Deloitte’s Bersin Finds Rewards Programs Are a Key Element to Talent Retention and Improved Performance

High-Impact Rewards research shows that deploying rewards programs that treat employees like customers is essential to retaining skilled talent and incentivizing performance

NEW YORK, April 17, 2018 — According to a new study from Bersin™, Deloitte Consulting LLP’s digital destination for the human resources professional, most organizations are significantly lagging their employees’ expectations for total rewards offerings. However, with the right strategies in place, those organizations can build a rewards brand that attracts, retains and motivates the most talented workers.

Bersin’s findings come from its High-Impact Rewards (HIR) research, a new study area that focuses on employee total rewards. As employees and candidates become increasingly mobile and assertive, they are driving organizations to expand their definition of “rewards” beyond traditional compensation and benefits programs. The most mature, high-performing rewards organizations have embraced this sweeping change with agile, comprehensive programs that align with broader business goals.

“In this highly-competitive environment, organizations are finding they need to discover new ways to better attract and retain employees, as well as increase productivity,” said Pete DeBellis, associate vice president and total rewards research leader, Bersin, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Productivity is partly a matter of movitating employees, and rewards programs play a big role. Rewards programs should include elements that go beyond compensation and benefits – it’s about things like well-being, learning and development opportunities, and taking a more holistic look at the relationship between employee and employer. By viewing employees as rewards ‘customers,’ organizations should define, develop, adapt and deliver total rewards offerings in ways that employees love.”

Bersin HIR research points to significant challenges facing HR organizations, but also identifies highly productive steps for evolving their rewards offerings. The top findings reveal:

  1. The rewards function is alienating employees and undermining employment brand. Using a standard industry measure for loyalty, participants scored far below the neutral position, indicating a significant lack of enthusiasm by employees for their organizations’ rewards offerings.
  2. Mature rewards organizations listen, learn and design offerings for their “customers.” High-performing organizations are six times more likely to use data and analysis to understand employee preferences and 1.7 times more likely to report that “employee experience” is an HR leader and C-suite priority in their organization, when compared to low-performing counterparts.
  3. High-Impact Total Rewards is about “best fit,” not just “best practice.” The combination of taking a more employee-centric view of rewards and supporting the alignment between rewards strategies and organization-specific business goals illustrates that high-performing organizations place great importance on how a rewards program might apply to their organization’s unique culture and objectives. These organizations are 12 times more likely than low-performing organizations to identify specific rewards offerings as competitive differentiators and highlight them in their rewards brand.

To help companies move their rewards strategy forward, Bersin has researched traits that can influence total rewards maturity. The six factors with the greatest impact are: aligned strategy, holistic philosophy, employee focus, effective communication, greater rewards frequency, and the use of team rewards.

Learn more about Deloitte’s Bersin research or its membership by visiting the Bersin homepage.

About Deloitte
Deloitte provides industry-leading audit, consulting, tax and advisory services to many of the world’s most admired brands, including more than 85 percent of the Fortune 500 and more than 6,000 private and middle market companies. Our people work across more than 20 industry sectors to make an impact that matters — delivering measurable and lasting results that help reinforce public trust in our capital markets, inspire clients to see challenges as opportunities to transform and thrive, and help lead the way toward a stronger economy and a healthy society. Deloitte is proud to be part of the largest global professional services network serving our clients in the markets that are most important to them.


Melissa Doyle
Public Relations
Deloitte Services LP
+1 617 585 5886


Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) does not provide services to clients. In the United States, Deloitte refers to one or more of the US member firms of DTTL, their related entities that operate using the “Deloitte” name in the United States and their respective affiliates. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.