Broader definition of total reward reported by employers


Broader definition of total reward reported by employers

A European survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting found that a much broader definition of total rewards is being used by organisations.

The survey of more than 430 companies in Europe, mostly multinationals, found that:

  • only 29% of participants define total rewards as just pay and benefits

  • more than 60% of participants include careers in their definition

  • as many as 40% also include other intrinsic work factors like culture, leadership and work-life balance.   

Over 60% of participants believe their total rewards are very effective in retaining high performers and attracting key talent. However, only 43% believe their rewards effectively differentiate between performers and increase employee satisfaction.

Only two-fifths of organisations believe their rewards strategy is fully aligned with their business strategy.


Reward challenges

Attracting and retaining talented employees is biggest reward challenge facing companies    

  • Employers are most concerned about attracting and retaining talented employees over the next year, with 83% reporting that this was a very important issue. 

  • Differentiating rewards for high performers was ranked as the second biggest challenge, with 65% rating it very important.

  • Only marginally less important were implementing reward strategies that underpin business goals and ensuring pay is linked to performance, rated very significant by 64% and 63% of companies respectively.

Adapting rewards to suit an ageing workforce is lowest priority

  • At the other end of the spectrum, just 11% of companies felt that adapting their employee rewards packages to meet the needs of an ageing workforce was an important challenge. 

  • Increasing the choice of benefits available to staff and responding to their preferences were also towards the bottom of the list of priorities, rated as very important by 16% of companies respectively.

Want to know more?

Title: Mercer European Total Rewards Survey 2006, Mercer Human Resource Consulting.

Survey sample: Responses were received from 436 companies from 19 countries across Europe. As many as 60% of participants have more than 1,000 employees and 65% of participants have annual revenues in excess of €200 million.

Availability: To request a copy of the report from Mercer visit;jsessionid=MUZERLPVGWG4ICTGOUGCIIQKMZ0QUJLW?idContent=1240725

Read the press release online at;jsessionid=KK0T5ZDONDJMICTGOUGCIIQKMZ0QUJLW

Mercer Human Resource Consulting is a “global leader for HR and related financial advice and services”. It has more than 15,000 employees serving clients in more than 180 cities and 40 countries and territories worldwide. To find out more visit