How Flexible is Total Reward?

Silverman M, Reilly P | HR Network Paper MP24 | Institute for Employment Studies | Jun 2003

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Over the past decade, as the external environment has become more turbulent, organisations have sought initiatives to ensure the recruitment and retention of a high-quality workforce.

Faced with this problem, many organisations have attempted to remedy it by simply offering increased pay. However, whilst this may provide some respite in the form of a short-term solution, this approach may not deliver the best results.

Instead, some organisations have turned to wider reward mechanisms. Total reward embraces a whole range of mechanisms that aim to attract, retain and motivate staff. Flexible benefits provide a narrower means of offering choice to employees, but can allow a degree of tailoring the reward to fit their needs.

This paper outlines the nature of total reward and flexible benefits. It describes how common such schemes are in the UK and sets out the reasons for introducing these remuneration initiatives. Common problems and obstacles are reviewed and some practical questions are looked at.