The Future of Total Rewards

The pandemic changed priorities for many organizations and their workers. It motivated many people to reprioritize their values and what’s important. An increased focus on better care, and physical and mental wellness. More control over where, how, and when to work. A strong push for transparency about everything including pay and total rewards.  

As a result, more intention and focus are being placed on how a total rewards strategy can enable an organization to provide greater care, value, and fulfillment for its workers. 

A total rewards strategy focuses on all aspects of the employee value proposition: 
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Learning & Development 
  • Diversity, Equity & Inclusion
  • Recognition
  • Wellness
  • Community Impact
  • Work Environment & Resources 

When done effectively and geared to meet the needs of your employees, the outcomes can have a positive influence on: 

  • Engagement
  • Retention
  • Attraction
  • Productivity
  • Performance
  • Positive Culture
  • Belonging
  • Meaningful Work 

Total rewards will only add value if they are relevant and used by your employees. It’s not a one size fits all approach as people are all different. Designing a total rewards strategy that has a variety of offerings to meet the diverse needs of your employees is essential to adding value.  

Jackie Esposito, Compensation Consultant at Catapult 

To see a list with some ideas on possible total rewards. Please click here. 

10 Areas to Consider

When considering updating your total reward strategy, consider the following:

1. Assess what you already have in place. 

Don’t start from scratch!  Conduct an audit to find out reward utilization. Are there opportunities to scale back some and add others? Evaluate the cost and usage of current programs and map out the desired state 

2. Gather Feedback 

What do your employees think about your current rewards? Which ones are they using and what rewards would they like to have?  You can gather information through a survey or organize an employee focus group.  Review stay and exit interview data related to rewards and other intentional conversations. 

3. Include Leaders

Share the results of the audit and employee feedback with your leaders making sure to identify current and potential challenges of not having a strong total rewards strategy, such as not being able to attract, engage, and retain talent You will need leadership buy-in and insight into organizational strategy and company goals along with budget approval. 

4. Link to Goals & Priorities 

Think about what you want to achieve with your updated total rewards strategy and how they will support your employees, the community, and your business. 

5. Values and Culture Alignment 

Your total rewards strategy should reflect your mission, vision, values, and culture. With each reward being meaningful and having a purpose. Total rewards can enhance and support your culture 

6. Inclusive & Balanced

Creating a more personalized and customized approach will allow more inclusivity amongst rewards. Think about the needs of all your employees and gear rewards to support the balance of these different needs. Some employees may need childcare assistance while others might need elderly care and then some might just be focused on student loan repayment plans.  

7. Stay Relevant

Keep relevant with what’s happening in the world, your industry, your community, and how it affects your employees. Don’t feel the pressure to implement everything, but you don’t want things to remain complacent and not relevant.  

8. Continuous Communication

Continuous transparent communication using different ways for different learners. Provide relevant, informative, and engaging messaging. Provide a safe and confidential space for employees to ask questions and provide open and honest feedback. 

9. Track Analytics

You need to ensure that your total rewards strategy has a good return on investment over the long term. Track what you’re spending and what impact it has. Track all and every analytics you can to support the decision-making process.  

10. Keep Making Changes

Total rewards are an evolving strategy for all the outcomes listed above. They should represent your employees. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback and be honest about the process. Not all rewards are going to add value, but most will. Don’t fall into the habit of staying safe by not making changes. Challenge your thinking about total rewards with the focus that they can have an incredible impact. 

For more information about total rewards and the resources Catapult has available contact Jackie Esposito, PHR, Catapult Compensation Advisor and Business Partner, at

Written by Catapult Compensation Advisor and Business Partner Jackie Esposito, PHR.