Total Rewards: Impactful Value Exchanges

Employees have choices: they can work for you, but they can also work for other employers. It’s worth asking, “What makes our organization compelling?” and “Why would someone want to work for us versus someone else?”

These questions speak to a value exchange. Employees have labor to offer. In exchange, employers have total rewards elements that are of value to employees. Employees have to value what you’re offering to be motivated. Therefore, it’s critical to understand what motivates employees to work for you, give you their best, and stay with you.

Pay and benefits are often seen as the primary elements in the value exchange, but this view is incomplete. While non-competitive pay and benefits can be demotivating, competitive pay and benefits are very limited in their ability to motivate. These elements are really a requirement. The most motivating total rewards elements are triggered when you are meeting the employee’s social and developmental interests and needs.

Organizations need to attract and retain capable, motivated, and committed employees to meet their goals. Which total reward elements support these goals?

Capable employees possess the required knowledge, skill, and attributes to succeed (consider pay, benefits, time off, work-life balance, and wellness).

Motivated employees are willing to perform at their highest level (consider learning and development, a healthy culture, inspired and capable leadership, and employee involvement and engagement).

Committed employees demonstrate a mental and emotional connection to the organization (consider interesting and meaningful work, community outreach, and good corporate citizenship).

Total rewards should create impactful value exchanges that attract, motivate, and retain great employees. Are you using them to your organization’s advantage?