Total Rewards – Offering More to Your Employees

Published: Jun 28 | 2018
Modified: May 21 | 2019

It’s pretty much a universal fact – everybody likes perks.

While extra benefits and incentives shouldn’t be the only reason an employee is happy at work, they can definitely help! Employers may read words like “extra benefits” and “incentives” and just see dollars signs, but there are ways to offer more to your employees without breaking the bank. How, you ask?

Offering the Whole Package – Total Rewards

Total Rewards represents the whole package of benefits and perks permitted to an employee. It includes salary, traditional benefits and vacation, but also other rewards and perks that might not be found at just any workplace. And we’re not talking about a foosball table.

Benefits by Design (BBD) Inc.’s Total Rewards program encompasses five elements, two of which are the traditional benefits and compensation that you’re familiar with. We’re going to pay particular attention to the other three, however; performance and recognition, professional development and career opportunities and work-life balance.

Recognizing Employees for Their Accomplishments

This one is as easy as it sounds. Oftentimes it’s as simple as a, “Hey – great job with that project. It’s really taken off thanks to your hard work.” It may seem trivial, but it’s incredibly important your employees feel valued and appreciated in their roles.

You can also consider other ways to recognize employees. Hit a milestone anniversary? Met or exceeded your sales goal for the year? Have a celebration with all of your employees! Honouring team achievements like this has two benefits; it makes employees feel appreciated and you celebrate as a team, reinforcing that aspect of your business.

Offering Professional Development and Career Opportunities

Let’s be honest, the more knowledgeable your employees are, the better your business is right? Take the opportunity to encourage professional development of all kinds and you’ll reap the rewards. Encourage employees to go to industry events, conferences and register for webinars, or even take online classes! There are plenty of free online courses in a variety of subjects (we’re willing to bet you’ll be able to find one for your industry).

You can choose to incentivize this by offering a professional development “allowance” to each employee annually, or build the desire and drive for learning into your culture!

Maintaining Work/Life Balance

Between work, family, hobbies and all of life’s other commitments, employees can be under a lot of strain trying to keep up with it all. That’s why it’s important for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance and for employers to promote and encourage it. Maintaining this balance is not only important for employee’s personal health and relationships, but can also improve the efficiency of their work performance.

So how do you go about maintaining work-life balance? Many employers have found success with thirty-five hour work weeks, flexible schedules and working accommodations, such as working from home or remotely. An example straight from BBD’s playbook is our hobby subsidies, which our employees love!

Connecting Everything Together & Building YOUR Total Rewards Package

Building a Total Rewards package is not an exact science and every workplace will be different. To build one for your workplace, start with your culture and your values and ensure your offerings reflect them. For example, our culture is all about “T.A.G.” which stands for “together, adapt, grow”. We honour this commitment with a culture that recognizes employees (together), maintains a work-life balance with flexible schedules and subsidies (adapt), and encourages learning and professional development (grow).

To build a Total Rewards package for your workplace, begin with your culture and your values and go from there.


Looking for some ideas or inspiration to get started on Total Rewards?

Check out our Culture & Careers page!

Culture & Careers