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Your employer brand is vital to success as an organization, as it has a big impact on your ability to recruit talent. Your brand derives from your company culture. A healthy culture drives job satisfaction and leads to a reputation that will help to attract and retain the best employees. 

Putting your company culture into practice is a bit like solving a jigsaw puzzle. There are many elements that need to fit together: communication, trust, individual objectives, and a common goal, to name a few. 

And what about rewards?  What do rewards have to do with company culture and employer brand?

As it turns out, rather a lot.

The groundwork for a positive employer brand lies in aligning employees with your company culture and motivating them to perform highly. However, this can be quite an impossible mission without the right rewards strategy. Here are some key ingredients for a total rewards strategy that will drive positive culture and reputation as a great place to work.

Transparency in your communication

Our 2021 Employee Expectations in Hiring report revealed that today’s job seekers expect employers to provide transparency around pay. In an earlier study on generational trends in culture and rewards, 55% of Millennials said pay transparency creates a better company culture and motivates them to work harder. Pay transparency is not only about fair pay structures, it’s also about communicating clear goals and expectations, and showing exactly how all elements of rewards are determined.

Your employees need to know how much you value their contributions, and that starts by establishing a solid foundation of trust and defining a common goal that is communicated clearly across the business. Top-down communication across the organization leads to improved relationships among local offices, departments, teams, and employees. For teams to meet or exceed expectations, their goals need to be realistic, motivating, and in line with your organization’s strategy. Inspiring leaders who deliver a successful rewards program will keep employees motivated and happy for a long time. 

Self-evaluation: Can our employees see their total rewards and understand how those rewards relate to their personal objectives and broader company goals?

A little empathy goes a long way

Getting your employees on board with your rewards strategy isn’t always easy. Companies are often so engrossed with their top-down communications that they neglect empathizing with their employees, resulting in rewards that are not effective in motivating workers. Three in five (60%) Americans report having received benefits from an employer that they didn’t use,

That’s why it’s important to start by understanding your employees’ goals, needs, and interests – an exercise that is more important now than ever, thanks to a pandemic disrupted workplace. Only once you start to understand the changing needs of today’s workforce can you offer them a fitting rewards program and motivate them to perform in line with your company goals.

Self-evaluation: Have we sought to understand how our employees’ needs have changed and adjusted our rewards strategy accordingly?

Use data to drive your rewards strategy

Once your rewards program is up and running, you need to understand if the strategy and plan you’ve put in place are delivering results. Advanced analytics and reporting have become a strong focus for executives who need to keep costs in line with revenue to maintain a healthy, profitable company. Leveraging your internal people data helps you transform data into insights and drive better decision-making. 

A compensation platform with strong analytic capabilities can help you reduce turnover, boost employee satisfaction, improve productivity, and ensure fair pay practices. Analytics can help you to identify correlations between benefits and job satisfaction, identify pay gaps, and understand why people quit, thereby enabling you to boost performance, streamline costs, and reduce risk. 

Self-evaluation: Do we have the capability to deeply analyze our people data to understand the effectiveness of our rewards programs and identify risks?

Choose the right technology to support your strategy

The failure to link compensation to culture is one of the reasons organizations can struggle with a crisis of employee disengagement and resignation. For companies that want to commit to more transparent practices around pay, management must provide employees with visibility into how their pay is calculated. Investing in digital tools can help show employees how their performance contributes to their pay and what they need to achieve to maximize their earnings..

If you align your company values with the right performance and compensation management solution, you can drive a lot more than just performance. You can drive the happiness of your people, boosting loyalty, creativity, and productivity. Most HR teams are still striving to find the right technology that will piece together the puzzle of rewards strategy, individual objectives, and company goals. Standard compensation systems rarely meet the needs of your organization’s complex processes.

Self-evaluation: Do we have mature compensation technology that is flexible enough to enable us to deliver on our strategy with efficiency and compliance?

Transparency, empathy, analytics, and technology are among the key ingredients for an effective total rewards strategy. Organizations that embrace the relationship between culture and rewards will be rewarded by a workforce that is more motivated, high performing, and loyal – and a strong employer brand. 


Get the tips and resources you need to develop programs to effectively attract and retain talent for years to come with our free Compensation & Hiring Survival Kit.  

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