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Total Rewards: Inside the HR Strategy That Helps to Foster Inclusive Workplaces

BMC Software is among the companies adopting the total rewards approach as a strategy to reframe compensation while recognizing the worth and contributions of employees.
By 3p Editors
Coworkers meeting - total rewards strategy and diverse workforce

In an effort to recruit and retain talent, companies are increasingly developing employee engagement programs centered on wellness as well as personal and career growth. As opposed to — or in addition to — Thursday night bowling leagues, more companies are adopting human resources strategies that strive to address all aspects of their employees’ lives. The result is a framework that seeks to secure employees’ work/life balance alongside encouraging their professional development.

To that end, BMC Software is among the companies adopting the total rewards approach as a strategy to reframe compensation while recognizing the worth and contributions of employees. The concept driving total rewards is based on the popular Maslow's hierarchy of needs, an idea in psychology proposed by American Abraham Maslow in his 1943 paper, "A Theory of Human Motivation." Decades later, Maslow’s theory has transformed into a workplace model with five pillars: benefits, compensation, professional development, employee recognition and well-being. 

A holistic approach to letting employees know they are valued

A more holistic compensation and career growth plan is what inspired BMC’s human resources team to adopt the total rewards framework. To start, the program allows for an integration of standard and more creative employee benefits with targeted personal growth opportunities that together acknowledge, and of course, reward, employees’ contributions to BMC’s growth.

At a time when many employees across the U.S. feel like management does not fully appreciate their efforts and contributions, the very notion of recognition is integral to driving a successful total rewards program. Concurrently, an emphasis on personal development allows employees to own their progress and advancement in personal and work goals. Within the total rewards model, personal goals might include continuing education, whereas work-related goals could include opportunities to cross-train on various functions across different departments.

The implementation of total rewards at BMC evolved over time based on industry competitiveness and social responsibilities, Lynn Moffett, vice president of human resources at BMC, told TriplePundit. “We communicate our benefits message through various means: employee gatherings with all-hands-on-deck, through manager communication, employee email, and our website,” she said.

Next-gen benefits that can appeal to any employee

Balancing family responsibilities with the demands of the office, i.e., well-being, is one tenet of total rewards.

For example, BMC’s Milk Stork program benefits mothers who are transitioning back to the workplace after childbirth. The benefit includes kits with breast milk storage bags, a refrigerated box for packing, and a tote if mothers choose to carry milk with them. 

Backup care advantage plans offer in-home and center-based backup childcare and eldercare at a subsidized rate for up to 10 times a year. BMC also offers adoption assistance of up to $5,000 to help pay agency fees, court fees and other adoption-related expenses. Pet insurance, identity theft protection and gym club reimbursements round out an extensive list of offerings at BMC and other companies that have adopted a suite of total rewards benefits.

Additional well-being benefits include time off to participate in family activities such as a child’s sporting event or school activity, as well as allowances for remote work and flexible work schedules.

Bottom line, total rewards help further motivate and inspire employees who aspire to, meet and exceed company objectives. Whereas compensation traditionally refers to income, BMC’s adaptation of total rewards means that benefit options are for everyone, separate from compensation and promotions that may be tied to performance. 

“We care about making the employees’ overall work experience rewarding from a holistic point of view,” Moffett told us. “These benefits make us competitive in the talent marketplace.”

Investments in total rewards can pay off for both the company and employee

The commitment to this total rewards strategy has paid off for BMC based on the company’s internal surveys.

Its most recent polling found that 81 percent of BMC employees believe their manager trusts them to carry out the responsibilities of their role. At a time when dissatisfaction with managers and corporate culture has helped fuel the “Great Resignation,” 83 percent of employees said they felt engaged with BMC. And communication along with trust have continued to thrive across the company, as 83 percent of employees felt their managers gave them useful feedback. 

The flexibility provided by a company-tailored rewards program allows for adjusting pay structures, bonuses or benefits, even on a temporary basis, to reflect business priorities or rapidly changing competitive landscapes. Hybrid or remote working might be as much an employee benefit during this season of high gas prices as it was during the pandemic. In fact, having learned the lessons of working from home, the same options can become a way of managing any number of environmental emergencies such as hurricanes or blizzards, thereby avoiding the risk of a company shutdown.

In addition to rewards, a company must foster an inclusive and equitable culture, too

A commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion has long been one of BMC’s core values — and here is where total rewards helps the company stay on track of such progress.

One of the more important aspects of total rewards is securing an inclusive culture within the office in which everyone feels as if they belong and knows that their contributions matter — and that everyone is treated equally and equitably.

“Even if an inclusive culture doesn’t make common sense to business leaders—although frankly, it should—it surely makes strategic sense, proven in a wealth of data,” said Kelley Butler, an award-winning journalist and marketing director, who has spent most of her career in the employee benefits space. “Organizations with inclusive cultures, programs, policies, and practices are far more likely to have a better corporate reputation than those without such a focus. And with the Great Resignation still surging after nearly 18 months, show me an organization that couldn’t stand to get a reputation boost — especially as it pertains to DEI. Research indicates that most candidates consider DEI when deciding whether to pursue or accept a job.” 

With regard to pay equity, salary data sets from industry best practices, surveys and benchmarking are among the tools the BMC global compensation team uses to ensure that compensation and benefits together bolster the company’s competitiveness and compliance.

Employees at BMC are buying into total rewards as a way to build inclusion: A recent employee survey showed that 84 percent of employees feel the company cares about having a diverse workforce. 

“Employers see an internal benefit when they focus on and invest in building a culture of inclusion,” Butler explained. "Diverse and inclusive teams have been shown to yield stronger collaboration, connection, loyalty, and innovation. And employees who report feeling a sense belonging at work perform better and take fewer sick days than those who report feeling marginalized. The cost to implement inclusive benefit programs and workplace policies is frosting in comparison to the returns organizations stand to gain in reputation, recruiting, and retention.”

One of the biggest benefits of a thoughtful DEI program combined with the total rewards strategy comes down to a simple bottom line: “Employers who care about the well-being of their employees win in the marketplace,” Moffett concluded.

This article series is sponsored by BMC Software and produced by the TriplePundit editorial team. 

Image credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via Unsplash 

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TriplePundit editors offer news and insights on sustainable business.

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