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Total rewards refer to all the tools available to the employer that may be used to motivate, attract and retain employees. It includes what the employee perceives to be valuable resulting from the employment relationship. Employers have always had a challenge of how to motivate, attract and retain their employees (Blackburn & Perry, 2007).

Describe each of the top five (5) advantages of a total rewards approach

Increased flexibility

Both employees and employers desire more of the flexibility.
As the benefit of flexibility has already become a bit understood, more business are allowing their employees to determine their time of work, where they would like to work, and how they would wish to work. Total rewards considers what their employees want, and in most instances demand, the capability to integrate their work and their lifestyle.

Improved Recruitment and Retention

Today, workers are focusing beyond the “big picture” as they decide where they would wish to work. Personal life and work should be looked at as related priorities, and not competing ones. When an organization helps its employees run both their work and personal lives, the workers feel a greater commitment to the company. In addition, a lot of studies have shown that workers look at total rewards when deciding on whether to stay or join with an organization.

Healthcare Coverage

This is a piece of a total rewards typical package that encompasses all vision, medical and dental and still long-term and long-term disability insurance that is offered by an employer.

Retirement Programs

Retirement programs that are offered in the total rewards packages can include non-matching or matching 402 (k) accounts. In large corporations, a profit sharing and purchasing stock program may be offered as well.

Financial Compensation

Workers compensation mainly consists of the base salary, merit and overtime increases. This still includes incentives compensation like bonuses.

Describe five (5) common ways a total rewards strategy can go astray.

Although total rewards strategy builds up healthy relationships with employers and the employees, it can also go astray; Feeling of dissatisfaction or discrimination among employees. If the employees feel that the reward assessment process might not be transparent.

Staff morale might fall if there is a big difference in reward being paid out to an individual doing similar work.

Staff may become very focused on people earning those rewards that they forget to work in the very best interests of the whole team. Competition can be fair but if it’s too aggressive it may be detrimental.

Always there will be a judgment element required to administer the system. Somebody have to rate the staff’s performance. This judgment might end up being a bit subjective rather than being objective.

Some functions are in nature support roles (and therefore might not attract much rewards as some other roles like sales). There must be a fair balance of rewards for these support staff or they will not feel any appreciation.

Describe the six (6) steps in designing a total rewards program.

Coming up with a total rewards program specific to an institution’s requires some initial homework in establishing a baseline of what one can already offer and in developing a bit more strategic approach towards rewards.

Inventory rewards. Conduct a detailed, accurate and full inventory of rewards that are currently offered by the institution that normally fall into five elements of ROW model. This type of inventory should involve both informal programs and formal practices. Some of this type of information is obviously available but most of it requires investigation, particularly in big, decentralized institutions. Consider focus teams as a way to recognize the rewards and to provide interest and commitment in this process through the institution.

Measure investment. To your level best, calculate the latest level of investment in each and every element to come up with a baseline and to make changes. In some of the cases, the measurement will definitely help gauge competitiveness (benefits, salary etc.) and also investment. In some other cases, the cost of institution of the reward may be measured but shaping competitiveness will be more difficult.

Increasing information. Through a clear communication, employees realize the full suite of the rewards that are available to them. Link total rewards strategy towards institutional strategy, and consider making a distinctive logo and name. Use your strategy that is customized as a base for measuring workers satisfaction, engagement and understanding through surveys and some other workers feedback techniques.

Implement improvements. Execution and implementation are essential to a realized total rewards program. Vague practices, unclear communication and inconsistent implementation contribute to less-than-effective program. Setting priorities for enhancing or developing rewards and communicating improvements will automatically demonstrate a commitment of the institution to employees.

Measure impact. A total rewards program constitutes a vibrant plan. Keeping the plan’s relevance needs regular review of the institution’s external influences and initiatives. A review of the strategy’s effectiveness requires to be incorporated in the routine planning processes in which your institution often conducts. This is a very different process of measurement than the expenditures measurement.

Involve the community. Involve faculty, staff and leadership in understanding the total rewards program and how it usually supports the overall institution’s strategic direction. This goes far beyond communicating the real program. Illustrate the inks among new initiatives and strategies. Make use surveys to recognize what is valued or is not valued. Take the opportunity to refresh and review the strategy by finding input from those that are most impacted. Broad understanding and involving will help in ensuring the continuity of relevance of total rewards program to the institution.

Describe the eight (8) steps in the communication process.

Understand the function of the communication. Regardless of the issue, communication should be designed with a specific goal. It should then be implemented expressly to obtain some result. That result may be increasing awareness. It might also be generating a certain action. Regardless of whatever purpose, communication should not just "happen." If you cannot discover a reason for communicating, you shouldn't then communicate.

Encourage the internal customers to come together and discuss the issue. This is not however an easy task. Everyone might be busy, and most often your customers will need you to "do something." To overcome the resistance, you have to present solid benefits of making the time to step back and then think of the best way of address the issue.

Gather the additional input. Depending on the sensitivity, level of controversy or complexity of an issue, you may wish to gather some additional input from the other people within the organization. You might wish to poll the workers to determine their latest level of knowledge concerning an issue. You may need to hold focus teams to uncover the potential misperceptions or biases. The more you become aware of an issue, the better you will be in a position to present it accurately and knowledgeably.

Identify the audiences. Audience is not "everybody." For communication to be more effective, it should be targeted. That is, if you want to communicate something about budget cuts, the information that you share with the managers will be a bit different from information that you share with the frontline customers or staff. Even among the employee groups, the variations may need different communication tools or different messages. For instance, off-site staff might not have a ready access towards the business intranet and will therefore need to get the hard copy information or information by phone (Blackburn, 2007).

Create "key messages." Identify messages that are most important for you to convey. Focus and be succinct on "need to know" that is based on outcomes that you're looking for. Don't try conveying too much, or else you will confuse your audience. Just hit the most high points.

Develop a timeline. The order by which you can inform the audiences can be critical. For instance, if one put a notice in the employee newsletter concerning a benefit change before having informed the managers about that change, the managers might feel that he or she has been undermined and in a disadvantage when involves answering employee questions.

Develop a plan. Considering the timelines, audiences and messages that you have developed, make a written plan outlining the communication processes and tools that you will be using. The plans include the background, the messages and target the audiences you have identified. You will also need to detail the tact that are specific that you will use in conveying your messages.

Start inside first. Your workers are a beneficial audience for the communication messages--even the marketing messages concerning the products and services. The more they know and understand them, the more they will help you exactly share your messages.

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