Rewards strategy

Create a powerful employee total rewards strategy that is centered around the voice of the employee to prioritize investments with employee needs. Through better and more thoughtful listening, you can achieve more efficient investments, reduce turnover from an enhanced employee value proposition and promote a culture that listens and cares.

Create total rewards that deliver a great employee experience

Compensation and benefits leaders are innovating in new and different ways to provide better employee experiences and unlock value for the business. At the core of total rewards is the voice of the employee and insights into what matters to them so total rewards teams can be solutions-focused, aligned with their customers and support their decisions with data and analytics. This is what will differentiate you as an employer in attracting, engaging and retaining an exceptional workforce.
Central to the total rewards strategy is more thoughtful listening so organizations can accomplish:
  • More efficient investment in programs leading to greater ROI
    Realign current investments to ensure dollars are being spent in areas that drive the most value, identify wasted spend and reallocate in more leverageable areas, including effective prioritization for future areas of investment.
  • Reduced turnover through an enhanced employee value proposition
    Align the needs of the workforce with the total rewards offerings, differentiate from competitors, increase retention and decrease the cost of turnover.
  • A culture of listening and continued dialogue
    Demonstrate that leadership cares about the voice of the employee and is willing to listen and use the needs of employees as input into decisions.
The future of rewards is total rewards, so explore the full mix in your employee value proposition (EVP). Use unique retention strategies for different employee populations that respond to what they personally value most.

The total rewards employees need and how employers are responding

Working in partnership to stay competitive in a tight talent market with what employees want and how organizations are responding
  • Better pay1
    51% of organizations say they will be investing in 2023 to rethink their compensation philosophy and implement new practices.2
  • Better flexibility and work-life balance1
    57% of organisations have, or are considering, expanding the types of flexibility they offer.2
  • Better healthcare benefits1
    70% of organizations say they are enhancing health and benefits offerings in 2023.2
  • Better retirement benefits1
    55% of organizations say they are investing in financial wellness programs that increase long-term financial security.2
  1. Mercer’s 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds Study 
  2. 2023 Global Talent Trends Pulse Survey of HR Leaders

Creating a meaningful total rewards strategy

It starts with understanding what employees need and value. Listen in and dig deeper with research methodologies that explore more than just program satisfaction, such as digital focus groups and conjoint surveys. Gain insights to inform your total rewards strategy and prioritize offerings to reflect what is meaningful for your workforce. Round out compensation and benefits with support for well-being to deliver a positive employee experience.

Benchmarking is also important, but at the right time so you know where to focus. Start with what employees’ value most. This will help to ensure that:

  • Employee compensation is aligned with their values.
  • The compensation plan is competitive with the market.
  • Pay equity and pay transparency comply with company policies, employee expectations and local legislation.
The top three areas employees say will do the most to reduce burnout and improve mental health include: reduced workload, enhanced employee assistance program (EAP) and access to mental health apps. How are organizations responding? By focusing on the work, expanding access to behavioral health and destigmatizing and steering to care. 

What do employees say will do the most to reduce burnout and improve mental health?

  1. Reduce workload
  2. Enhanced employee assistance program (EAP)
  3. Access to mental health apps

How are organizations responding?

Focusing on the work

40% say they will design work with well-being in mind (e.g. realistics workloads, no-meeting days, reduce complexity, positive work environment, etc.)2

Expanding access behavioral health

67% say they will provide enhanced EAP and 62% say they are adding on-line rosources (apps, articles, classes, etc.)3

Destigmatizing and steering to care

35% plan to provide manager training, 26% say they will provide employee training,and 25% say they are conducting a communications campaign.

  1. Mercer’s 2022 Inside Employees’ Minds Study
  2. 2023 Global Talent Trends Pulse Survey of HR Leaders
  3. Mercer’s Health and Benefits Strategies for 2023 Survey - Results for Employers with > 500 Employees

2023 Global Talent Trends

Do you know what employees want in their total rewards? We can help. Discover what is top of mind for employees and HR leaders in the United States.

Putting it all together

Differentiate your business as a great place to work by offering robust and meaningful total rewards. Listen in with the right research methodologies, gain actionable insights and take action. You don’t need to go it alone. Mercer is here to help.
  • Employee rewards

    A new shape of work is rapidly unfolding. Employee needs and expectations are expanding. Are you listening in to what matters to offer the right rewards and incentives?
  • Employee value propositions

    Measure and enhance the employee experience, gain insights, unlock performance and create a compelling value proposition.
  • Pay equity

    Review and resolve pay inequities, reduce risk, increase diversity, and drive organizational success with our comprehensive, objective and efficient global methodology.
  • Compensation and benefits data

    Use data to inform compensation and benefits strategies and benchmark to align with your purpose, talent strategy and business goals.
  • Talent All Access Platform

    Talent All Access® Portal+ (TAAP+) is a subscription based platform that provides you with fast and easy access to the data you need to help steer your organization towards success.
  • Employee listening

    Measure and enhance the employee experience, gain insights, unlock performance and empower your organization through employee listening.

Related insights

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