Buyer’s guide to total reward statements 2012

Key facts

What is a total reward statement?

This is a document that outlines the full benefits package an employee is entitled to receive, including salary, pension and shares. It can also include less conventional benefits, such as health and wellbeing perks, and workplace training provisions.

Where can employers get more information?

Employers can contact their existing benefits or HR and payroll provider to see if it offers an integrated package. All benefits consultancies provide information on total reward statements.

Who are the main providers?

Most reward consultants and benefits providers offer a TRS service, including: Asperity Employee Benefits, Benefex, Buck Consultants, Ceridian, Fair Care, Grass Roots, Hay Group, Jelf Group, Edenred, NorthgateArinso, Personal Group, Staffcare, Strait Logics, Thomsons Online Benefits and Vebnet.

Total reward statements can help to keep employees happy in difficult economic times by showing them the real value of their employment package, says Georgina Fuller

With the economic crisis showing little sign of abating, there has never been a better time to tell staff about their total reward package. Matt Duffy, head of online benefits at Lorica Employee Benefits, says: “It is now even more important to communicate an organisation’s total reward package in the light of low or zero pay rises, or not being able to introduce new benefits. Revisiting benefits that staff may have temporarily overlooked or do not always fully appreciate will, hopefully, remind them they are still valued as employees.

“Some employers are reinforcing their benefits policy or entitlements, but not attributing a monetary value. They are looking to remind employees of all the things they do, such as perhaps free Friday breakfasts, enhanced maternity or paternity leave and access to employee assistance programmes.”

Employers are also trying to quantify the value of less traditional benefits in total reward statements (TRS), such as workplace training, holiday entitlement and the value of savings made through voluntary benefits plans.

TRS are available in both paper and electronic formats. Historically, they have been posted to staff as paper documents at certain times of the year, but organisations are now seeking a more integrated approach.

Online and offline

Mark Carman, director of communications services at benefits provider Edenred, says: “A combination of online and offline TRS is the most effective way of offering it to staff. Issuing a paper statement can be used as the pinnacle of a total reward project and its communication, but the online element allows staff to keep up to date with all benefits information, including shares and pension values.”

Timing is still a critical factor when delivering TRS. Kuljit Kaur, head of business development at P&MM Motivation, says:“A key consideration is using TRS as a tool to counteract potential negative news. For example, employers may choose to use TRS when news such as a cancelled annual bonus is in the pipeline. The start of the year is also a good time when people are planning for the year ahead and setting their new year’s resolutions.”

Kaur believes smartphone applications (apps) will also become a popular way to present TRS to staff in coming years. “Looking ahead, I am sure an HR app for the smartphone will become available and provide the main information to the employee,” she adds.

Despite the economic downturn, TRS costs remain competitive, so should remain popular despite tight budgets. “TRS costs can be as little as £2 per employee for large organisations or £100 per employee for an organisation of 100 people,” says Carman. “There are no tax issues and employers can show how much employees save on tax and national insurance if they have chosen to take a benefit via salary sacrifice.”

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