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Balancing Your Rewards Strategies

It can appear as a real conundrum: in a tight labor market still reeling from an ongoing pandemic, you must redouble efforts to get the talent you need. The problem is that, particularly in a shaky economy, resources are at a premium. 

The question is how to grapple with this duality – empathy and economics – when budgeting and planning. Ultimately, it’s about balancing your rewards strategies.

The Issue

Monetary pay hasn’t suddenly become unimportant, of course. After all, people are paying more for everyday needs, even as the unemployment rate remains relatively low: 3.7 percent in October.

The issue is that the pandemic has produced a nation of people who are increasingly selective about work. They are generally much pickier about where and how they toil. Not that long ago, for instance, behavioral health benefits were rarely offered. Now, some people have come to expect them.

The bottom line is that a generous paycheck is no guarantee you’ll be able to recruit and retain the talent you need. Not by itself.

One way to adapt is through total rewards. After all, employee satisfaction promotes heightened engagement, which positively affects organizational performance.

Explain Total Rewards

This refers to the benefits – any forms of perks or compensation — an employee receives from their employer for their work contribution and membership. It includes both monetary and non-monetary benefits. 

What Do Employees Want?

That’s the No. 1 question.  After all, while some employees may be more interested in, say, growth opportunities, others might prioritize work-life balance, flex-work, elder care, or healthcare benefits.

It’s impossible to satisfy everyone, although smartly developed employee surveys can help you come close. What’s needed is a holistic total rewards approach that covers a lot of ground. A leading benefits consultant such as Mercer can help you with digital employee rewards and other total rewards elements.

Types of Non-Monetary Rewards You Can Use

Different people desire different things. That means you must offer a broader range of non-monetary benefits to keep up with the competition, lure talent, and hold onto the people you have. Note a recent MetLife study which found that 69 percent of employees agreed that “having a wider array of benefits would increase loyalty to their employer.”

Here are common types of contemporary benefits, some more creative than others:

  • Rewards and perquisites. The fact is that, nowadays, 80 percent of employees would prefer perks over a pay hike. Just make sure that in these times the benefits can be accessed digitally.
  • A generous health insurance plan. Healthy workers positively affect your bottom line.
  • Care gift. These personalized gifts help promote belonging and connection. Put together a nice package of healthful snacks, environment-safe products, small motivational books, etc.
  • Growth and development opportunities. Employees generally work harder if they can see a path upward.
  • Appreciation campaigns. You can even do this virtually to express gratitude to valued employees.
  • Proper equipment. The equipment should be free as should delivery.
  • Free online courses and workshops. Let them pick the topics.
  • Wellness benefits such as yoga, Pilates, and gym memberships are effective.
  • Benefits for family members. Perhaps online classes or entertainment subscriptions.
  • Home services. Services such as laundry, cleaning, and delivery are increasingly popular.
  • Pet insurance. Pets are family members that need care, too.
  • Flexible schedules. You can boost productivity by letting your people select their schedules according to their personal lives.

Ultimately, balancing your rewards strategy means complementing monetary pay with a panoply of non-monetary benefits that people increasingly want, and which don’t have to cost a lot. Remember, people who feel supported and cared for will go the extra miles for you.


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Cary Grant
Cary Grant
Cary Grant, the enigmatic wordsmith hailing from the UK, is a literary maestro known for unraveling the intricacies of life's myriad questions. With a flair for delving into countless niches, Grant captivates readers with his insightful perspectives on issues that resonate with millions. His prose, a symphony of wit and wisdom, transcends boundaries, offering a unique lens into the diverse tapestry of human curiosity. Whether exploring the complexities of culture, unraveling philosophical conundrums, or addressing the everyday mysteries that perplex us all, Cary Grant's literary prowess transforms the ordinary into extraordinary, making him a beacon of intellectual exploration.


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