The 4 Factors Critical to a Smart Total Rewards Program

Recent Total Rewards research conducted by WorldatWork surveyed 2,300 HR pros from around world on the top factors they see as critical to moving the Total Rewards profession forward.

Those four factors from the research are listed below, with my comments.

1. Enhancing employee engagement

My view: As engagement gains more and more acceptance in the broader community, there are also more and more detractors. This is to be expected as too many focus on the “engagement survey” and not enough on what the survey reveals or the actions taken as a result of the survey.

But as this research shows, HR pros clearly understand that true engagement efforts draw employees deeper into the culture and expectations of the organization, helping them contribute in more meaningful, valuable and worthwhile ways.

2. Quantifying HR impact on the organization

My view:What gets measured, gets respected.” This twist on the common aphorism is of even more importance to the HR community as they are often shunted aside as the “party planners” who deal with “the complainers.” Moving out of this perception requires proving the impact of HR efforts in numbers the CFO cares about – the direct impact on the bottom line.

3. Effectively communicating

My view: One of the most common complaints from employees is a lack of communication from management, especially on greater context for changing priorities and strategies. HR pros can play a critical role in helping to train managers to be better communicators, but they can also take steps to better communicate key messages more directly themselves through programs under their direct control, such as strategic recognition that’s focused on organization priorities and objectives.

Article Continues Below

4. Tying rewards to business strategy

My view: We all understand that we are paid for the work we do. But we become much more convicted in that work when we understand the underlying importance and value of our contributions to overall organization success. This requires every employee both knowing the business strategy and knowing how they contribute to achieving it.

Again, HR pros can help with a strategic recognition program that makes strategic objectives the central focus. In this way, employees are recognized frequently and in a timely way any time they contribute to achieving the strategy in line with company values.

What factors do you see as critical to the success of the HR profession moving forward?

You can find more from Derek Irvine on his Recognize This! blog.

Derek Irvine is one of the world’s foremost experts on employee recognition and engagement, helping business leaders set a higher vision and ambition for their company culture. As the Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting at Globoforce, Derek helps clients — including some of world’s most admired companies such as Proctor and Gamble, Intuit, KPMG, and Thomson Reuters — leverage recognition strategies and best practices to better manage company culture, elevate employee engagement, increase retention, and improve the bottom line. He's also a renowned speaker and co-author of Winning with a Culture of Recognition. Contact him at


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *