Work-Life and Wellness Program Incentives Essential to Total Rewards

by: Nichole Gunn October 25, 2010

WorldatWork and Mercer conducted a recent study which included 741 multinational companies. The study, "The State of Total Rewards Integration," demonstrated that over 50 percent of businesses include work-life initiatives a necessary reward strategy. Pertinent survey findings were presented at the annual WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition in Grapevine, TX.

In regard to the study title, Total Rewards refers to a calculated combination of multiple work benefits and incentives including: “compensation, benefits, work-life, career development and recognition to attract, motivate and retain talent.”

The study examined the scope and advancement of companies implementing Total Rewards. According to the press released by Human Resources Marketer, 59 percent “of respondents included work-life (flexible work schedules, extra vacation and sabbaticals) in addition to compensation (base salary, incentives and guaranteed payments) and benefits (retirement and medical)”. In regard to recent changes to programs, 40 percent enhanced or newly implemented wellness programs. Twenty-one percent implemented flexible work schedules to their rewards mix.

Due to current economic difficulties, many organizations needed to put cost concerns ahead of “talent considerations.” Steve Gross, Senior Partner and Total Rewards Leader at Mercer, explained, "Balancing no- or low-cost Total Rewards components such as work-life initiatives with pay and benefits is critical for retaining top performers, attracting new employees and enhancing the company's financial performance."

Another report presented by WorldatWork concluded that different rewards are desired by employees at different “stages in life.” These findings will necessitate businesses keep the creative juices flowing to enhance or change incentive strategies as needed.