Benefits and Compensation

Matching Your Total Rewards to Your Talent

Start by taking a talent inventory, says Barton, who is chief operating officer of Willis North America Human Capital Practice. She made her suggestions at the recent SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition in Orlando. You might start by populating a chart such as this, she says:

Then think about what you can offer to each type of employee:

  • Projects
  • Taskforce membership
  • Job rotations
  • Temporary accountability
  • Stretch assignments
  • Fix-it/turnaround
  • Development plans
  • Cross-functional moves
  • Internal and external leadership development
  • 360 feedback

You’ll have more success if you include stakeholders in your evaluations and planning, Barton says., now thoroughly revised with easier navigation and more complete compensation information, will tell you what’s being paid right in your state–or even metropolitan area–for hundreds of jobs. Try it at no cost and get a complimentary special report. Read More.

Start with Some Open-Ended Questions

Also, says Barton, answer some questions about your program:

  • What are our key challenges with respect to attracting, retaining, and motivating the right talent?
  • What is our current employer-employee value proposition?
  • What makes our organization an attractive place to work? Why do employees stay?
  • Why do employees leave?
  • What message is our current total rewards program sending to employees?
  • What message should it be sending?


Identify core elements (3 to 5 rewards), Barton says, that your organization can use to drive recruitment, retention, and engagement of talent.

Evaluate your choices:

  • Would delivering on this program help our organization achieve strategic objectives?
  • Line managers are likely to cooperate if asked to support the delivery of this program?
  • Would senior leaders at our organization see the link between this program and business objectives?
  • Do we have the capabilities within our HR team to deliver this program well?
  • Do we have the infrastructure (e.g., technology, tools) to deliver this program well?
  • Can we secure the budget necessary to deliver this program well?
  • Can we commit to delivering on this program long term?
  • Should we terminate the program because it adds little actual or perceived value? What would be the impact to recruitment, retention, and motivation?


Honest, clear, and consistent communications about positive and negative developments help maintain leadership’s credibility and build confidence in management. Many times, says Barton, employers are doing the right things, but employees don’t know about it.

Who Does What?

Barton shows the tasks for managers at all levels:


Communication Role

CEO and C-Suite
8 to 15 top leaders

  • Set vision
  • Articulate objectives and big picture strategies
  • Share results

Directors and Senior Leadership
1 to 2 levels down from executives

25 to 100 key leaders

  • Reiterate big-picture story (objectives, strategies, and results)
  • Adapt for their area of the organization
  • Create organizationwide focus

Managers and Supervisors
Run departments and groups, supervise individuals

10 to 100 to 1,000 managers

  • Interpret company and functional/area story into “what this means to us”
  • Provide direction on “what you need to do”

Final Tip

Remember that it’s an ongoing process, says Barton.

Manage your high potentials, but don’t forget to maintain internal equity and external competitiveness and control turnover. Right. Comp’s never easy.

Many of the professionals we serve find helpful answers to all their compensation and benefits questions at®, BLR’s comprehensive compensation website.

And there’s great news! The site has just been revamped in two important ways. First, compliance focus information has been updated to include the latest on COBRA, Lilly Ledbetter, and the FMLA. Second, user features are enhanced to make the site even quicker to respond to your particular needs, such as:

  • Topics Navigator—Lets you drill down by topical areas to get to the right data quickly.
  • Customizable Home Page—Can be configured to display whatever content you want to see most often.
  • Menu Navigation—Displays all the main content areas and tools that you need in a simple, easy format.
  • Quick Links—Enables you to quickly navigate to all the new and updated content areas.

The services provided by this unique tool include:

  • Localized Salary Finder. Based on reliable research among thousands of employers, here are pay scales (including 25th, 50th, 75th, and 90th percentiles) for hundreds of commonly held jobs, from line worker to president of the company. The data are customized for your state and metro area, your industry, and your company size, so you can base your salaries on what’s offered in your specific market, not nationally.

Try BLR’s all-in-one compensation website,®, and get a complimentary special report, Top 100 FLSA Overtime Q&As, no matter what you decide.   Find out more.

  • State and Federal Wage-Hour and Other Legal Advice. Plain-English explanations of wage-hour and other compensation- and benefits-related laws at both federal and state levels. “State” means the laws of your state because the site is customized to your use. (Other states can be added at a modest extra charge.)
  • Job Descriptions. The website provides them by the hundreds, already written, legally reviewed, and compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandate that essential job functions be separated from those less critical. All descriptions carry employment grade levels to current norms—another huge time-saver.
  • Merit Increase, Salary, and Benefits Surveys. The service includes the results of three surveys per year. Results for exempt and nonexempt employees are reported separately.
  • Daily Updates. Comp and benefits news updated daily (as is the whole site).
  • “Ask the Experts” Service. E-mail a question to our editors and get a personalized response within 3 business days.

If we sound as if we’re excited about the program, it’s because we are. For about $3 a working day, the help it offers to those with compensation responsibilities is enormous.

This one’s definitely worth a look, which you can get by clicking the link below.

Click here to get more information or start a no-cost trial and get a complimentary special report!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *