Businessolver Blog

A Holistic View of Benefits: Why Total Rewards Are Still Impactful

A Holistic View of Benefits: Why Total Rewards Are Still Impactful
Posted on Wednesday, May 27, 2020 by Bridget Mortland

Whiplash. We are all feeling it. Whether it’s the sudden 180 of having kids at home all day, every day to completely changing the way we work or even what we are working on.


If there is one thing for certain, is that’s we are all trying to do more with less, as businesses react and adapt to our current reality.

Total Rewards was a big-ticket topic heading into March of 2020. It was an easy “sell” when recruitment and retention were high on everyone’s minds. And you are all probably thinking I’m crazy for even bringing up Total Rewards in our current climate, but I believe that having a solid Total Rewards strategy coming out of this pandemic is going to be more critical than ever.

While the economy will likely be in flux for some time, what has most certainly changed for good, are our habits as consumers. Virtual happy hours, zoom trivia, online grocery shopping and more are now a part of my weekly routine. 

And in this highly digital, consumer-driven world, where a negative Glassdoor review is just one click away, benefits and compensation programs will continue to be important, even if it’s hard to see past the high unemployment rates of the moment.

To level set, the goal of Total Rewards solutions is to create a happier and healthier workforce, backed by the benefits and compensation programs in place.

But more often than not, employees do not appreciate the full value of their benefits – because they do not understand them. As an employer, it’s never been more important to affect employee’s perceptions of that value and bolster the impact of your Total Rewards.

Overcoming negative perception

In our current landscape, employees likely feel like a lot is being taken away from them, both personally and professionally. This perception could linger far beyond our current situation.

Leading up to the pandemic, 80% of people would choose benefits over a pay raise and 78% of workers would remain with their employer because of benefits. While these stats take on new meaning now, they still matter.

In fact, coming out of a health pandemic, benefits may suddenly reach a new level of importance, having access to programs like telemedicine or an EAP; or even contributing more to an HSA so one is fully prepared for unpredictable health issues. But, if your employees do not understand their full benefit package, or how it’s growing over time, how will they properly appreciate what they currently have, or maximize its value?

It can’t be one and done.

For years, Total Rewards meant a statement. A once-a-year mailing that demonstrates the amount of money one’s employer put toward their total compensation and benefits package. It was nice, but for the vast majority of people, it didn’t mean a whole lot. In a word, they read it and forget it.

To truly impact change and drive employees to optimize their total benefit package, making an impact over time, you need an interactive solution. One that allows for year-round access to interact with the data over time, giving them the full picture into how their value in the company has grown.

As we combat a lot of changes coming out of this pandemic (like managing a remote workforce), it will be critical to ensure your employees feel valued, understand their benefits and are able to engage with those benefits in a meaningful way.

As you consider what’s next, take a moment to think about how Total Rewards can help you achieve greater awareness of your programs and engage your employees in the right benefits at the right time.

Consider these factors:

  • Interactive – Employees need easy access to their Total Rewards information year-round, preferably from the same place they view and manage their benefits.
  • Configurable – Create a personalized view of your programs that employees connect with on a deeper, more impactful level. Bringing your brand to life through your Total Rewards solution.
  • Flexible – You deserve credit for your entire benefits and compensation spend – so make sure you are including all parts of the benefits package to include perks and retirement. Not all rewards programs are created equal and you need flexible technology to help convey the value to your employees
  • Consultative – This is your solution. Work with a technology group that can provide best practices and guides to determine what is important to your strategy, how data should display and when numbers should be updated.

As employees deal with a lot of loss and unknowns, engaging them in a tool that gives them a full picture view of all the ways their employer is contributing to their overall health and wealth, is an important part of improving one’s well-being.