October 17, 2017

Why a Total Rewards Program Makes Sense for the Future of Work

Lisa Sterling

As Chief People and Culture Officer, Lisa is responsible for executing Ceridian's global people strategy combined with leading the vision on the Dayforce Talent Management offering.

Many people think about the term “compensation” as the pay or salary they receive for the work they do for an organization. As part of our employee experience, we use the term “total rewards”, because our approach is to consider all the things an individual receives as part of the rewards infrastructure for their role. This includes not only monetary compensation, but also benefits, perks and career development initiatives, to name a few.

It’s key to remember that a rewards program is meant to encourage employee retention and motivation, and it’s also an ever-evolving conversation between managers and their team members.

Taking the broader view

Ceridian looks at total rewards more broadly than many organizations we have seen to date. Rewards are not just the tangible things; they are about working with people to make them well-rounded employees. Part of that is obviously the monetary pieces like salary and bonuses, but it’s also the perks like the service milestone programs, flexibility in the workplace, and time away from work. At Ceridian, we offer programs like education in financial wellness, student loan replacement and well-being engagements, all of which are part of the total rewards experience. Our focus is to help employees be smarter about their overall well-being and provide them with multiple avenues to achieving their goals.

Creating a Total Rewards program

Our philosophies around rewards developed organically. There wasn’t a massive initiative to fundamentally change our philosophy about what compensation means. We listened to our people. We asked the questions we wanted to truly know the answers to and then began creating experiences that aligned with the desires of our people. In addition, we engaged our leaders to educate them on what “total rewards” really means. We asked for their assistance in changing the conversation to focus more on the holistic approach versus just speaking about salary and bonus. What occurred was a natural transformation and one that was driven by our people, not forced upon them.

Our total rewards experience focuses on people who are contributing – to the company, their peers and their customers – and who are influencing others in the organization. That’s a big change from rewarding people based on a performance score, which we all know is highly subjective and lacks the impact it was designed to have initially.

We’ve also helped our leaders move from managing via the theory of performance to understanding contribution and influence by giving them several tools and working with them to define what they should be recognizing. One of the tools we use is LifeWorks – our global employee recognition and engagement platform that empowers everyone from managers to peers to recognize employee contributions. The recognition can help leaders know who the influencers are, and help them make rewards-related decisions.

We also removed our pay for performance model, completely separating our performance development conversations from our compensation decisions. That has empowered leaders to really understand and reward those employees who earn it.

Global experience, personalized rewards

One of the questions frequently asked is how to create a program that is equitable for everyone, whether they’re salaried or hourly, or employed full- or part-time. Part of developing a global total rewards program is understanding it’s not one-size-fits-all. People appreciate and value personalized experiences as long as the objectives and outcomes remain consistent and they feel rewarded for their contributions. Ceridian addresses this is in part by being focused on creating a global experience with personalization for different types of roles.

Total Rewards in the Future of Work

The very nature of work is changing due to innovation, digitization and new definitions of work-life blend, so looking to the future, total rewards programs make sense. A broader, holistic approach to rewarding employees encourages engagement and retention, and can be empowering for all people. Additionally, making it part of an on-going conversation encourages transparency between employees and their leaders, and allows the organization as a whole to adapt quickly to marketplace changes, and remain relevant for the long-term.

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