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Now is the Time to Reinforce your Total Rewards Programs

Health and Benefits|Talent|Total Rewards|Integrated Wellbeing
COVID 19 Coronavirus

By Robin Moore and Mike Tyukodi | May 8, 2020

During these isolating times, there is an opportunity for employers to forge a stronger bond with employees by demonstrating empathy and compassion.

Every day, your employees deliver results for your business and your customers by showing up in ways that put your values first. Now, more than ever, employees are sacrificing, stretching, and making it work in 100 different and new ways. Self-isolating, home schooling children, acting as the family therapist for anxiety and depression, or in many fields – keeping the train on the tracks, life in our blood, and food on the shelves.

And while we are all dealing with this new normal full of uncertainty and—let’s face it, some fear—we are watching as markets react, employees are furloughed, and organizations make tough decisions to keep the lights on.

During these isolating times, there is an opportunity for employers to forge a stronger bond with employees by demonstrating empathy and compassion. Employers can do this by providing inspiration, focusing on the future, and offering decision making support.

Provide Inspiration by Raising Awareness

Offer flexibility so employees can continue to bring their best selves and their best work to the table. Remind employees about all of the benefits and programs that you offer as part of your total rewards package and how they can access them during this time. Total rewards is not a number and it includes so much more than what employees see in their paycheck. It is health and retirement programs, pay and stock opportunities, and important programs that cover wellbeing or financial counselling, legal advice, child care support, and paid time off policies.

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These programs exist for a time just like today. Do your employees know how to best take advantage of everything that you offer?

Focus on the Future by Being Transparent

If we take a moment to look ahead, it seems evident that many organizations will feel this in the pocketbook. Our Willis Towers Watson pulse survey about COVID-19’s impact on incentive plans in late February indicated participating organizations expect a negative impact on business results in 2020. And employees will likely feel it too since most incentive plans are based on company and individual performance.

This provides an opportunity to reinforce the value of Total Rewards. Employers invest significantly in programs that employees do not understand or fully appreciate. But if you’re not currently communicating the value, giving employees a reason to care, and showing them how to best utilize their programs, the time to act is now.

A total rewards portal allows employers to establish a baseline of what is available today. It also creates a dedicated total rewards communication channel to help employees take advantage of all the benefits you have to offer.

With some total rewards communication groundwork in place, the conversation in 2021 around incentive payouts may be a little bit easier. Employees will have a better line of site to reflect back on their prior years and recognize this situation is just a bump in the road – a bump felt around the world.


Associate Director– Talent & Rewards, Employee Experience Platform Solutions

North America Talent Line of Business Software Sales Leader

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