees lifestyle, style etc.

•pins, watches, framed prints, sculptures, clocks, etc. There is also an option for employees to •donate the equivalent amount of their gift to a charitable organization. The employee receives a •framed certificate and a tax receipt.


•Years of service pins Years of service plaques every 5 years

•Jewellery Life style gifts


•Gift certificates, travel certificates

•for greater than 1 year- watches, clocks, jewelry, jewelry boxes, Golf clubs, power tools, watches

•Jewelry Luggage Sport equipment Electronics

•jewelry, crystal, watches, housewares, electronics

•Watch, Ring, Gold Chains, Clocks, Crystal Ornaments, Jade Sculptures.

•Crystal vase, crystal bowl, picture frame, watch, gift certificate

•Golf bags, watches, flat screen TV's, Digital cameras, leather coats, gas BBQ's, luggage

•Service pins

•Jewelry, luggage etc. from Birks

•Pins and watches

•Framed Prints Gift Certificates Plaques

•jewelry, lifestyle gifts and works of art.

•Pen and key chain Watch Trips

•BBQ's, Televisions, Golf clubs, travel vouchers

•Electronics, jewelry, Swiss timepieces, travel gear,

jewelry (watches, rings, necklaces), luggage, artwork

•Golf clubs, pictures, watches, rings, a TV, sporting goods, etc.

•Watches, other jewelry, bbq's, clocks, golf equipment, stereo equipment, tv's, pens

•Watches, digital cameras, barbeques, golf clubs, jewelry, etc.

•Art Jewelry Sports Equipment Cameras Crystal Silverware Luggage

•Pots, Jewelry, Grandfather Clocks, Canoes

What is the most popular service award offered by your company?

(62 responses)

•Not sure

•Haven't measured it.


•Gift certificates

•The framed pictures seem to be well received



•too new to tell - just adopted this yer

•gift certificates

•Camera's or Computer equipment


•clothing and pins

•watches and jewellery

•Gift certificates are well received

•travel voucher

•not sure


•See # 16 but there is really no most popular


•varies pieces of jewlery


•watches, rings





•30 Years of Service - Ladies rings (men choose them for their wives)

•Garden Benches has been the most popular item over the past 5 years. Digital cameras are growing in popularity.

•nothing most popular - variety of awards chosen each year



•employees choose mostly watches and jewlery (braclets, necklaces, earrings and rings).


•Gold Pins

•No data

•Diamond stud earings or digital cameras

•Many employees opt for the charitable donation option.


•5 year

•Briefcase Framed painting

•Travel certificates

•number of items appear to be equally selected

•Team Recognition Awards - worth 100.00 per employee on the team.


•TV's and jewelry

•don't know


•Gas BBQ's, leather coats

•Service pins

•We have so few, I am unable to answer this question.


•25 yr watch

•Gift Certificates accompanied by a Framed Print

•Jewelry - rings

•Watch and trip

•Electronics and Swiss timepieces


•At 25 years a watch.

•Choosing of gifts has only been in place for 1 year. Not able to answer at this time.

•Cameras and jewelry are the most popular.

•Cameras Sports Equipment Luggage


Does your organization do “on-the-spot” recognition? (This is instant recognition for a job well done.)

(98 responses)

If yes, what do you give employees for “on-the-spot” recognition?

(53 responses)

•Thank you cards, flowers, recognition at our weekly staff meetings.

•gift certificates to restaurants and other retailers

•Verbal commendation only.

•gift certificates

•A certificate " A pat on the back"

•Theater tickets, hockey tickets, dinners out etc.

•for achieving a designation, a cash award other awards might be gift certificates for dinner

•gift certificates, dinner out

•Gift certificates of their choice

•-gift certificates - American Express travelers cheques - movie vouchers

•More vacation, $ bonus, Trip

•Cake and Coffee Pizza and Pop Gift Certificates for weekend get-a-way Ticketmaster •Certificates to any event they want

•certificates, coffee vouchers, pins

•Appreciation certificate and free coffee and muffin from cafeteria

•Gift certificates for dinner or to home depot.

•Verbal recognition

•Gift certificates in varying amounts, awarded by the manager.

•Star Cards - earn points to trade in for gift certificates

•Coffee cards for day to day simple recognition. Monthly recipient for special mention where we present a chosen employee with a gift such as a high end travel mug with the company logo etched on the side. A yearly recipient will be chosen from all the monthly recipients - recognition award yet to be determined as this year will be the first.

