4 Elements of Total Rewards to Consider in Your Organization

4 Elements of Total Rewards to Consider in Your Organization

Crafting a robust total rewards strategy for your company requires you to consider a few key elements. As you do so, it can be helpful to ask yourself a series of questions. This will allow you identify any gaps between where you are now and where you hope to be. Here, we break down the core elements of total rewards with questions for each.


  • When was the last time you did a compensation study?
    You don’t need to perform a compensation study annually; typically, a 3-5-year frequency is recommended. When you do so, ask:

    • Is your pay competitive?
    • Where do you anchor pay when you think of the entire employee value proposition?
  • Does your salary structure accommodate hiring ranges and movement through the range?
  • Are you bringing in new talent and paying them for what they’re worth?
  • Are you moving current talent through the range appropriately and paying them for their performance and proficiency?
  • How are you using incentive compensation?
    Ideally, incentives should be used to drive desired behaviors in the workforce, and you should be able to answer:

    • How far down does incentive pay go?
    • What are the terms for eligibility and participation?
    • Are goals and metrics set appropriately?



  • Are your benefits and retirement options competitive in the market, and do they match the employee life cycle?
  • Does wellness play a role in your benefit package?
    You might consider wellness options such as:

    • An onsite clinic vs. programs
    • A point system to lower deductibles
    • A company culture that prioritizes employee wellness
    • Financial wellness
  • Do you offer choice and flexibility in your benefit programs?
    Have you considered personalizing benefit options, and would your organization sustain choice and flexibility in plan design? For example, some employees might be drawn to a student loan repayment plan versus a 529 plan, in lieu of a certain percentage of the match.


Paid Time Off (PTO)

  • Is your PTO competitive in the market?
    Should you have a purchase or buy back program?
  • Do you offer paternal leave, sabbaticals, or paid volunteer hours?
    Such offerings are becoming increasingly popular, and thus sought-after, in modern workplaces. Many organizations now offer both maternity and paternity leave, as well as paid or unpaid sabbaticals. Additionally, because many Millennials want to do more for their communities, companies with a large percentage of this generation are offering paid volunteer hours.


Top Perks in the Best Places to Work

While not all of these perks are the right fit for every organization, many employees tend to appreciate the following benefits and they may thus be worth considering for your company:

  • Adoption/surrogacy/egg freezing/fertility
  • Employee relief fund for national disaster
  • Education benefits
  • Loan reimbursements/loan debt
  • Sabbaticals
  • Employee discount programs
  • PTO benefits for part-time employees
  • Gym membership
  • Extended bereavement leave
  • Pet insurance
  • Additional $60-$100 towards any perk/wellness
  • Genetic testing
  • Culture/family-friendly work environment
  • Onsite childcare
  • Bring your pet to work
  • Unlimited PTO
  • Extended parental leave (for full-time and part-time employees)
  • Gender reassignment surgery


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