Total Rewards

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The modern workforce is vastly different from that of yesteryear. From more flexible work schedules to increased development opportunities, today’s employees have unique demands, and organizations are struggling to keep up. Failing to accommodate for the needs of the modern workforce could mean losing out on key talent, so employers must use strategies to keep teams engaged and motivated. Total rewards, HR’s secret weapon, can be used to do just that.

Let’s take a look at some of the changes to the workforce, and how total rewards can be used to adapt to these changes:

  • Increasing Demand for Flexibility: Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a steady uptick of employees working part-time for noneconomic reasons (the figure has risen 11.8% in the last year alone). The same source reports that 1 in 3 workers is earning income by working a job other than a traditional 9-5 position, such as through freelancing or contracting.Clearly, there’s a greater demand than ever before for work/life balance and job flexibility. What can HR do to meet this unique need? You can start by developing a total rewards program with flexible work/life balance options. And, if it supports your strategic goals, consider taking a look at which positions could be opened up to contractors or freelance workers. While these employees may not be eligible for traditional rewards like healthcare benefits, you can present them with rewards communications that detail the exclusive advantages they receive as freelance workers.
  • Greater Focus on Career & Personal Development: Now more than ever before, employees are seeking growth and development opportunities from their employers. According to, employees are especially focused on rewards that promote career and personal development. Employers can use this to their advantage: not only can they offer resources for training and development as a way to motivate employees, they’ll also be building skills from within, which saves on recruiting costs and efforts.
  • Dependence on Technology: Gen HQ reports that 42% of the youngest age group of workers (Gen Z) feel that social media has an effect on the way they feel about themselves. Use the link between your youngest workers and technology to your advantage by making total rewards communications easy to access from smartphones, tablets, and home computers.

The workforce may not be what it used to be, but with a few tweaks to your total rewards system, you can use changes in the workforce to your advantage in building strong retention, engagement, and recruitment strategies.