Total Rewards Program: Combining Financial & Non-Financial Benefits for Employees - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1788 Words
Date:  2023-01-16


A total rewards program is a strategy implemented by a business, or organization that accords its employees who achieve specific business goals with monetary, beneficial, and developmental rewards. The strategy uses a combination of financial, and non-financial benefits with personal growth opportunities for employees in a motivated and convenient work environment, which ensures that the employees can achieve, and in some cases surpass their goals and objectives at their workplace (Benefits and Compensation Resources, 2013). Therefore, the design and implementation process of a total rewards strategy normally requires a large-scale approach, which is geared, or driven towards achieving organizational change. It means that the selected project team that will be tasked with the responsibility of designing and implementing a total rewards strategy need to be made up of decision-makers (top management), and front-line employees, to ensure that the set approach will be well-rounded and fits the needs of all the employees in the organization (Benefits and Compensation Resources, 2013). It is important to point out that the following four-steps are essential in the development of a total rewards strategy: assessment, design, execution, and evaluation.

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The purpose of this total rewards program is to identify and analyze the right reward strategies that can be implemented at Delta airlines. The rewards program will assist in determining the right rewards for the organization, and determining the employees who will be rewarded for specific achievements in the organizational setting. In addition to that, this program will act as a guide for the HR department in determining how they will implement the new rewards system, and using specific metrics to assess the effectiveness of this program (Black, 2007).

Description of the Organization

Delta Airlines is guided by the following vision statement: 'To be the world's most trusted airline.' The company has incorporated the following values to ensure that it achieves its goals and objectives: Honesty, Integrity, Respect, Perseverance and Servant leadership. The services that this company offers to its esteemed customers include flights to domestic and major international destinations across the world. The clients of this airline are provided with different in-flight services-food and beverages, first-class and basic economy options. It is also important to point out that passengers are allowed to fly with their pets on-board (Gates, 2018). The passengers can book for their flights online, and various vacation packages are available for its passengers.

The following are some of the achievements that Delta Airlines achieved in the recent past. In 2018, the company's revenue grew by eight percent to reach $44.1 billion. It was voted as the best place to work in 2019 in the Glassdoor employee choice rewards. The airline is ranked number nine among international destinations (, 2019). The organization is recognized as a trail-blazer in the airline industry because it has been the first to market the following products and services in this sector: It was the first to market the facial recognition biometric in domestic airports and it is inclusive of check-ins at the self-service kiosks, drop checked baggage at the foyer stands, and it can also be used as identification at the TSA barrier and for CBP processing for international travelers to the US. It was the first to announce free wireless inflight entertainment in 2016 (Gates, 2018). The airline's customers can use miles for payment rather than using cash. The customers can also use mobile and crowd-sourcing to deliver and track bags.

For Delta airlines to be able to work at optimum levels and achieve their capabilities, it must always be able to attract, recruit and retain the best talent in the following sectors: engineering, designers of airplane and satellites, aviators, technicians, mechanics, painters, flight attendants, wheelchair workers, air traffic controllers, cleaners and customer service representatives. In addition to having the best knowledge, skills, and abilities, employees working at Delta airlines should be flexible, be comfortable to work during night hours, weekends and holidays, be at least 21 years of age, graduated from high school with a certificate, and approval to be employed within the US.

The current and future challenges that are affecting Delta airlines are attracting, recruiting, and retaining top KSA employees to work in the organization. The reason for this is that it is facing stiff competition from its former partner, Alaska airlines. Alaska Airlines is offering its employees with better compensation, and benefits than is the case for Delta airlines (Gates, 2018). For instance, Alaska airlines increased its employee 401K plans, provides monetary benefits for its retired staff, and also allows its employee family members to travel for free. However, there are still opportunities for Delta airlines to be able to attract, recruit, and retain top KSA employees. The reason for this is that, in 2018, Alaska airlines cut costs as a strategic plan meant to offer better incentives to the employees such as has been mentioned before, increase of wages. While they may have worked for some employee segments, others were negatively affected such as the company's pilots and flight crew (Gates, 2018). The cutting of costs meant that they had less flexible schedules than was the case before.

