A Helpful Total Compensation Statement Tip

Posted on January 26, 2010


Over at the Fistful of Talent blog, Tim Sackett wrote a clever post last week entitled “The HR Gifts I’m Returning.” Included in his “short-list of HR gifts I can do without,” is the following:

Compensation Statements – that show how much in taxes the company paid for my wages. Thanks oh generous one! If your company needs to put taxes paid on your total comp statement to show how generous you are – you need to find a new company.

I agree with Tim to the extent that his comment is a good reminder that when designing a total compensation statement, it’s important to make sure that the statement has a good story to tell. In other words, if an employer offers a sub-par benefits package, then maybe an employer should think twice before deciding to issue a total compensation statement.

And certainly if employer-paid taxes take center stage in a benefits statement, the statement overall looks a little silly. That being said, however, educating employees on the total amount paid by an employer for benefits and compensation – including employer-paid taxes, which can be significant – is a valuable thing to do. But, ultimately, a total compensation statement is a marketing exercise. If the product being marketed (in this case, a total rewards package) is not a high quality product, it might be smart for the employer to hold off on the marketing and spend some time working on beefing up its compensation and benefits.