I am often asked by clients to help them develop and implement a Total Reward Strategy. This begs two questions:

  • What do you mean by Total Reward?
  • What do you mean by Strategy?

I both instances it depends on which framework or author you buy into.

When someone asks what is Total Reward? My reply is its much more than cash! This just makes the initial point that you have to open your mind up to what reward is and more importantly could be. Increasingly this is less about what an employer thinks and much more about what individuals want or regard as important.

For me Total Reward covers cash compensation – base and variable pay, allowances etc., benefits, recognition, feedback and coaching, learning and development, career development, flexibility, wellbeing – physical, mental and financial, community involvement.

Strategy must be one of the most over used words in our vocabulary. That isn’t a problem in itself but it simply reinforces the need to be clear about what it is in the context of Total Reward.
It has many definitions but the one I like most is…it’s a statement of and route map for intent. It captures where we are, where we want to be and what we are going to do to get there.

So, let’s wrap up all of this in a Total Reward context. Here is my list of tips:

  • Start with understanding your business and HR strategies in terms of issues, direction and priorities.
  • Ask yourself – where does our current reward provision help or hinder this?
  • Identify what policy changes you have to make e.g., re-designing incentives, adding new reward elements etc
  • I then focus on creating a robust reward infrastructure – policies, processes, systems, governance etc., so the client can implement the strategy effectively
  • Then it’s about developing an implementation plan and carrying it through
  • Finally, you need to put in place monitoring and review mechanisms to stay on track over time and identify what changes are required to keep the strategy relevant as the business evolves.

And my latest and most important tip is…focus on ESG… let’s all have a tangible and sustainable impact on the society we live in!