Given the growing popularity of online everything in benefits, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the Total Reward Statement, that old stalwart of benefits communication, had been shelved for good. Why go to the trouble of collating all your employees’ total reward data and producing a statement, when they can access the information online anyway?

As it turns out, employers are seeing tremendous benefits from showing employees their total reward by doing just that. 

Reward, not just pay

There’s a lot of power in giving employees a bigger picture, especially when that bigger picture is that they’re worth more to you than just the salary you pay them. Benefits that take care of their health, their financial security, their mental wellbeing etc. contribute to your company culture – a culture that helps to set you apart, and helps to keep your people on board.

Increase engagement, not costs

Reminding employees of what’s included in their total reward package is a great way to boost engagement. Total Reward Statements (TRS) give you the opportunity to showcase the benefits you already offer, and as the statements put a monetary value on those benefits, your employees can gain a better appreciation and understanding of what they get.

Of course, it’s not all about the money. Your TRS can emphasise other valuable aspects of working within your business, like training opportunities, generous holiday allowance and wellbeing support. Let’s not forget a personal note from an officer of the Company can also go a long way in helping employees to feel valued.

Inform and communicate

One of the major advantages of the TRS is the chance to communicate important messages in terms of the business’s profitability and the impact this can have, both positive and negative. Take for example the recent news that John Lewis has cut its staff bonus to 6%. A TRS would show staff the bigger picture – the total reward they’re still getting – while giving the employer a means to reiterate that the decision was based on a desire to secure the partnership’s future success. 

Links to financial education

It’s critical that employees understand their employer-paid benefits when they’re planning for the future. Financial worries in particular are a big potential source of stress that can negatively impact employee wellbeing and performance.

As an employer, you have a vested interest in supporting employees with relevant financial education, and this isn’t limited to the more traditional products such as pensions. Benefits that save your people money, for example on medical care or childcare bills, and benefits that help them make tax and/or National Insurance savings, are worth emphasising. 

Plus, if employees have stock options then it’s an easy way to give them a wider view of how the business is performing and what those options are worth to them, all of which helps your team to feel further invested in the business as a whole.  

The practical bit

So what makes an effective TRS?

  • An engaging reward brand that fits with your company culture and ties together your online and offline benefits
  • Consider the data, which is the most critical element. How easy is it to pull together; how many allowances do employees have; what gets priority in terms of order?
  • An opening message from the CEO sets the statement on the right track, giving you the chance to get across those important ‘big picture’ points
  • Clear, explanatory but brief data on the benefits you offer: avoid the temptation to indulge in too much detail, instead focusing on what’s really going to engage and get your message across
  • Including the things you offer that you cannot put a value on, such as a subsidised canteen or onsite parking

It’s up to you whether you do online or offline, but we’ve seen a transition over the past 18 months to printed TRS, as some employee groups may feel excluded if the information is always online. Sending it to your employee’s home address so they can read it in their own time is a great move, cutting through the noise of emails and removing the need for them to log in anywhere to find the info. Whatever your decision, it’s important to consider what will work best for your workforce, especially if you have lots of employees that work remotely.

Finally, don’t forget to set a realistic budget. We often see employers trying to build something in spreadsheets with very poor graphics, an approach that is likely to leave employees significantly underwhelmed! 

Are TRS right for you?

If you’re thinking of implementing Total Reward Statements for yourselves, we’d be happy to help or provide a few tips from our experience – email me for an initial chat:

Nov 15, 2017
Andrew Mobberley

Andrew Mobberley

Director of Business Development

Portus Consulting is now part of the Aon Group!