Ask any employee how much their salary is or what they get paid and most will be able to answer in a flash. It’s the same figure that appears in their bank account at the end of every month, and has become ingrained thanks to the excitement that usually surrounds ‘pay day’.
However, ask the same employee how much their entire package is worth, and they may well struggle. Even if employees know how much their direct benefits are worth (for example, things like pensions, life insurance and the like), there are a whole host of other elements the business might provide them with which contribute to the overall employee package and which they’re unlikely to recall straight away.
In HR circles, this is known as the ‘total reward’ and represents the entirety of an employee’s renumeration.
Total reward takes into account everything an employee values from their employment relationship, which not only includes monetary benefits such as the main salary, but other rewards that are linked to their achievements, personal growth and working environment.
Let’s consider the journey of a disengaged employee. How did they become disengaged?
Rewind a little and we join them at their initial interview. It goes well, they’re happy with the package on offer and the business loves their attitude. So, they get hired and start work, slotting in seamlessly.
Each month, they’re paid, and it’s the same amount each time (give or take the odd small bonus for strong performance on behalf of the company). As the years progress, that figure climbs slowly but steadily. While this is welcomed, it still feels like a very familiar number to the employee, and as the months continue to roll by, their engagement level drops. With no opportunities to progress above their current position, the monthly pay quickly slips into insignificance, purely becoming a method by which to pay the bills.
Such employees can quickly slip from the grasp of businesses, and that’s such a shame. It’s completely avoidable, too, because if the employee was better informed about the intangible rewards that surround their job (i.e. those that don’t necessarily end up in their bank account each month) they’d likely develop a much stronger emotional connection to the business.
But what are the intangible benefits, and, most importantly, how can businesses and employees keep track of them?