Total Rewards

Four 2019 Trends for Total Rewards Strategies

/ May 31, 2019 May 31, 2019

With the US economy and labor market becoming more competitive each new quarter, differentiating your organization from the rest of your competition is vital for following through on your 2019 goals for growth. With unemployment low, attracting and retaining key talent in this kind of economic environment requires a holistic approach. Oftentimes, in today’s industries, a healthy salary sometimes is not enough. Many brands are pivoting their retention strategies to more macro-perspective. As a result, companies and non-profits across the US are turning to total rewards strategies.

In essence, a strong total rewards strategy integrates compensation and benefits with each employee’s personal growth opportunities to create an all-inclusive package for every individual at your organization. Total rewards strategies change often. And the trends that dictate these changes can help shed light on how your organization can better prepare for growth and heightened competition. Our research illuminates the four most important trends in 2019 for organizations to consider when planning total rewards strategies. Those trends are as follows:


Rewards Are Vital for Brand Identity


Establishing a brand identity isn’t just about logos, mission statements, and stationary. Total rewards strategies also serve a crucial role in constructing a unique identity for your organization. Not only do strong benefits packages and flexible programs nurture employee engagement and retention, but they also plant the seeds for a distinctive community and culture to grow at the heart of your organization.

Showing your employees that you care helps solidify your relationships internally and craft a strong reputation from an external perspective. Clients, business partners, and competitors become aware that your organization respects and honors the process of careful rewards planning. Accordingly, total rewards strategies present pathways for organizations to uplift the well-being of their employees while establishing a culture that cannot be replicated at any competitor.


Personalized Rewards Are Stronger


A total rewards strategy is only strong and effective if it is aligned with your employees’ needs. Thus, the second major trend we have discovered is to focus on personalized rewards for your employees.

Unearthing the personalized reward structure for each individual at your business or non-profit presents an uphill challenge for many executives. How do you balance compensation and benefits? Are you engaging your workforce correctly to ensure motivation and retention plans are in place? Do you need to be thinking about retirement for your employees? All these questions bubble to the surface when a leader wants to effect change. Oftentimes, the questions and the unknown can feel overwhelming.

In turn, we recommend breaking down rewards strategies into smaller steps to ensure personalization is at the root of your mission. Whether this means that your total rewards strategy will take 3 months to plan or 2 years, giving yourself the opportunity to pause and gather your team and your resources pays off in the end. Personalizing rewards means meeting with the individuals who make your company work – all of them. This can be time consuming, too; but, a detail-oriented approach prevents you from unseen costs in the future. At Exude, we help with the management of these details to help cut costs so that you can focus on what counts: connecting with your employees.


Advanced Analytics Create Better Personalized Rewards


Every total rewards strategy centers around a human-centric focus. Total rewards help your human capital. Nonetheless, organizations should find a careful balance between human-centric and data-centric approaches when planning total rewards strategies.

An upcoming trend in total rewards planning is using data-analytics. Yet, not every organization has a data analytics system and team in place. Whether you run a 50-person company, or are the head of HR in a 2,000-person non-profit, data is hard to understand and use effectively in day-to-day operations. Organizations that specialize in data analytics gather teams of highly trained experts to code and evaluate the best strategies, whether they be for total rewards or any other organizational health matter.

Accordingly, working with an outside team provides organizations with the outsourced expertise they deserve. Consulting that combines both human-centric and data-centric methodologies are better prepared to align personalized rewards to the employees that deserve them. As a result, using advanced analytics to create better personalized rewards is a valuable trend to implement in the upcoming year.


Competitive Compensation is always a Priority


Benefits and rewards help differentiate organizations to construct a brand identity. Personalized rewards show that you care and, with the proper analytical tools, ensure that your employees reap their rightful rewards. Ultimately, however, compensation needs to remain at the heart of your total rewards strategy.

An upcoming trend we recommend to follow is to invest in compensation studies. These studies analyze your current pay practices to evaluate their effectiveness and competitiveness in your region and industry. Compensation studies highlight areas of success and underscore where your practices are falling short.

At the end of the day, an impressive rewards structure means nothing if the compensation is not competitive. And so, by following our holistic trends you can ensure that your total rewards strategy is in fact total. To learn more about total rewards, schedule a consultation with one of our expert consultants or contact us.