Total guide to total rewards online (Web sight)

Taking a look at what works well

A total rewards program can be an excellent way to gain a competitive edge in hiring and retaining the best talent. But a truly great rewards program takes time to plan and implement, so just how well are employers making use of total rewards? The websites below take a closer look at how organizations have implemented total rewards and what works well.

Four phases of implementing total rewards

The Society for Human Resource Management released this guide for HR professionals earlier this year entitled Implementing Total Reward Strategies. Beginning with instructions on how to assemble the right project team, the guide outlines the four phases of implementing a total rewards plan: Assessment, design, execution and evaluation. There are several examples of companies that have implemented total rewards programs and how they have succeeded. There’s also a section at the end that highlights sources and suggested reading for a more in-depth examination of the subject.

Case studies from Starbucks, Corning

American company Wilson Group features a section on its site with case studies of companies that have used effective reward systems for critical business issues. Click on the links to access a PDF of each case study to see “how rewards can link directly to an organization’s key challenges.” Scroll down to the Starbucks Coffee Company link to find out about its rewards, which include a comprehensive benefits package atypical in that industry. “Company employees also have the ability to buy discounted stock in the company. Both the benefits and compensation plans have increased employee satisfaction and, as a result, created higher levels of customer satisfaction.” Click on Corning’s link for a look at how its goal-sharing program became “a model for how to bring line-of-sight performance measures into alignment with compensation and total reward programs.”

Rethinking communication

This article, “Spelling It Out,” argues employers should rethink how they communicate benefits and pension programs to employees and ensure employees understand the personal value of rewards. “They want personal communication that is specific to them — not static information that is addressed to all. They want it to be relevant, meaningful and as brief as possible.” The article includes a look at how Michelin North America (Canada) implemented a flexible benefits plan. The company produced a personalized communications campaign that included a step-by-step guide to help make the decision-making choice easier for employees.

Aligning rewards with corporate goals

“Rewards Take on New Importance,” an article on the Canadian Management Centre site, looks at how employers “seek other ways to recognize and reward employee behaviours that align with corporate goals.” One good method is to make sure rewards systems have some variety to reach a broad range of workers. “After all, employees have different strengths, so it makes sense to recognize achievements in different areas, such as safety, job performance, years of service and sales.” The article examines how U.K. whiskey producer Glenmorangie changed an incentive program that had become too repetitive. It introduced the HEROES program — Honouring Excellence and Rewarding Outstanding or Extended Service — which allowed bonus money to be used in new ways. “The firm discovered that workers craved timely management recognition even more than they did financial recognition. A cross-functional team developed the plan and got feedback from their respective groups, a process that encouraged buy-in.”

How small companies compete

Sun Life Financial compiled this booklet, in PDF format, entitled The Future of Work: Total Rewards Strategies and Canada’s Aging Workforce. In addition to chapters on “A Total Rewards Overview” and “Measuring and Analyzing Total Rewards,” the final chapter is a roundtable discussion on “Total Rewards for Mid-sized Employers.” It examines how smaller employers can compete with larger counterparts. As one contributor says, smaller companies can offer more than cash rewards, chiefly work-life balance, less bureaucracy and simplified decision-making.

Ann Macaulay is a Toronto-based freelance editor and regular contributor to Canadian HR Reporter. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section.

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