Faced with a structural labor market churn of 23% of jobs in the next five years, leadership teams are undertaking a wholesale rethink of their people, talent and reward strategies in order to design aligned programs that include everything of value an organization provides to its employees.

This hands-on guide to total rewards helps leaders navigate complexity, think holistically and unlock performance through their organization’s rewards program.

An effective total rewards strategy will inspire employees with fit-for purpose value propositions that reflect core business values and priorities. But successful rewards program outcomes encompass a lot more than talent attraction, engagement and retention.

“This is the part that gets leadership teams excited,” says Tom McMullen, Senior Client Partner in Korn Ferry’s Global Total Rewards practice. “A well-designed rewards strategy has the potential to solve some of their toughest organizational challenges such as driving growth, optimizing ROI on investments in people, aligning performance expectations and achieving pay equity and transparency.”

“A well-designed rewards strategy has the potential to solve some of the toughest organizational challenges such as driving growth, optimizing ROI on investments in people, aligning performance expectations and achieving pay equity and transparency.”

Amid a rapidly changing operating environment, it is crucial to remember that people are the key to delivering performance. The complex series of challenges they are facing means an effective employee rewards program must straddle several interconnected parts of the business, from organizational strategy, talent acquisition and performance management to leadership and professional development.

“It’s important to avoid narrow perspectives and to always keep in mind that total rewards is one key part of a greater puzzle that must fit together seamlessly,” says McMullen. “Employee reward programs don’t work if they’re designed in a vacuum.”

Navigating complexity in total rewards strategy

The evolution of employee expectations and values that come with the newer generations in the workforce make traditional approaches to rewards less suitable and effective. There is increasing scrutiny on pay equity and a drive for greater transparency, and new jobs are emerging all the time with no pay precedent. Flatter structures, matrix organizations and contingent workforces mean career paths are no longer clear-cut.

Rewards programs must be flexible enough to address everything from executive pay to salesforce rewards along with broad-based pay fairness, competitiveness, pay-for-performance and fiscal effectiveness. Crucially, total rewards must always provide a strong ROI for the organization.

“There’s no denying that developing an employee rewards program has become increasingly complex,” says McMullen. “We take pride in our track record of helping clients understand the strategic picture and piece together interconnected parts of the business into a multi-faceted rewards solution. Getting rewards wrong risks undermining the significant investments your organization has made in your talent and culture. Getting it right is like stepping on the accelerator.”

Addressing stakeholders’ concerns to build support for an employee rewards program

Employee rewards programs touch every part of the organization, meaning there will be no shortage of stakeholders raising concerns, considerations or outright objections to adjusting a currently existing rewards structure.

You may find that stakeholders’ concerns about an employee rewards program usually revolve around cost, value, time and effort required. Leaders attempting to build support for a total rewards program can expect to field responses to questions around the cost of overhauling a rewards program, time and effort required and how to best gauge what type of rewards employees want.

We can support you in building your business case for stakeholders across the company, planning how you roll out changes and making sure your people understand how your new total rewards program supports the business strategy while aligning with your values and culture.

Based on years of experience in helping clients build a business case for Total Rewards, we have created a section in our Total Rewards guide that details the most common stakeholder concerns, along with suggested responses to help convince the people who may otherwise block or delay your project.

Total Rewards

A great total rewards program is better for business and your employees

What to consider when building a total rewards strategy

Take a step back and make time to consider the bigger picture when it comes to total rewards. Ask yourself how you can take a holistic and integrated approach to rewards while establishing a balance between meeting the needs of the business and its employees.

How will you leverage compensation benchmarking data and work measurement? How can you ensure the right linkage between employee recognition and performance to provide clarity, line of sight and motivation to achieve team and enterprise goals? How can your organization build an employee reward program that’s internally fair and externally competitive? What are the best ways to make the case for change and bring stakeholders along on the journey?

Download the Korn Ferry guide to total rewards strategy

Korn Ferry’s Total Rewards Strategy guide helps leaders develop a fit-for-purpose solution that addresses the toughest organizational and talent reward challenges. Our subject matter experts offer practical advice for navigating internal stakeholder concerns and interests, along with impactful questions to ask when considering an employee rewards solution provider.

We show leaders what they can expect when working with our team of experts: Korn Ferry’s roadmap for Total Rewards success, how we bring it all together and some big promises we stand by.

Read the full report or speak to a Total Rewards solution expert today.


Download the Guide