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Success Story

How data led to a total rewards transformation

August 1, 2023

Using data-driven decision-making, a global retailer embarked on a Total Rewards Optimization initiative to uncover employee preferences and reimagine its approach to rewards and benefits.
Employee Experience|Employee Engagement |Health and Benefits|Ukupne nagrade

The Background

Like most companies, this global retailer with 85,000+ employees and $45B in revenue relies on its total rewards programs to attract and retain top talent for positions at every level of the organization. While adjusting quickly to consumer needs during the pandemic, the company also began implementing a new business plan focused on enhancing services related to its products. The company recognized the need to revamp its total rewards program to support this change. Armed with a commitment to data-driven decision-making, it embarked on a comprehensive Total Rewards Optimization initiative to uncover employee preferences and reimagine its approach to rewards and benefits.

The Challenge

While leadership possessed strong perspectives on employee preferences, they recognized the need for hard data to develop a total rewards program aligned with employee preferences and aspirations. The company’s primary challenges were increasing employee retention and upskilling employees to provide customer support and services beyond just selling products. To tackle these challenges effectively, the leadership team understood the importance of identifying the key elements that would attract and retain critical talent within the organization. They needed to gain insights into the differences in preferences between part-time and full-time employees and determine the value employees placed on various rewards and benefits, including both traditional rewards (e.g., short-term incentives, long-term incentives, retirement benefits, time off, store discount) and other types of rewards, including tuition support, disability, wellbeing, recognition, flexibility, parental leave, tuition reimbursement and commuter benefits.

The Approach

To address these challenges, the company embarked on an ambitious Total Rewards Optimization initiative to gather insights and evolve total rewards programs to best serve their current and future employees. The research focused on choice and flexibility in rewards programs and preferences specific to part-time and full-time employees.

In partnership with WTW, the company administered a conjoint survey to all full and part time employees asking about possible trade-offs to different total rewards offerings. The company used the results to model the impact on employee perceived value and financial impacts for the company. They found that there were opportunities to evolve the total reward offerings to both enhance the value to employees while still saving the organization millions of dollars each year. They also identified that there is a misalignment between what employees perceive to be competitive vs. what’s actually market competitive.

The company obtained invaluable feedback from surveys, focus groups, and employee interviews. This data-driven approach ensured that their decisions were rooted in a deep understanding of employee preferences and needs.

The Result

The Total Rewards Optimization results empowered the company to implement strategic changes to its total rewards program, yielding significant outcomes that addressed identified challenges:

  1. Increased Retention and Conversion: Recognizing the value of part-time employees and their importance to the company’s future strategy, the company introduced paid time off benefits for part time employees. The initiative was met with enthusiasm and significantly contributed to increased satisfaction and loyalty and a meaningful decline in part time turnover.
  2. Enhanced Health Insurance Plans: Armed with insights from the study and a focus on employee well-being, the company revamped health and wellbeing plans to provide employees with a wider range of options and greater flexibility. This move showcased the company's dedication to employee well-being and garnered positive feedback from the workforce.
  3. Employee Recognition and Performance Management: The Total Rewards Optimization initiative shed light on the importance of recognizing and rewarding employees' contributions. They redesigned their performance management process and introduced a new recognition program. These initiatives aimed to acknowledge outstanding employee performance and foster a culture of appreciation and well-being, resulting in heightened engagement and job satisfaction.

This company successfully transformed its total rewards program to align with current market and strategic challenges through its data-driven approach. They recognized the value of employee input as a vital part of an overall total rewards strategy and how important it is to, on an ongoing basis, work to understand the needs and preferences of their specific employee population. Finally, the company realized the value of the survey itself serving as a communication tool to employees about what’s essential to the organization and the value they place on employee input.

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