Performance recognition, flex-time and paid time-off policies most favored by employers, survey finds

Total rewards strategies that empower organizations to attract, motivate, retain and engage employees remain a popular business model in today’s workplace, according to a new survey, “Total Rewards Programs and Practices” by WorldatWork. The idea of total rewards emerged in the 1990s and has accelerated as companies realize they must take a much broader look at external forces such as economics, the labor market, cultural norms and regulatory changes reshaping the workplace. The 2015 survey was designed to measure the prevalence of 50 specific types of total rewards programs and practices.

Performance and recognition programs continue to be hallmark talent management tools, with 91 percent of those surveyed reporting that they use informal recognition, such as manager/peer appreciation and personal and professional celebrations, to guide employee engagement and performance. For compensation programs, 74 percent of companies surveyed extend hiring bonuses, and 92 percent of companies surveyed offer performance-based pay increases to attract and retain workers.

According to the report, 81 percent of companies surveyed provide a preferred provider organization (PPO) medical plan and 93 percent offer flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Workplace flexibility continues to gain momentum among employers with 47 percent of employers surveyed adopting a paid time off (PTO) bank that gives employees a cumulative number of paid days off to use as they wish for sick days, vacation and/or other personal needs. Sixty nine percent of companies reported allowing employees flex time and 71 percent offering employees the choice of teleworking.

“Creating a work environment that makes your employees feel like assets to your company is an essential part of today’s business,” said Anne Ruddy, president and CEO of WorldatWork. “By designing an effective total rewards program, organizations align their business goals and results with employee pay, performance, development and work-life culture. Total rewards becomes a win-win tool for both the employer and employee.”


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