- Most of the 275 U.S. employers in a global Willis Towers Watson (WTW) study are revising their total rewards programs in order to remain competitive in recruiting, the firm said. However, the survey showed that only half (49%) of respondents know which total rewards programs employees value, while 47% know which offerings candidates value.
- Nearly two-thirds of respondents plan to improve pay transparency, either this year or within three years. A larger majority (80%) expect to improve employee wellbeing programs over the next three years, while half expect to upgrade technology for both administering and using benefits. More than 60% are considering increasing flexible work options and arrangements, and two-thirds anticipate improving their personalized communication during the next three years.
- In other survey results, more than half of the respondents (54%) said they're having problems hiring employees with critical skills, while 49% report struggling with recruiting high-potential employees.
Total rewards programs typically evolve over time, prompted by a changing workforce, social and political pressures, and/or labor market shifts. For example, employee wellbeing programs have expanded beyond just physical fitness to include financial wellness as well as mental health services, stress management and treatment for chronic heath conditions, like back pain. Public insistence on addressing gender- and race-based pay inequities has pressured employers to become more transparent about pay.
Employers may also need to look at other emerging options within the total rewards framework in order to distinguish themselves from their competitors. Career development — along with flexible work options — topped the list of most requested total rewards in a recent WorldatWork study. As part of broader efforts to improve data utilization, organizations might need to collect data on their total rewards programs. That data can be used to analyze how well rewards programs are meeting workers' needs and attracting, retaining and engaging talent.
The total rewards framework also points to a larger trend in how employers are shaping their value proposition: work is becoming more integrated with workers' personal lives. Choosing the right benefits packages with this mindset can allow employers to craft customizable solutions that better fit the talent pools at the top of organizational recruitment priorities.