Employee Benefits Live 2010: Total reward statements critical to employee engagement

Total reward statements are vital to employees gaining a better understanding of their reward package, according to Helen Ratcliffe, global compensation and benefits adviser at National Grid.

The company surveyed its employee base after implementing total reward statements in 2009, and found that 33% strongly agree and 58% agree that the statements helped them to better understand their pay and benefits package.

Addressing delegates in the session ‘Total reward: Creating an impact through total reward statements’ at Employee Benefits Live on 28 September, Ratcliffe explained that many employees only consider their salary as their total reward package, so the company introduced statements to help staff better understand the value of all the benefits offered, including pension contributions, healthcare benefits and share schemes.

Ratcliffe also spoke about the challenges involved in implementing total reward statements for a dispersed employee base. With field-based employees as well as the office-based management and executive population, the company surveyed staff about their preferred method of receiving statements.

As a result of this feedback, this year the company will only publish paper statements, to meet the preferences of the majority of employees and to cut the cost of producing statements via both methods.

The key to the success of implementing total reward statements is to set a clear objective and stick to it, said Ratcliffe.†

The critical success factors that National Grid set at the beginning of the project were communication, clarity and accuracy. “You need to be clear from the beginning what you’re trying to do with the statements; it’s important to keep going back to that,” she said.