•$100, $300 or$500

•money, extra vacation, weekends, etc

•Company wide announcement, gift certificates to dinner, movie, stores

•Gift Certificates for complying with Health and Safety Thank you cards and smaller thank you •items such as pens, etc

•letter for personnel file flowers gift certificate

•Gift Certificates, Spa packages

•It could range from a small gift certificate to a nice dinner to a weekend for two somewhere fairly local. We also have six-month recognition awards and an award of excellence once a year with monetary payouts.

•gift certificate, cash

•thanks and praise for job well done

•give them on the spot recognition; let their mgr know what a great job they have done; give them a button (when they have attained 4 buttons they can redeem it for 1 share of the company)

•dinners, tickets

•Employees are recognized in monthly staff meetings. Nothing is given to them.

•spot bonus

•Pens and movie passes

•we have the employee of the month and a gift certificate

•Lunch with our CAO;

•NHL tickets, Dinners, Time off with Pay

•Core value points, internal and external guest service program. Where employees can recognize one and other as well as, receiving manager and general manager recognition. The points have a monetary value and can be spent on our on Core Values website or can be used to purchase local gift certificates.

•hockey tickets, theatre tickets, paid evening out with partner

•Gift Certificates

•Not formally done...

•gift certificates

•gift cards, gift certificates, small personal gifts.

•Movie passes, dinner coupons

•A Recognition-gram by e-mail or hard copy.

•Thank you Electronic thank you card Gift choice

•Movie Passes Gift Cards at various stores/gas stations

•ranges from coasters, coffee mugs to back packs.

•Gift certificates - restaurant and departments stores Movie passes Paid Time off

•It depends, but if people worked really hard on planning an event we may get them a gift card for a restaurant or a spa.

•Depends on the job. Could be movie money, dinner, gift certificates or a bonus or trip for •something significant

•Movie passes, some tokens or gifts i.e. photo albums

•Dinners, movie tickets, token gifts, etc.

•Verbal recognition Lunch/Dinner Sporting Event tickets

How would you rate the overall effectiveness of your recognition program?

(89 responses)

Have you had any negative feedback from staff about recognition or service awards?

(88 responses)

If yes, what were some of the concerns raised?

•No recognition of performance.

•Gifts of little value

•Some staff do not like the idea of length of service recognition every 5 years - they would like it annually. They feel it negates their annual efforts.

•Long term part time staff didn't want to have to work 10 years to get 5 years recognition, so we implemented a policy that for part time staff they get half the dollar amount of full time staff. (ie full time 10 years of service $15 per year of service, part time 10 years of service $7.50 per year of service).

•We have a Stars award process and some have questioned the selection of certain individuals in a given year.

•Out of 15 employees, one individual did not like the watch.

•would like more frequent recognition like BBQs, clothing, etc.

•Some employees struggle with the perception that one employee may be 'better' than another.

•Long term service awards are good. We also have annual servsie awards that some employees •view as subjective and not fair.

•limited selection from which to choose

•Lack of appropriate recognition

•Coffee card not seen as appropriate to say thanks.

•Not a wide enough selection.

•There needs to be more.

•Wrong event - not done with peers, but with directors

•consistency favourtism/popularity contest

• (1) We have employees who are on contract, and there has not been consistency in recognizing such employees. (2) Some believe that recognition should be awarded as a salary bonus. (3) The use of the service award money should be not conditional--should be able to use it for anything and not professional development only.

•unionized environment - displays favoritism by supervisors

•want ability to donate funds; unappreciative of available awards; selection not broad enough;

•Team Recognition awards need to be redesigned for more peer recognition in field offices.

•Not generous enough. Not given every year.

•No enough informal recognition

•Same people getting the reward Gifts - don't like what's there

•consistency across departments, not done often enough

•Recognition - Takes too long to receive it. Service Awards - Small variety to choose from.

•No choice; no formal program; in the past, some may have been given more than others..

•A few employees think time-off should be included as a reward in the program

•Wider choice of gift

•Intervals being recognized - why not 10, 20, and 30? Some dissatisfaction with gift selection

•Lack of consistency in application Some managers better at recognizing than others

•Would like a cash option.

•Taxable benefit incurred from service awards exceeding $500.

Demographic information

What best describes your title?

(100 responses)

Is your company:

(102 responses)

How many employees does your organization have?

(101 responses)

In what jurisdictions do you have employees? (Check all that apply)

(102 respondents gave 351 responses)

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