Current Total Rewards Philosophy and Offerings

As has been noted before, total rewards entail compensation, benefits, personal and professional growth opportunities for the employees, but also a motivating work environment for its personnel. These rewards include valued job design, ensuring that the employees have a work schedule that helps them to achieve work/life balance and recognition at the workplace (Black, 2007). The reason as to why companies are adopting the total rewards strategy to promote employee performance, job satisfaction and organizational commitment is because of the following factors: stiff competition of top KSA employees and the need to find cost-effective rewards or benefits for the employees working in an organization. Stiff competition as is the case with Delta and Alaska airlines has made it difficult for Delta airlines, which is considered a cost-conscious organization to implement rewards that cost less but still motivate the employees to want to perform at an optimum level (Black, 2007). Secondly, organizations are adopting highly strategic initiatives for the management of their human resources. The table below provides an illustration of the current total rewards philosophy and offerings in the following three categories: compensation, benefits and personal growth.

Promotions Monthly salaries of the employees. All employees at Delta Airlines are provided with a basic salary.

The base-pay of the employees increases based on their individual performance The merit pay is offered as an incentive for employees at Delta airlines who perform exemplary.

The base pay of the employees increased based on the ability, or potential to perform optimally in their new job, or additional duties at the workplace:

  • Benefits
  • Health and welfare
  • Paid vacation
  • Employee discounts
  • The organization off-sets the payments for injuries and illness that are suffered both on and off the job
  • Employees are encouraged to go for trips at specific destinations and delta airlines covers the cost of the vacation.
  • The employee are allowed to purchase flights and other products and services offered by Delta airlines at a subsidized price than is the case for the other customers
  • Personal Growth
  • Training
  • Career Development
  • Performance management Skill and knowledge development of the employees on-and off-the job
  • On-job coaching for the development of skills
  • Continuance goal-setting and feedback to develop the right skills and knowledge for the job

Segmentation of the Workforce

Organizations such as Delta have various segments of employees, and it is essential to consider these segments when designing and implementing an effective total rewards plan. In this study, the researcher selected the segmentation by drivers for engagement by Erickson and Gratton (2007) to divide the workforce at Delta airlines. In this form of segmentation, the employees are differentiated by the roles that they feel that the organization should play for them to assist them in improving their performance levels and even workplace satisfaction. Erickson and Gratton (2007) segmentation classify six types of employees: expressive legacy, secure progress, individual expertise, and team success, risk and reward, flexible support, and low obligation and easy income.

In this study, the researcher is interested in creating a total rewards program for three of the six types of employees: secure progress, flexible support, and individual expertise and team success. Employees who are categorized as flexible support are the ones who consider work as a source of livelihood, but they are motivated by its flexibility whereby they are accorded well-defined vacations, family benefits, and well-defined work routines (Kaplan, 2005). They also want to work in organizations where they can work from home, and have fun while earning a livelihood. The second group of employees is the individual expertise and team success whereby this group of employees is motivated by being part of a winning team (Greene, 2018). They prefer working in an environment where there is structure, collaboration, opportunity to display individual strengths, stability, and to have fun at the workplace. Finally, the last group of employees is the ones who are categorized as secure progress. In this case, these are employees who prefer a predictable career plan, routine, structure, and career training.


The researcher had initially identified three metrics that were intended to assess whether the total rewards program proposed for Delta airlines was going to be effective, or not. The three metrics that were selected were: work burnout, which was considered to be non-specific in terms of, it does not identify how this metric will be used to assess the rewards in the total rewards program (Khalid & Nawab, 2018). The metric for employee recognition was deemed to be only appropriate in an organization that has a specific program, which will allow the human resource management to measure the performance level of the employees before and after the program has been implemented for a specific period. Finally, employee morale was considered to be too general to provide a precise assessment of the rewards in the total rewards program.

In this study, the researcher proposes to develop a new rewards program for Delta airlines. The total rewards program package will contain the following:


All the employees working at Delta airlines regardless of their role within their organization are entitled to some form of compensation depending on their job description and duties at the workplace. The salary is considered to be competitive depending on an employee's expectation. Therefore, all the employees will be entitled to base pay, which is determined by Delta airlines work structure (Khalid & Nawab, 2018). The organization will strive to ensure that this fixed pay is as competitive as possible based on the economic dynamics, and what is offered by rival companies for employees working in similar positions. In addition to that, the employees will be entitled to long-term incentive pay. The proposed long-term incentive pay will be stock options of the company for employees who consistently perform at...

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Total Rewards Program: Combining Financial & Non-Financial Benefits for Employees - Essay Sample. (2023, Jan 16). Retrieved from

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