Total Reward Strategy
The concept of total rewards target staff motivation in an effort to boost productivity and also to
minimize staff turnover. The elements of total rewards are Compensation, Benefits, Performance
and recognition, work life, Development and career opportunities. Rewards that are extrinsically
motivated are mostly tangible and are physically visible like cash incentives, gifts and other
items of value. Rewards that are intrinsically motivated are nonmaterial and intangible like trust
or respect. Compensation and benefits are mostly conceptualized as motivators that are extrinsic
rewards while performance and recognition are motivated intrinsically. However, development
and other career opportunities that affect personal skills development are considered motivated
both intrinsically and extrinsically. (Giancola, 2010)
Positive reinforcement increases performance levels. The total rewards prescribed by the
WorldatWork model could ordinarily serve as a motivating factor however the individual effects
that each reinforce is capable of achieving must also be considered. (Payne, Cook, Horner, Shaub
and Boswell, 2011)
Two of the five WorldWork’s reward elements on employee individual motivation, benefits,
bonuses and other short-term benefits are basically the financial rewards that affect the employee
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relationship engagement the most. Short term incentives and bonuses score high because of they
are directly connected to performance. Recognition on the other hand has very little effect on
employee reward motivation. This is mainly because very few companies issue awards on
recognition formally through formal programs. The work, its quality and environment, career
development and other leadership rewards are intangible and which have profound effect on
most employee engagement. Total rewards strategy allows resources to be focused on tailored
activities that literally target performance in a prescribed timeline. When it’s implemented
successfully its capable of achieving a sustainable and a competitive process where all
employees are motivated towards achieving the company’s objectives. (Hiles, 2009)
Short term benefits are particularly effective because of their financial nature as they affect the
performance of employees directly. Bonuses that are paid in form of money motivate the
employees to work hard an increase their productivity. The WorldWork model on total rewards
encompasses all the programs an employer utilizes to supplement the employees compensation
which also includes group insurance (includes medical, dental or retirement)
The option of customized rewards provides an opportunity for experienced employees to
negotiate their own benefit reward packages and which can play a key role in retaining
professional employees. However in an organization with a huge number of employees may the
customized reward benefit package may be a little challenging. (Ryan & Leaf, 2010)
One benefit is that the employees would be greatly motivated as a feeling of trust and mutual
respect will develop between the management and the staff. By allowing the employees to
choose a preferable benefit reward plan, the employees will also have a feeling of belonging and
a sense of teamwork will develop which can be result in more productivity.
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The customized reward packages may be too diverse to accommodate all the needs of the
employees. Also when calculating the remuneration and compensation benefits, it would be
challenging to consolidate all the calculations for the diverse plans of all employees especially
for multinational companies that have huge number of employees in their payrolls.
No, different organizations have different needs whose reward benefit schemes or strategies may
be a different from the others. Workers working in a quarry site would certainly be more
interested in the personal insurance covers instead of the monetary bonuses. The same case with
bankers who would peg their benefits to the annual bonuses that would ordinarily be pegged to
the set annual targets. All organizations should tailor their individual reward preferences to the
needs of the employees depending on its financial status.
The customized reward benefit packages should be encouraged as the employees find it easier to
decide on their own what they prefer as their reward benefits plan. If employees are allowed to
choose and customize their own benefit plans then the effects would be positive and also
contribute positively towards the retention of employees and also reduces the staff turnover.
Employees should be allowed to tailor their reward packages to fit their needs and their
preferences but the packages should be restricted to the available alternatives that have been set
by the management.
As an employee I would prefer the traditional reward system that has been set by the
management. This alternative is better as it will hold the management to account in the event that
the company fails to honor its pledges.
Finally, staff reward strategies are meant to motivate the employees to work hard and achieve the
company’s objective. The choice of a strategy should be in line with the industry’s requirements
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Giancola, F. (2010) Was Our Initial Confidence In the Total Rewards Concept Justified.
WorldatWork Journal Fourth Quarter.
Hiles, A. (2009) Tough Times Demand Focus – Total Rewards Strategy, Benefits Quarterly;
Fourth Quarter 2009; 25, Proquest Central pg 44.
Ryan, R. and Leaf, M. (2010) Beyond Compensation: How Employees Prioritize Total Rewards
at various Life Stages. WorldatWork Journal Fourth Quarter.
Payne, S.C. Cook, L.A., Horner, M.T., Shaub, M.K. and Boswell, W.R. (2011) The Relative
Influence of Total Rewards Elements on Motivation and Retention. WorldatWork Journal