Geert Vanherwegen is Director Compensation & Benefits at Randstad Group Belgium. Over the years, Randstad has grown from an interim employment company to a leading HR service provider, employing more than 2,000 people in Belgium.

Together with the launch of a cafeteria plan earlier this year, Randstad also decided to offer a Total Reward Statement to its employees via the KPMG Flex Reward Tool.


Geert, why did Randstad decide to introduce a Total Reward Statement?

It’s actually quite simple: we have noticed that in practice the questions or discussions around the terms of employment are almost always exclusively about the gross salary, while the total package is much broader. A Total Reward Statement (TRS) is the perfect tool to display the complete package in a clear manner to the employees and HR can also use the TRS in recruitment and/or salary discussions.

Randstad has a very extensive remuneration package. Do you think the overall appreciation of the package increases through a Total Reward Statement?

Absolutely. By bundling all the elements together, as an employee you gain insight into all the benefits you enjoy, spread over the entire year.

The (net) salary is well known, but elements that only come up once a year, such as the eco-vouchers, a gift voucher on the occasion of St Nicholas or a one-off bonus, are obviously appreciated at the time of allocation but only have a temporary "hurrah" effect. Through the TRS, you therefore also keep sight of those forms of reward.


What do you think are the most important elements of a Total Reward Statement? How many times a year are you planning to update the information in the Total Reward Statement?

The most important elements are mainly those that are not immediately obvious, such as the extra-legal pension or the various insurances (hospitalization & death coverage) but which are definitely valuable and important.

In addition, there are many smaller elements that are taken for granted. Just think of seniority leave or gifts on the occasion of specific events.

The totalization of all elements on an annual basis also creates new insights: we are, for example, used to receiving meal vouchers on a monthly basis, but we seldom stop to think about how much this amounts to on an annual basis. Often, the amounts involved are substantial.

Since most of the elements are recurring and uniform, it is sufficient to update the TRS once a year with regard to the salary elements. In our case, that is after the annual salary round.


The Total Reward Statement went live at Randstad a few weeks ago. What is the feedback from the employees?

The feedback is very positive. People are particularly surprised by its clarity and size. So the intended "bundle" effect is definitely there.


You deliberately chose to start with a limited cafeteria plan, with a focus on bicycles and multimedia, and then to expand later. Why did you do that?

The concept of a cafeteria plan is not simple and requires a lot of communication and consultation with employees. Also, the team that manages the cafeteria plan and our external partners have to grow in their roles and in their cooperation between them. If your offered choices are then too extensive from day one, you add unnecessary complexity, especially since each module has its own specifications.

Therefore, we decided to start with "only" two modules. Obviously, we chose the modules for which we knew the demand was the highest. Moreover, adding and activating new modules later is always an opportunity to put the plan in the spotlight again.