Rewarding Work: Total Rewards Study Phase One

Total Rewards Phase One

A competitive total rewards package is essential in positioning Rice as an employer of choice that attracts and retains best-in-class professionals. A total rewards package includes pay and a broad spectrum of tangible and intangible rewards, such as health insurance, retirement plans, bonuses, career development, paid time off, and more. The Total Rewards Project will develop and implement best-in-class employee benefits, staff compensation, and career development programs as part of the HR Excellence initiative.

The Total Rewards Project includes the study, implementation, and continuous review of the university’s total rewards offerings. The project began in February with the goal of evaluating Rice’s total rewards package, which encompasses job titles, structure, pay, pay ranges, and benefits.

Total Rewards Study Update

  • What it is: The total rewards study compares Rice staff compensation and employee benefits to those offered by peer universities and local and national employers. The benefits review also includes an employee survey, which collects data from Rice employees to capture benefits sentiments.
  • What’s been accomplished: The total rewards study and employee benefits survey results have been collected. Human Resources is analyzing the data to determine a strategy for enhancing staff compensation and employee benefits based on the results.
  • What’s to come: Using the data collected from the total rewards study and employee benefits survey, Human Resources will work with senior university leadership and key stakeholder groups, such as the Benefits Committee, to develop a multi-year plan to improve staff compensation and employee benefits offerings beginning July 1, 2024.
  • What this means for Rice employees: Employee benefits may change to better reflect the needs and interests of our current and future employees.

Health Insurance Provider Request for Proposal

  • What it is: A process used to seek proposals for medical, pharmacy, dental, and vision benefit programs that will help gauge the market and find the most suitable health insurance partners for the future.
  • What’s to come: A request for proposals will be distributed to find the most suitable health insurance partner. Human Resources, in collaboration with executive leadership and with the advice of the Benefits Committee, will review and identify the top proposal responses, negotiate with insurance carriers to secure the most desirable benefits package, and implement the changes to be effective by July 1, 2024.
  • What this means for Rice employees: There may be changes to Rice’s health insurance carrier (Aetna), plans offered (HMO, PPO, etc.), and/or the design of the plans, such as the network of available providers, insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, or coverage for specific services. Employees are strongly encouraged to engage in this process by attending information sessions, reading communications sent by the benefits office, and actively participating in the open enrollment process. These changes will be communicated in detail and shared during the open enrollment process, which will take place in April 2024.

Job Structure

  • What it is: Job structure is the system used to organize and structure jobs in an organization. At Rice, this includes job families, subfamilies, job classifications, and career levels.
  • What’s been accomplished: In partnership with leaders across campus, Human Resources reviewed and updated the job structure. Updates include adding a few new job families, grouping similar jobs into the same job families and subfamilies, and adding more career levels.
  • What’s to come: Human Resources will work with supervisors to review and update staff job classifications as needed. Information sessions for supervisors and employees will launch next month to become familiar with the upcoming changes that will be implemented on January 1, 2024.
  • What this means for Rice employees: Adding new job families will make it easier for employees to see career paths and opportunities, and the additional career levels will provide more career growth opportunities for staff. Some staff members’ positions will be assigned a new job family, subfamily, classification or career level effective January 1, 2024. Staff will receive a notification of any changes to the job classification of their position before Winter Recess.

Employees who want to learn more about Phase 1 and the next steps of the Total Rewards Project should sign up for an upcoming information session:

Supervisors will be invited to an information session designed specifically for people leaders. The invitation will be sent from HR’s Total Rewards team.