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New ways of work call for a fresh approach to Total Rewards communication

By Michael Tyukodi | January 28, 2022

Work and ways of working have changed, and that’s put an expiration on how you connect with employees.
Ukupne nagrade |Benessere integrato
Risque de pandémie

Is the “sell by” or “best if used by” date on your second-favorite condiment an actual expiration, or merely a suggestion? Even if it’s been in your refrigerator for a little too long, you can still use your sense of taste and smell to validate that date and decide if you want to add that condiment to your sandwich.

Organizationally, many companies stick with what they know – with what’s been sitting on the shelf for years. For example, they may stick with the familiar approach of delivering an annual Total Rewards summary that is designed to communicate to employees that what they get in exchange for their labor goes beyond their paycheck.

But employees have choices in today’s tight labor market and, quite frankly, can probably find another employer that’s willing to offer more. And, as work and the ways of working continue to evolve post pandemic, employers need to go beyond the usual sniff test and really rethink – and refresh – how they communicate.

Today’s leading organizations still provide the data behind the overall cost of Total Rewards, but they’re adding on a little something extra: what it really means to be part of the organization and reasons why employees should stay. How are they accomplishing this? With a differentiated employee experience.


Organizational culture can be a significant reason for employee turnover. Companies with a great culture infuse it as part of the value of working there. After all, who wouldn’t want to work in a collaborative and supportive work environment, where everyone is working toward fulfilling their mission and enjoying their work while they do it? Promoting a strong culture can be the secret sauce for Total Rewards communications. Even the best Total Rewards programs won’t convince employees to stay in a toxic environment or work with managers who they don’t trust.

Career opportunities

Career development opportunities are an integral component of your Total Rewards packages. Highlighting opportunities to upskill and reskill talent helps retain staff who keeps the organization moving forward. Being able to promote opportunities for growth that could lead to promotions and the ability to earn more is an element of Total Rewards communications that is often missed.

ESG commitments

Currently there are four generations in the workforce, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues are extremely important to some (if not all) of them. Similar to culture, ESG messaging can be tied to the Total Rewards value proposition. Employees value that their organization isn’t putting profits above all else and is working to meet ESG goals. Weaving in the corporate stance on key issues that employees can see in action may retain and motivate them to stay.


Financial, physical and mental wellbeing are key elements to any Total Rewards program. Employers need to determine if employees are getting the most from their wellbeing programs. Consolidating wellbeing into the Total Rewards umbrella gives employees easy access to tools and resources when they need them most – in the moments that matter. And with targeted messaging, employers can target unique employee segments based on which tools they need most.

So, how do you know if your Total Rewards communications are about to expire? Listen to your employees. Gather feedback. Analyze the data. With this information, you can rebuild your package and communicate it in a fresh way that goes beyond a focus on cost. And connecting culture, career opportunities, ESG and wellbeing to your Total Rewards communications is a must. It reflects what employees want – along with acknowledging our new ways of working.


Senior Director, Employee Experience
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