What Is Total Rewards?

Written by william lynch | 13/05/2017
What Is Total Rewards?
Total Rewards is used to motivate employees. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of foundphotoslj)

Total Rewards is a business strategy that enables employers to attract, motivate, and retain employees. Total Rewards goes far beyond simple compensation and attempts to provide the employee with a more fulfilling work experience.


To the employee, Total Rewards is everything of value resulting from the relationship with the employer, including all monetary and non-monetary considerations.


The Total Reward approach focuses on five specific components: compensation; benefits; work experience; performance and recognition; and development and career opportunities.


Employees working for a Total Rewards employer tend to be more motivated, productive, and happy. As a result, the business thrives. The goal is for motivation to drive organizational success.

Retention and Recruitment

Another goal of Total Rewards is to retain valued employees' services, while at the same time providing an attractive opportunity for future employees.


The Total Rewards concept emerged during the 1990s, with small start-ups and flexible companies implementing the practice long before major corporations.

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