Increase in Education Assistance Programs and Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives in 2019

Annual Inventory of Total Rewards Programs & Practices Results Released

November 12, 2019

November 12, 2019 — Scottsdale, Ariz. – Employers continue to expand their Total Rewards offerings to attract, engage and retain top performing employees. Not surprisingly, given societal and media focus on student debt and pay equity, education assistance programs (26% in 2019 vs. 10% in 2018) and diversity and inclusion initiatives (65% in 2019 vs. 58% in 2018) increased year-over-year. The annual survey continues to evolve as employee expectations and the workplace change; this year, questions related to salary specifics (e.g., market-based adjustments (not COLA); well-being (e.g., workplace sleep programs, fitness-related subsidies); redirected PTO (e.g., to 401(k)s or college savings); and development opportunities, among others, were added. (Journalists: for a copy of the survey report, contact


“The breadth of Total Rewards has become increasingly diverse and expansive, in ways that would astonish workers from previous generations,” said Scott Cawood, president & CEO, WorldatWork. “In this tight job market where competition to recruit top talent across all levels is fierce, organizations are responding to the changing needs and desires of the workforce with a multitude of Total Rewards options. For example, with pay equity a hot button issue, diversity and inclusion initiatives to help address pay gaps are becoming more prevalent.”   

Categories captured in the survey include health/welfare, PTO, retirement, base pay, bonuses/commissions, short- and long-term incentives, performance management, recognition, development opportunities, caring for dependents, cultural initiatives/community involvement, financial wellness, and workplace flexibility.


WorldatWork collected survey data for the Inventory of Total Rewards Programs & Practices Results in August 2019. The survey report was based on 701 responses. The demographics of the survey sample and the respondents are similar to the WorldatWork membership as a whole. The typical WorldatWork member works at the managerial level or higher in the headquarters of a large company in North America.

About WorldatWork®

WorldatWork the Total Rewards Association, is the leading global nonprofit organization for professionals who are engaged in the critically important practice of Total Rewards. We serve those who are responsible for cultivating inspired, engaged, productive, and committed workers in effective and rewarding workplaces. We guide them in the design and delivery of Total Reward programs with our education and certification; idea exchange; thought leadership; knowledge creation; information sharing; research; advocacy; and networking. Founded in 1955, WorldatWork serves Total Rewards professionals throughout the world working in organizations of all sizes and every industry.

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