Skip to content

Quotes & Comments…

“Incentives should be large enough to provide an occasion for celebrating success but not so large as to distort behavior.”
– Jeffrey Pfeffer, Professor at Stanton University’s Graduate School of Business

“Employee loyalty begins with employer loyalty. Your employees should know that if they do the job they were hired to do with a reasonable amount of competency and efficiency, you will support them.”
– Harvey Mackay, American Businessman

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards.”
-Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru

FM Broadcast – Spring 2019
Total Rewards: The Critical New Hire

Fm Broadcast Header 1

In the last year, we’ve been hired to help many clients find the right candidate to lead their Total Rewards function. Why is this role becoming increasingly more critical to companies? We asked some experts in our network to give us their take on Total Rewards.

Why the change from “Compensation and Benefits” to “Total Rewards”?
The trend toward “Total Rewards” encompasses the total variety of programs, both monetary and non-monetary, that companies provide in order to attract, retain and motivate their workforce. It’s a significant investment for companies and therefore should be assessed holistically within a framework which supports the business and HR strategy.

– Kathryn Cross, Total Rewards Consultant and Former VP Total Rewards, Varian Medical Systems

When I hear “compensation and benefits,” I think of payroll and open enrollment. When I hear “total rewards,” I think of a bigger, more impactful function where you are looking at everything that goes into a reward system for a company. It’s not limited to pay and benefits. Rather, it includes the total compensation that is provided, including base pay, benefits programs, short-term incentives, long-term/equity incentives, 401k programs and company matches, and retention philosophies/tools. It can also include programs such as severance plans and change-of-control plans to serve as protections for employees in the event a company has to downsize or is acquired.

– Todd Tucker, Sr. Director of Human Resources, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

What makes the function so critical?
It drives workforce engagement and productivity which ultimately determine success or failure of short and long-term organizational goals.

– Kathryn Cross, Total Rewards Consultant and Former VP Total Rewards, Varian Medical Systems

What are some of your best practices for leading the function?
One thing I have learned is to be flexible. Sometimes I feel like the total rewards function is much like the analytics function that is used in professional sports. While analytics can be good predictors and guides for a baseball manager to decide when to pull a starting pitcher, the manager may also need to make a decision for reasons that are not captured in the analytics. Total rewards is similar. While total compensation survey data may point you in a direction on how much to pay someone, you have to be open to other influences that may not be captured in the external survey data. You have to be able to flex, where appropriate.

A best practice that we did at a recent company I worked for was to re-think a total compensation statement. Typically, a total compensation statement is a look back at all of the elements of compensation an employee has received. This usually takes place at the beginning of a year as a look back at the previous year. While this is very helpful in understanding how much a company provides to you, it doesn’t do much to show you the potential future value of your compensation package. We developed a forward-looking total rewards statement that showed the potential value of an employee’s compensation. Because equity/stock options were a big part of the rewards system, we wanted to show the potential value if the company’s stock price reached certain levels. Obviously, we had to put disclaimers on the statements that we were not guaranteeing anything, but we wanted people to understand the potential value of their compensation package if the company was successful.

– Todd Tucker, Sr. Director of Human Resources, Sienna Biopharmaceuticals

If you had unlimited resources, what one change would you make to improve the effectiveness of the Total Rewards function?
One of the items that is always challenging in managing a global total rewards organization is having the appropriate number of resources deployed across the globe who can assist in real-time country/region-specific data analytics, trends and information. Another key area is management communication and training. If communication and training are not done well, adoption of the programs will be negatively impacted, and the ROI will be less than optimal.

– Kathryn Cross, Total Rewards Consultant and Former VP Total Rewards, Varian Medical Systems

What are your thoughts on Total Rewards? Reply to our newsletter to share your thoughts! – The FlemingMartin team

Client Snapshot

Revance Logo

Revance Therapeutics (NASDAQ: RVNC) is pioneering the first potentially long-acting neuromodulator for the treatment of conditions as varied as glabellar lines, cervical dystonia, plantar fasciitis, upper limb spasticity, and chronic migraine. Although consumers primarily equate botulinum toxin with anti-aging and wrinkle reduction, therapeutic uses of botulinum toxin represent an even larger slice of today’s estimated $4 billion global neuromodulator market (projected to be $7 billion by 2024).

FlemingMartin recently recruited Revance’s Vice President of Clinical Development for Therapeutics, Sr. Director of Clinical Development for Spasticity and Sr. Director of Clinical Development for Dermatology:

FlemingMartin News

FlemingMartin’s very own Life Sciences Practice Leader, Jonah Klein, was ranked in the Top 1% of all search & staffing professionals by LinkedIn! Congrats Jonah, and thank you to FlemingMartin’s amazing executive network for making our work so rewarding. For more information on FlemingMartin executive search, please


Connecting leaders
Recruiting the best executive talent

Recently Completed Searches

Emerald Expositions (NYSE: EEX)

  • Vice President, Sales (ASD &IGES)

Hybrid Apparel

  • Senior Vice President, Human Resources

JMP Group

  • Director, Financial Planning & Analysis

MyoKardia (NASDAQ: MYOK)

  • Director, Compensation


  • Vice President, Fulfillment
  • Vice President, Finance

Current Searches

Public Biotechnology Company (Newark, CA)

  • Head of Pharmacovigilance

Public Biotechnology Company (San Diego, CA)

  • Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Public Biotechnology Company (Los Angeles, CA)

  • Corporate Controller

Private Biotechnology Company (Emeryville, CA)

  • Head of Human Resources

Private Consumer Electronics Company (Newark, CA)

  • Chief Financial Officer

Public Business Supplies & Equipment Company (Livermore, CA)

  • Vice President, Human Resources

Public Technology Company (San Francisco, CA)

  • Vice President, Total Rewards

Public AgTech Company (Scottsdale, AZ)

  • Chief Financial Officer