Total Rewards Program for Riva Solutions Inc.  

Total Rewards Program for Riva Solutions Inc.  

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Total Rewards Program for Riva Solutions Inc.

RIVA Solutions Inc. (RIVA) is a small American information technology company that specializes in IT consultancy. The company provides management consulting services to the federal government is its main client. It also offers program support services and advises on best practices in information technology and other emerging technologies. The purpose here is to analyze RIVAs total rewards philosophy to identify the reward gaps and design a comprehensive total rewards program that can guarantee organizational success.

Description of Organization

RIVA Solutions Inc. (RIVA) is an American consultancy firm dealing exclusively with the federal government and its agencies. It has dealt with the Department of State, Department of Transportation, Department of Justice, Department of Education, Department of Defense, and Department of Commerce, and many others (RIVA, 2018). It is classified as an 8(a) small disadvantaged business (SBD) under the small business administration (SBA) certification rules. RIVAs vision is ‘for all people to be working for Great Places to work FOR ALL by 2030. The company’s mission is to be ‘a dedicated and reliable industry partner that leverages industry best practices and emerging technologies to provide customer solutions for each client.’ Its mantra is ‘happy employees, happy customers’, which embodies its employee-centric management approach (RIVA, 2018). As such, the company claims to reward teamwork, innovation, positive attitudes, and hard work in its workforce. Its core competencies include project management, systems planning and design, database planning and design, programming, network administration, IT security, and information assurance (RIVA, 2018).

Current Total Rewards Philosophy

RIVA offers numerous perks and rewards to its employees, indicating its commitment towards a total rewards philosophy. The company has monetary, nonmonetary, and environmental components in its rewards system. Monetary compensation is based on qualifications, experience and length of stay at the company. In addition, employees get up to five weeks of paid time off (PTO), while high performing teams receive performance-based cash bonuses. Besides, the firm offers indirect monetary benefits such as insurance covers in life, health, accidental death and dismemberment, identity theft protection and pets. The medical insurance is administered by CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Healthcare and covers dental and vision, alongside a flexible spending account (RIVA, 2018). The company reimburses fees and has training and certification programs for employees engaged in career development. RIVA also provides a 401k retirement plan by contributing up to 8 % of an employee’s salary. Nonmonetary are numerous and include paid-holidays, birthday gifts, holiday parties, summer picnics, monthly teambuilding activities and vacation raffles (RIVA, 2018). However, apart from volunteering and fundraising opportunities, the environmental component of the reward system is weak.  

The total rewards philosophy is founded on the provision of a balance between monetary, nonmonetary, and work environmental components of a reward system. A total reward package should not only reflect the organizational culture and the alignment with the business strategy, but should also be customized and unique enough to attract, engage and retain a motivated and energetic workforce in an organization (Davis, 2015). While RIVA has a comprehensive monetary and nonmonetary rewards system, its environmental component does not accommodate the working preferences of the contemporary worker, who values personal life, high mobility and work autonomy.

Workforce Segmentation

The workforce at RIVA can be categorized using the talent-based workforce segmentation, considering that the company provides knowledge-based services rather than goods. Its employees can divided into specialists, doers, professionals and criticals according to the skill-based workforce segmentation model (Tarique, 2014). The value-added specialists are the employees with highly specialized and scarce skills in the IT labor market, including the system planners, designers and programmers. These are the most valuable employees at RIVA, attracting the highest salaries and perks. The doers are the administrators of day-to-day activities at the firm, such as the customer service staff and secretaries. The professionals are the workers who perform repetitive jobs, such as network implementers and maintainers, accountants, and sales executives. The criticals are the employees who drive the strategy of the organization such as the key account managers, department managers and the like (Tarique, 2014).    

Current Requisite Capabilities

RIVA has worked with the federal government and its agencies since its inception in 2009. The company has a highly competent team of IT professionals with a vast experience in working with the American government and its agencies. However, the federal government and its agencies face challenges in information technology and management occasioned by their outdated IT infrastructure, as reported by the Inspector General (Kazda, 2018). For instance, with some of the IT infrastructure used by the federal government being over 50 years old and incurring annual maintenance costs of about 80 billion dollars, Riva should be prepared to modernize the IT systems and lower the maintenance burden on taxpayers (Kazda, 2018). Moreover, the government IT systems are frequently attacked by individual cybercriminals and state-sponsored agents working for foreign governments hostile to the United States. These cyberattacks are bound to become more sophisticated over time due to technological advancements.  

