Most Companies Now Consider Work-Life Initiatives Integral to Total Rewards

May 18, 2010 — A new survey of 741 multinational companies by WorldatWork and Mercer, “The State of Total Rewards Integration,” found that more than half of companies now consider work-life initiatives a staple of Total Rewards.

Total Rewards refers to the deliberate integration of compensation, benefits, work-life, career development and recognition to attract, motivate and retain talent. Key survey findings were presented today at the annual WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition in Grapevine, TX. The full survey report will be published in June.

The State of Total Rewards Integration survey was conducted to explore how far companies have come in adopting Total Rewards. When asked to define Total Rewards, the majority (59 percent) of respondents included work-life (flexible work schedules, extra vacation and sabbaticals) in addition to compensation (base salary, incentives and guaranteed payments) and benefits (retirement and medical). When asked what types of changes were made to workplace programs in the past 12 months, 40 percent said they enhanced or added wellness programs to the Total Rewards mix; 21% added flexible work arrangements.

“Total Rewards program elements tend to be managed in disparate functions, and sometimes they’re even outside of HR,” said Ryan Johnson, CCP, Vice President of Research at WorldatWork. “Leading companies integrate their Total Reward elements and then train managers to communicate the full value of rewards to their employees.”

“The past year has been financially difficult for organizations, and talent considerations have taken a back seat to cost considerations,” said Steve Gross, Senior Partner and Total Rewards Leader at Mercer. “Balancing no- or low-cost Total Rewards components such as work-life initiatives with pay and benefits is critical for retaining top performers, attracting new employees and enhancing the company’s financial performance.”

Other Key Findings
– While many responding companies (43 percent) experienced a decline in overall revenue in the past 12 months, the majority maintained their investments in their Total Rewards programs but changed the allocations: a large number trimmed merit budgets, some reduced the amount spent on health insurance, while others enhanced or added wellness benefits to their Total Rewards programs.
– More than one-fourth (26 percent) of respondents report they have a truly integrated approach to Total Rewards.
– Nearly three-quarters (73 percent) use the term Total Rewards.
– The top business objectives for implementing a Total Rewards program are retaining high performers, enhancing the company’s financial performance and attracting key talent.

About the Survey
WorldatWork and Mercer collaborated on this survey, conducted in January, to gauge the practice of Total Rewards among organizations. Key survey findings were presented at the WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference and Exhibition in Grapevine, TX mid-May. The full survey report will be published in June.

About Mercer
Mercer is a leading global provider of consulting, outsourcing and investment services. Mercer works with clients to solve their most complex benefit and human capital issues, designing and helping manage health, retirement and other benefits. It is a leader in benefit outsourcing. Mercer’s investment services include investment consulting and multi-manager investment management. Mercer’s 18,000 employees are based in more than 40 countries. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc., which lists its stock (ticker symbol: MMC) on the New York, Chicago and London stock exchanges. For more information, visit

About WorldatWork®:
The Total Rewards Association
WorldatWork ( is a global human resources association focused on compensation, benefits, work-life and integrated total rewards to attract, motivate and retain a talented workforce. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork provides a network of nearly 30,000 members in more than 100 countries with training, certification, research, conferences and community. It has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona and Washington, D.C.

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This press release was distributed through PR Web by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: on behalf of the company listed above.