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Top 5 total compensation statement best practices

Posted September 27, 2022


Total compensation statement best practices

From mortgages and groceries, childcare and vacations, paychecks make all of these things possible. And while many employees only consider salary when thinking about compensation, we know it's much more than that. 

Unfortunately, these additional benefits are often overlooked or forgotten, and it's up to the employer to make sure employees understand the full value of their compensation packages.

That's where total compensation statements come in.

Total compensation statements illustrate an employees' direct and indirect financial rewards, such as monetary income plus the value of all benefits offerings - including health benefits, voluntary benefits, wellness programs, flexible work arrangements or continuing education reimbursements.

Read our tips on total compensation statement best practices and how to get the most out of this important communication!

Keep it simple

Benefits communication can quickly become filled with language that is not easily understood by employees. The same goes for complex calculations or mathematical explanations included in total compensation statements. Put yourself in the shoes of your employees and create a total compensation statement that is easy to understand. Color-coded graphs and pie charts are simple ways to display numerical data, while pull-quotes, infographics, and icons can spotlight key information.

Make it branded

Where does ambiguous mail go? The junk pile. In order to combat this challenge (as well as enforce its importance once opened), make sure it's clear where the mailing came from both inside and out. On the outside, that means using branded, company envelopes. On the inside, align your creative guidelines in terms of colors and themes. In addition to your company logo and contact information, make sure the visual elements in your total compensation statements match your overall branding. For example, if your brand colors are blue and yellow, avoid using a red or green bar graph.

Bonus tip: Skip the black and white. Investing in color will boost readership and leave a lasting impression on employees.

Food for thought: Providing statements online or via a company portal? Your total compensation statements should still look and feel like your organization.

Think like a marketer

A total compensation statement is a type of marketing communication. You're essentially selling your company to current employees. The statement should be more than just a pared-down version of benefits offerings and communicate your organization's total rewards journey. Make it compelling and aligned to your company's culture and values. At the end of the day, you want the total compensation statement to remind employees of the investment you have in them and, in turn, keep them invested in the company.

Why total compensation statements?

Providing employees total compensation gives them an in-depth understanding of their financial rewards beyond just dollars and cents and is a key to improving employee engagement and retention.

Provide an explanation

Even when using all of the above tactics, total compensation statements aren't foolproof - and employees are bound to have questions about their personal statements. To address these questions on a larger scale, consider hosting a webinar or creating a video tutorial explaining how to read total compensation statements. For those in need of individual assistance, you might offer one-on-one sessions with an on-site total rewards specialist. Or, provide employees with the contact information for your benefits administration provider's customer care center. 

Whether you're planning to provide total compensation statements in the future or are already providing them to employees, how they are presented is something to consider - including the layout, design, and overall tone of communication.

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The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.


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