Case Study: Buckinghamshire County Council’s total reward strategy

County Council understands that it takes more than pay and traditional perks to get employees fired up.

The council’s total reward strategy encompasses everything from training to the working environment as well as old favourites such as pensions, childcare vouchers and company cars.

Motivation is about more than just pay and bonuses, says Debbie Cairns, group HR manager at the council, which has 14,500 staff, including 10,000 in schools. “We look at various engagement factors over and above basic pay and benefits. We include flexible working, a development agenda which includes on and off-the-job development, and out-of-work learning opportunities, career breaks and sabbaticals,” adds Cairns.

Buckinghamshire was one of the first councils to consider trialling total reward statements.

“The statements quantify people’s full packages in financial terms. If the pilot is successful we hope to provide them on an annual basis for employees from next year,” says Cairns.

The organisation measures the success of its total reward strategy with annual opinion surveys. Employees answer questions on subjects such as the working environment and work-life balance, providing a steady stream of feedback.