As such, RIVA requires a large team of IT talent to undertake large IT modernization projects, secure the vast amounts of government data and train the large government workforce on the proper use of the new systems. Since such projects would be lengthy while security threats would change over time, RIVA needs systems, databases, and security planners, designers, and administrators, who will be engaged for the entire life of the modernization projects. As such, attracting highly-talented IT experts, satisfying their changing needs over their lifetime, and continuously updating their skills is paramount.        


The current reward system at RIVA does not recognize the current and future preferences and challenges in the workforce, such as workforce aging and changing, unique work preferences of the millennials and later generations. The recommended total rewards program should include instant individual monetary rewards, diverse nonmonetary rewards that cater work the diverse interests of employees and, especially, a comprehensive work-life program that accommodates the interests of mature workers, nursing parents and younger employees.

Monetary Rewards

A loan repayment program is recommended because it would loan relieve many millennials and younger generations of the huge college loans they accrue before employment. While the millennials and Gen X and Z employees have a high affinity for instant gratification, many of them are struggling with college and university loans, which compromise their work performance and organizational commitment (Gong, et al., 2018). Similarly, elderly employees should be allowed to surpass their retirement age at the workplace and benefit from salary increments as well. Mature employees need money to support college-going children and their young adults who cannot access employment due to the prevailing economic hardships (Hewlett, 2009).   

Nonmonetary Rewards

A diverse nonmonetary rewards scheme that accommodates intergenerational differences in the workforce is recommended. On-site amenities such as a gym, a health and nutrition class, resting facilities would help promote the health wellness of the older and younger employees, who are increasingly health-conscious. Besides, paternity leaves for new fathers would help them satisfy their work-family balance demands (Kim, Las Heras & Escribano, 2016). Training opportunities for mature workers should be provided at no cost to enable the updating of their skills and competencies. This would not only make the employees remain relevant but would also future-proof them from technology and skill obsolescence. Moreover, mature employees should be offered opportunities to mentor the next generation of workers as part of re-crafting their work (Pregnolato, M., Bussin, M. H., & Schlechter, A. F. (2017). This would not only retain the highly-skilled and experienced workers, but would also ensure continuity through the transferring and preservation of institutional memory (Farrell, 2015). This is particularly important in long-term and extended projects that require a high level of confidentiality and diligence.    

Environmental Rewards

A reward system that provides a re-crafted and flexible working environment for employees of different generations is recommended. Flexible work schedules, remote working options, and provision for nursing facilities at the workplace for nursing mothers would satisfy the working habits and needs of both the young and old workers. Such a system would allow employee to be successful within and outside the firm (Pregnolato, Bussin & Schlechter, 2017). Besides, high performing workers can be rewarded by choosing more flexibility in their work schedules and location, thus keeping them more engaged in their work assignments.

The risks of not implementing the proposed total rewards program include low employee satisfaction, high turnover, and little organizational commitment, which would hinder the completion of lengthy government projects (Kim, Las Heras & Escribano, 2016). Since the IT industry is highly competitive, the proposed total rewards program would help attract and retain talent at RIVA. The older workers will be motivated to stay longer with the company while their younger counterparts will be dissuaded from joining the competitors. Evaluating the proposed total rewards program would focus on individual productivity, satisfaction levels, absenteeism, tardiness, and the number of errors in IT systems. These metrics can easily be measured using employee and client surveys.         


RIVA Solutions Inc. has an elaborate rewards system comprising mainly of monetary and nonmonetary components. The lack of the environmental element in its rewards system presents gaps in achieving a total rewards program that is responsive to the current and future workforce challenges facing the IT industry and the needs of the federal government and its agencies. A total rewards program focusing on the nonmonetary and work environment at the firm is proposed. The recommendations address the needs of an aging workforce, the millennials and the younger employees entering the workforce for a multigenerational workforce. Loan repayment programs for the indebted young employees alongside a flexible work environment for the old and young workers are recommended. The program is expected to attract and retain highly-qualified IT talent in the company. The success of the program will be measured using low absenteeism, high organizational commitment, high productivity and high employee and client satisfaction through employee and client surveys.   


Davis, P. (2015). How to best leverage the total rewards concept. Helios HR. Retrieved from

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Hewlett, S. A. (2009). Reward older workers with what they really want. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved from

Kazda, A. (2018). Top challenges facing federal agencies. Pursuit. Retrieved from

Kim, S., Las Heras, M., & Escribano, P. I. (2016). When satisfaction with work-family balance pays. International business research9(11), 178-188.

Pregnolato, M., Bussin, M. H., & Schlechter, A. F. (2017). Total rewards that retain: A study of demographic preferences. SA Journal of Human Resource Management15(1), 1-10.

RIVA (2018). RIVA: About. Retrieved from

Tarique, I. (2014). Seven trends in corporate training and development: Strategies to align goals with employee needs. London, UK: Pearson Education.

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