How well do you communicate your total rewards or the value of their benefits package to your employees? Do your employees know that fully 30-40% of their total compensation comes in the form of benefits or do they, as is far more likely, truly only see the pay reflected in their paycheck?
I see this topic of benefits communication frequently discussed in the news, in the HR blogging community, in sessions at various industry tradeshows – and that is good. Indeed, we do need to communicate total compensation to employees so that they better understand not only the company’s full investment in them, but how much the company truly values them as employees.
And yet, a point missing from the discussion of communication of total rewards/total compensation is just this: Do we fully understand what it is about their total rewards package that most matters to employees?
I don’t think we do. CEOs don’t even understand the primary motivators for direct C-level reports. An ExcuNet survey (as reported in the Wall Street Journal) showed CEOs and their reports think differently about top reasons to stay at a company:
What does this tell me? That even at the highest levels of an organization, employees are seeking meaning over money, yet we largely communicate to them only the monetary investment we make in them. Tammy Erickson in a Harvard Business Review blog post put it this way:
“For many today, meaning is the new money. It's what people are looking for at work. Clear company values, translated into the day-to-day work experience, are one of the strongest drivers of an engaged workforce, one primed for successful collaboration.”
How well are we translating company values into something meaningful in the everyday tasks of employees? One of the most powerful ways to do this is through strategic employee recognition that encourages frequent and timely recognition of employee actions and behaviors that reflect company values.
Communicating meaning becomes automatic when every recognition given is linked to a company value and accompanied by a detailed message of precisely how the person being recognized demonstrated that value along with the importance of them doing so to achieving a greater goal or objective. This also creates a single “language” of recognition across an incredibly diverse and distributed workforce. All employees - regardless of division, geographic region or rank – clearly understand what behaviors and actions are worthy of recognition and why.
What are you communicating to employees? Salary? Total compensation? Total rewards? The true meaning and value of their work within the bigger picture? Which do you think is most important to convey?
As Globoforce’s Head of Strategic Consulting, Derek Irvine is an internationally minded management professional with over 20 years of experience helping global companies set a higher ambition for global strategic employee recognition, leading workshops, strategy meetings and industry sessions around the world. His articles on fostering and managing a culture of appreciation through strategic recognition have been published in Businessweek, Workspan and HR Management. Derek splits his time between Dublin, Montreal and Boston. Follow Derek on Twitter at @globoforce.