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Build a Total Rewards Strategy

Move beyond a traditional approach to total rewards toward a more holistic and flexible strategy.

  • Pressures in the external environment and shifting employee preferences have put a focal point on Total Rewards to attract and retain talent.
  • Categories other than compensation and benefits (e.g. development, wellbeing, and recognition) have emerged as top reasons why employees join and leave an organization, as well as what keeps them engaged at work.
  • Organizations need to understand what employees value most and work within budgetary and resourcing constraints to provide meaningful rewards.

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  • Get on-demand project support
  • Get advice, coaching, and insight at key project milestones
  • Go through a Guided Implementation to help you get through your project

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • A Total Rewards approach focused solely on compensation and benefits no longer captures the full extent of what employees value, nor is it flexible enough to adapt to the current labor market.
  • An effective Total Rewards strategy uses the employee experience lens to understand the full spectrum of employee needs and meets them with offerings, resulting in improved engagement and retention.

Impact and Result

  • Build a Total Rewards strategy to find efficiencies in the organization’s largest expenditures and find the right balance of priorities between organizational and employee needs across all Total Rewards categories.
  • Gather data and collect employee feedback to understand the current state of Total Rewards and ideate ways to strive towards the ideal future state. Use the data to design a three- to five-year roadmap to create a Total Rewards package that fulfills the needs of current employees and appeals to future talent while aligning with the organization’s strategy.

Build a Total Rewards Strategy Research & Tools

2. Identify and prioritize strategic projects

Define the current and ideal states for Total Rewards and select strategic projects to reach the ideal state.

3. Conduct due diligence on strategic projects

Assess the feasibility of the selected strategic projects against organizational resource constraints.

4. Build a Total Rewards strategy roadmap

Develop a business case, draft communications, and plan to evolve and iterate on the Total Rewards strategy over time.

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About McLean & Company

McLean & Company is an HR research and advisory firm providing practical solutions to human resources challenges via executable research, tools, diagnostics, and advisory services that have a clear and measurable impact on your business.

What Is a Blueprint?

A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your HR problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

Need Extra Help?
Speak With An Analyst

Get the help you need in this 4-phase advisory process. You'll receive 8 touchpoints with our researchers, all included in your membership.

Guided Implementation 1: Review data to draw out key takeaways
  • Call 1: Discuss stakeholders and project team and prepare for internal and external scan including employee feedback.
  • Call 2: Review inventory of current Total Rewards offering, along with insights from internal and external analysis.

Guided Implementation 2: Identify and prioritize strategic projects
  • Call 1: Use internal and external analysis to define current and ideal states within each Total Rewards category. Start to brainstorm strategic projects to close the gap.
  • Call 2: Prepare to consult with stakeholders including Finance and HR to determine budgetary and resourcing constraints and prioritize strategic projects.

Guided Implementation 3: Conduct due diligence on strategic projects
  • Call 1: Discuss the information needed to assess the feasibility of prioritized strategic projects.

Guided Implementation 4: Build a Total Rewards strategy roadmap
  • Call 1: Prepare to develop a business case to secure leadership buy-in for strategic projects.
  • Call 2: Review drafted communications and launch plan for the roadmap.
  • Call 3: Plan an evaluation and iteration process.


  • Hilary Adams, Senior Manager, Total Rewards, Woodbine Entertainment
  • Joann Bokanovic, Vice President, Global Total Rewards, Sunwing
  • Dr. Mark Bussin, Associate Professor, University of Johannesburg
  • Alice Cao, Manager, Total Rewards, Lakeridge Health
  • Chuck Csizmar, Principal, CMC Compensation Group
  • Jane Laughton, Senior Manager, Talent, Ontario Digital Service
  • Steven Osiel, Vice President, Total Rewards, Lightspeed Commerce Inc.
  • Eric Roesner, Vice President, Total Rewards, Schwan’s Company
  • Deirdre Chong Smith, Compensation Consulting – Ontario Practice Lead, Eckler Ltd.
  • One Anonymous Contributor