WorldatWork Research


WorldatWork 2012 Total Rewards Professionals' Career Census

Updated April 2013


In 2012, WorldatWork teamed with e-reward in the United Kingdom and the South African Reward Association (SARA) to study the careers of total rewards professionals around the world. Among a variety of key findings outlined on this page, this research identified eight key differentiators of top performers in our profession:

  • Technical Mastery
  • Adaptability & Flexibility
  • Strategic Business Understanding
  • Passion & Proactivity
  • Analytical Skills & Attention to Detail
  • Continuous Learning
  • Communication & Connection
  • Development Support System

These results became a main driver behind the WorldatWork Career Excellence Model. In addition, to build on the 2012 Career Census, WorldatWork investigated the career development plans of total rewards professionals in the 2013 Total Rewards Professionals’ Career Development Survey.

We welcome your questions, comments and feedback on this research at TRCarDevCensus@worldatwork.org.


Report Links, Articles and Discussion

WorldatWork 2012 Total Rewards Professionals' Career Census
(May 2012):

Report: What Differentiates Top Performers
Technical Appendix: Methodology and Data Coding & Handling
Dashboard Graphics and Detailed Data Appendixes
Survey Instrument

Understanding and Developing Business Acumen
(Jan. 2012)

How Important is Business Acumen to Your Career in Total Rewards?
(Nov. 2011)

WorldatWork 2013 Total Rewards Professionals' Career Development Study
(April 2013):
Report

Other Related Resources

 

Survey Instrument
Participant Demographics
Business Acumen
Skills and Experience
Career Development
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function
For additional detail regarding the survey instrument, including programming notes, please contact TRCarDevCensus@worldatwork.org.

 

 

Key Findings
See report for more information on each finding.

Finding 1
Input from thousands of respondents worldwide reveals eight key differentiators of top performers in the total rewards professions.

Chapter 1
Wanted: Total Rewards Superstar

page 6

Finding 2
Top performers are not just great at what they do, but also more cognizant of "the why" of their work. Context is king.
Finding 3
Connecting to and understanding the business is important for all, but 1) it's easier said than done, and 2) the imperative for this understanding grows with the level of responsibility.

Chapter 2
Connecting to the Business

page 15

Finding 4
In describing how they develop business acumen, High Flyers are about twice as likely to mention externally focused factors, such as industry, competitors and key trends.
Finding 5
The ability to think strategically tops the list of future skill development priorities for total rewards professionals. Communications was often ignored as a development priority.

Chapter 3
Focus on the Future

page 17

Finding 6
The future of more than half of high flyers may be in a different organization.
Finding 7

The future of the total rewards practice will be marked by four key trends:

  1. Ensuring that total rewards enhances the engagement of employees
  2. Increased focus on the HR impact and the analytics of how programs affect business results
  3. Ensuring that total rewards is communicated clearly and effectively to staff
  4. The need to provide increasing input to business strategy and the organization achieving business success.
 

Dashboard Graphics and Detailed Data Appendixes

Overall: All Respondents
Data Cuts: Compensation Professionals | Benefits & Work-Life Professionals |
Consultants | Multinational HR Professionals

All Respondents

Summary Charts

"All Respondents" Dashboard

Detailed Data Appendixes

Full Set of "All Respondents" Data Appendixes, or by section:
 
Participant Demographics
 
Business Acumen
 
Skills and Experience
 
Career Development
 
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
 
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function

Data Cut: Compensation Professionals
(Includes total rewards professionals whose current role
includes compensation responsibilities.)

Summary Charts

"Compensation Professionals" Dashboard

Detailed Data Appendixes

Full Set of "Compensation Professionals" Data Appendixes, or by section:
 
Participant Demographics
 
Business Acumen
 
Skills and Experience
 
Career Development
 
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
 
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function

Data Cut: Consultants
(Includes total rewards professionals
with past or present consulting experience.)

Summary Charts

"Consultants" Dashboad

Detailed Data Appendixes

Full Set of "Consultants" Data Appendixes, or by section:
 
Participant Demographics
 
Business Acumen
 
Skills and Experience
 
Career Development
 
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
 
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function

Data Cut: Benefits & Work-Life Professionals
(Includes total rewards professionals whose current role
includes benefits and/or work-life responsibilities.)

Summary Charts

"Benefits & Work-Life Professionals" Dashboard

Detailed Data Appendixes

Full Set of "Benefits & Work-Life Professionals" Data Appendixes,
or by section:
 
Participant Demographics
 
Business Acumen
 
Skills and Experience
 
Career Development
 
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
 
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function

Data Cut: Multinational HR Professionals
(Includes total rewards professionals whose current role
includes multinational HR responsibilities.)

Summary Charts

"Multinational HR Professionals" Dashboard

Detailed Data Appendixes

Full Set of "Multinational HR Professionals" Data Appendixes,
or by section:
 
Participant Demographics
 
Business Acumen
 
Skills and Experience
 
Career Development
 
Drivers of Total Rewards Change
 
Organization Demographics and the Total Rewards Function

 



Related Resources
WorldatWork Career Excellence Model
Career Center
Career Ladder: Interviews with Senior Leaders (workspanTV)
Census of the Total Rewards Profession (2007)
Now is the Time to Advance Your Total Rewards Career (workspan, Jan. 2011)
Today’s Total Rewards Professional: Experience, Education and Critical Skills Offer an Edge (workspan, Jan. 2008)
Your Career in 2008: Experts Offer Advice (workspan, Jan. 2008)
Today’s Total Rewards Professional (workspan, Jan. 2007)