Containing Costs, Not Impact

Posted on March 16, 2010

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At the end of the February, Deloitte and the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists jointly published the results of their 2010 Top Five Total Rewards Priorities Survey.

It should come as no surprise that, according to the survey, costs are paramount in the minds of employers – cost containment was identified as the number one total rewards strategic challenge.

But while the issue of costs looms large, most employers recognize a need to strengthen communication and education around their total rewards programs. According to the study, 69% of companies plan to increase the level of total rewards communications and education. The report notes “the role communications can play in increasing the perceived value of benefits among employees.”

This is an important point, and one that I’ve written about previously – it is often the case that employee satisfaction with an organization’s total rewards program is tied much more closely to their understanding of the program than it is to the specific elements of the program. So while nearly all employers will no doubt continue to keep a sharp eye on costs in the coming year, the savviest among them will make sure to maintain, and even expand, communications and education initiatives that are key to maximizing the return on the investments being made in compensation and benefits.