Reaping the rewards of employee incentive schemes

Setting up an employee rewards package can be a challenge, but if it’s implemented effectively, the outcome will benefit employees and employers alike.


Adam Coleman is chief executive of HR Locker, the employee management software firm

So you want to build an employee recognition strategy that’s purposeful, attainable and fair, but you have no idea how to marry employee and employer expectations, monitor the effectiveness of your rewards programme, or communicate what you have to offer to employees.

These are just some of the many challenges you’ll face during the process, but fear not as there are solutions.

Let’s start with how to marry employee and employer expectations. The rewards your employees will find most useful, valuable or desirable won’t necessarily be the ones that drive most productivity. Sometimes what feels purposeful to the employee does not feel purposeful to the employer.

Your rewards package should be designed to help you meet specific goals, or improve certain metrics like employee engagement because then it’s easily measurable and deeply valuable for the business. But those rewards still need to feel exciting and desirable for the employee.

One way you can marry employee and employer expectations is by positioning benefits and recognition against compensation. Essentially, that means positive behaviours are acknowledged with financial or non-financial rewards.

Let’s take the example of a marketing person who just led a highly successful campaign. As a reward, they’re offered funding for further marketing training that can help them achieve a higher-paid role. The employee is recognised and rewarded with the opportunity to develop their skills, and the employer gains a more highly skilled employee in return.

Total rewards have a significant impact on the physical and psychological health of the workforce, but human-centred rewards don’t deliver business success on their own. They have to be delivered strategically, in line with company objectives, to support the business and the employee.

A second challenge is how to monitor the effectiveness of your rewards programme. How do you know if it’s working?

First, you need some clear objectives to design your rewards strategy around. What are the company objectives? What are employees’ objectives and key results? Where would you like to be in the next five years? You can’t measure what you can’t see.

Once you’ve selected what you’ll measure, you can track how many employees are satisfying those behaviours, processes and attitudes, and how proficient they are at them. Then you can provide benefits that reward behaviours, processes and attitudes that get you closer to those goals.

You might find this drives learning development programmes too. Where employees aren’t well versed in a specific skill that’s important to business success, you can implement programmes that counteract this.

Challenge three is communicating what you have to offer. A well thought out, targeted rewards package is completely useless if it’s poorly communicated.

Take note of how your employees are communicating with each other within their own workplace circles. Do they use Slack, are they still big fans of email, or does the Google chat function serve as their preferred method of communication?

Use the channels your employees are already using to distribute information about your rewards programme. You’ll have a better chance of getting their attention if it’s a messaging platform they use regularly, and you can count on them seeing updates more frequently.

Have an actual launch event, where you can present the new rewards package and answer any questions people might have. Putting your rewards package in the context of an event immediately makes it seem more exciting. If you can manage an in-person event, it could really drive the message home. Otherwise, a short Zoom session should do the trick.

Create rewards ambassadors within each department who can share information, answer questions and promote your package to their fellow employees. They should be people who have already received rewards and can speak openly and honestly about the benefits.

Use performance reviews to draw attention to your rewards package. Talk about the rewards employees are on track to receive, or improvements they could make to bring them closer to attainment-based rewards. If your employees are entitled to certain rewards already, let them know this. After so much time spent refining the rewards package, the last thing you want is for them to miss out.

This is also the perfect opportunity to ask for feedback about rewards. As important as it is to have a rewards package that furthers the company mission, helping to further your employees’ individual goals is equally as valuable.

There’s no use denying it. You’re going to face heaps of challenges setting up your employee rewards programme. But if you get it right, those rewards will be felt by everybody.

Original Article by Business Post
Reaping the rewards of employee incentive schemes was last modified: September 28th, 2022 by Beatriz Araujo

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