Beyond Base Pay & Benefits: How to Factor Additional Perks into Your Total Rewards Program

Beyond Base Pay & Benefits: How to Factor Additional Perks into Your Total Rewards Program

Beyond focusing on base pay, bonuses, and long-term incentives, employers have become increasingly creative in offering non-traditional perks within recent years. These added benefits can be monetary or non-monetary, immediate or deferred. While the opportunities to further incentivize specific behaviours among employees through perks span far and wide, the most effective offerings will always be those that align with the employee value proposition the company hopes to create.

Depending on their employer brand, companies may wish to offer subsidies for transportation, fitness, childcare, and other costs employees regularly incur. Extra time off, professional development opportunities, and family- oriented events are also worth considering. Oftentimes, companies will choose perks reflective of their brand to tie the management philosophy and company strategy into their rewards.

Additionally, experiential rewards are becoming a popular perk for the modern employee. Trips, activities, and tickets to games or events are beneficial for the employee and company alike: while the rewards act as tangible incentives for employees, their costs can also be controlled by the employer. Companies can even limit eligibility for these rewards to a specific pool of employees, such as top performers.

Lastly, while financial rewards remain popular, many employers are seeking new ways to increase their impact. Instead of simply handing out cheques, presenting them to employees in a more formal setting such as an awards night or dinner may have a more powerful, long-lasting impression on employees.

Example: Exhibit Studios

One company that has gotten creative with their rewards program is Exhibit Studio Ltd. Under their travel policy, they will pay different rates depending on the roles employees take on. For instance, employees who assume the role of the driver may receive a higher rate than passengers. Meals and accommodations are also covered to promote a positive and rewarding travel experience for employees.

This granular approach to rewards is called structural segmentation. It is a popular way for employers to make the most out of limited total rewards dollars and give employees equitable yet motivating incentives based on their work inputs and results.


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