Hey, you! You, reading this article. