What is Total Rewards? Definitions & Strategies

Did you know that low employee engagement alone costs the global economy $7.8 trillion? The direct correlation between engagement and productivity has been a topic of interest for leaders in business, especially over the last few years. In the post-pandemic world, the state of the workforce market has changed drastically. 

The days of offering just wages and basic benefits are long gone. Employees are demanding more from their leaders than just wages. Comprehensive compensation packages including benefits and perks are now the standard instead of the exception. With the high cost of low employee engagement, organizations must be proactive in providing better compensation that meets the expectations of their employees. 

Curating a total rewards strategy can help your organization stand out from the competition and not just attract but also retain engaged and productive employees.

What is Total Rewards?

What really is total rewards? Total rewards is a comprehensive approach to compensation that encompasses all the monetary and non-monetary benefits and perks employees receive along with their wages. Examples of these benefits include bonuses, health insurance, paid time off, development opportunities, flexible pay options, and more. 

It’s more important than ever for employers to become knowledgeable about total rewards. In today’s economic climate, employees are prioritizing benefits that meet their needs and align with their values. If an organization is unwilling to meet the needs of its employees, it leads directly to disengagement, burnout, and eventually turnover. 

On the other hand, organizations that embrace the needs of their employees are thriving. By crafting a healthy workplace culture and providing a well-designed total rewards program, your organization can see increased rates of motivation, productivity and employee satisfaction.

Creating a Total Rewards Strategy

A successful total rewards strategy begins by considering the needs and desires that contribute to overall employee satisfaction. There are a wide variety of options available when it comes to the benefits and perks that can be offered as part of a total rewards program. 

In this section, we provide an overview of three of the most valuable rewards that organizations can offer to support employees and develop a positive work environment. These strategies include: 

  • Employee Wellbeing
  • Employee Development
  • Flexible Compensation

By implementing these strategies as part of a total rewards plan, your organization will demonstrate their commitment to your employees and foster a workplace culture of productivity and high performance. 

Investing in Wellness

Employee wellbeing, including physical and mental health, is central to overall performance and productivity. In fact, teams who have high engagement ratings see a 41% reduction in absenteeism and 59% less turnover. These statistics underscore the importance of caring for employee wellbeing from a humanitarian perspective as well as a financial one. As part of a total rewards strategy, organizations can offer benefits like a gym membership, mental health support, or a wellness stipend. When employees feel that their health is a priority to leadership, they feel an overall sense of support within their work environment. By creating an atmosphere of genuine care, your team will be encouraged to actively engage at work. Employee wellness programs assist employees in managing their stress, physical health, and keep them motivated. Prioritizing the health of your employees ultimately leads to a more productive and engaged workforce.

Empowering Personal Growth

Employee development is a mutually beneficial perk for both employees and your organization. Opportunities for professional growth and advancement, such as online courses or in person training events, help employees achieve their career goals and improve their skills. As your team grows through professional development, their newly learned skills will directly benefit your organization. With a team of well-rounded individuals, your organization will be better equipped to tackle challenges, capitalize on opportunities, and achieve overall goals. Employee development is not only a perk for employees but a wise investment for the success of your organization. Offering a professional development stipend is a simple way to pour back into your team and encourage the improvement of their overall performance. By providing employees with the tools to grow professionally, you can help foster a positive work environment and increase the overall satisfaction and commitment among your team members.

Providing Flexible Compensation

Offering flexible compensation options can help employees better manage their finances and reduce overall stress. Referencing the importance of employee wellbeing, financial struggles contribute to disengagement and eventual turnover. Benefits such as earned wage access (EWA) provide stability and security for your employees, ensuring that they will have their income available when it is needed. EWA is a benefit that is rising to the top of frontline workers’ priorities. A recent study found that 91% of millennial workers and 82% of Generation Z workers stated that it was fundamental for their employer to offer earned wage access. Juice offers re-loadable employee payout cards that support earned wage access by allowing funds to be deposited and available instantly. These neo-banking accounts can also be used for depositing bonuses as well as wages, giving employers the ability to reward their team at any time. Providing flexible compensation options, including earned wage access through a Fintech solution, can be a deciding factor when it comes to employee turnover. By fairly compensating your team and offering them wage flexibility, you may be able to reduce financial stress that can influence employees to leave. Offering EWA as part of your total rewards strategy can also enhance your reputation as an employer, helping you to attract and retain new team members in the future.

The Real Question "What is Total Rewards?"

So, what is total rewards? Total rewards go beyond wages to include a variety of monetary and other benefits to compensate for the loyalty and dedication of your employees. To be able to fight against the rising rates of resignations, organizations have to consider the specific needs of their employees and how they can best meet them. 

Strategy focused on total rewards tis necessary for employers who want to attract and retain engaged, productive employees. By prioritizing employee wellbeing, encouraging professional development, and ensuring wages are easily accessible, you can craft a compensation package that truly meets the needs of your team. 

The financial benefits of implementing an inclusive total reward strategy are tangible. Improved rates of high-capacity performance, committed team members, increased profitability, and reduced absenteeism are only a few of the gains your organization can achieve. As the needs and priorities of the workforce continue to change and evolve, the importance of a total rewards strategy will only rise. 

So how do you go about implementing a total rewards program that serves your employee’s needs?

Juice’s FinTech solutions can help your organization bring your total rewards strategy into the modern era. Our solution provides a no-minimum-balance digital neo-banking account that includes earned wage access and other zero cost employee benefits that would normally cost thousands annually.
Interested in seeing if this solution could be a game-changer for your employee benefits? Learn more about Juice’s modern FinTech platform that 15,000+ companies trust!