Competition between employers is extraordinarily fierce in the modern setting. Economic upheaval, shifting employee priorities, and an ongoing talent shortage in tandem all urge organizations to revitalize their list of beneficial offerings, and make them as visible as possible, both to the current workforce as well as prospective job seekers.
Effectively attracting new talent – as well as retaining talent already housed within your company – is often a matter of showcasing precisely what employees will gain by working with your business, from salary to snacks in the breakroom. And this is where the Total Rewards Statement comes in.
A Total Rewards Statement is a document or communique which outlines all varieties of compensation, benefits, advantages, and bonuses which employees may receive throughout their tenure with your organization. Ideally, a Total Rewards Statement will be as all-encompassing as possible and will leave no detail out, however minute or rare a given benefit or point of compensation may be.
Categories included in a Total Rewards Statement are generally:
Direct financial benefits, such as salary and scheduled bonuses.
Indirect financial benefits, such as insurance, retirement, and education.
Non-monetary benefits such as workspace, meals, leave, and autonomous scheduling.
Total Rewards Statements may be specific to the role, department, or employee type and it is important to keep these things in mind when writing out a TRS for your company. Members of Human Resources overseeing employee compensation will generally anchor the writing of these documents, but may collaborate with colleagues in other fields to create a more thorough overview.
Total Rewards Statements can be leveraged in job descriptions, on employer values pages, and in hiring paperwork to help set up incoming employee expectations. This type of document also serves to generate awareness of and engagement with benefits for the current workforce and can act as a stepping stone towards understanding how to access certain advantages such as voluntary educational programming.
The use of a Total Rewards Statement can factor critically into an organization’s reputation as an employer. Candid statement of benefits and other points of compensation and remuneration inspires trust in prospective job seekers and allows current employees to more easily understand what advantages are available to them. This yields a positive rise in hiring statistics, as well as retention and employee satisfaction.
The awareness-bolstering effects of a Total Rewards Statement also helps to mitigate extraneous benefits spending by ensuring better engagement. Your company may be paying for an employee advantage which few employees are actually taking advantage of, not out of a lack of interest but because they simply don’t know you offer it. A Total Rewards statement will help to raise awareness and ensure a positive ROI for your benefits expenditure.
So what does a Total Rewards Statement look like, in practice? The content of your TRS will of course depend on the precise nature of your compensation package, as well as the various benefits and advantages offered to employees on the part of your company. The structure may also depend on whether you choose to offer different benefits to different employee types. In this example we have included a number of benefits and compensation styles common to contemporary top employers.
“Welcome to your Total Rewards Statement. Enclosed within you will find a comprehensive overview of everything our company has to offer you in exchange for your dedication."
The first section describes in quantitative terms the dollar amount associated with each point of reward: including salary as well as monetary benefits. The following offers a more detailed description of each benefit.
Please contact your manager or an HR team member if you have questions, or to sign up for any of our voluntary benefits.
Wages/Salary per Hour/Year $XXX,XXX.XX Bonuses annual $X,XXX.XX Incentives annual $X,XXX.XX
Health insurance contributions annual $XXX,XXX.XX Retirement matching scheme annual $XX,XXX.XX Educational benefits expenditure annual $XX,XXX.XX HEALTH INSURANCE DESCRIPTION
Our company has made the decision to offer healthcare at zero-cost to the employee in an effort to bolster the general well being of our workforce. Please speak to an HR representative to opt in.
RETIREMENT MATCHING DESCRIPTION
Our company has committed to providing a 1:1 match to all 401K contributions made on the part of the employee to their own account. Certain stipulations apply. Please speak to an HR representative to learn more.
EDUCATIONAL BENEFITS DESCRIPTION
In addition to offering tuition reimbursement programming, our company is excited to offer accessible programming within the organization to employees pursuing advanced degrees and certification. Please speak to an HR representative to learn more.
Unlimited vacation time.
Unlimited family leave.
Flexible scheduling and work-from-home option.
1 comped meal per day worked in-office.
Free membership to our company’s service.
Here is a brief template you can use to begin designing your own Total Rewards Statement.
[Welcome statement and orientation note.]
[List of direct-compensation benefits and quantitative information – salary, etc.]
[List of indirect-compensation benefits and quantitative information – insurance, etc.]
[List of all benefits offered, with description of each, including limits and caveats.]
[List of relevant contacts and access points for learning more about benefits and signing up.]
Once your TRS has been written, you need to make sure your employees know where to find it, how to read it, and how it’s meant to support them in accessing and understanding the benefits available to them.
Of course the TRS should be included in any onboarding paperwork, and a copy should be given to current employees whenever a change is made. Hiring personnel and managers should be solicited to orient employees to this document, and empowered to answer any questions which they might have.
To support better employee engagement, managers can also discuss benefits and compensation as a part of regular check-ins which they may have with direct-reports. Ongoing communication regarding the TRS as well as benefits listed therein will bolster employee awareness, as well as your ROI.
Finally, consider holding a seminar whenever a compensation strategy or benefit is changed or added to the Total Rewards Statement to ensure all affected employees have a clear picture of their options.
Total Rewards Statements provide a succinct method for communicating benefits, remuneration, advantages and more to both prospective employees as well as the current workforce. Your reputation as an employer may be built on such a document as talented candidates are given insight into the competitive support you provide.
Think of your TRS as a living document – it will also provide you with a convenient mode of comparison to other businesses, and you should consider modifying the numbers and benefits listed if you find you’re not quite measuring up.
Your TRS will therefore act as a convenient communication device, as well as a guiding force to help you advance your benefits strategy to a future that better supports your employees.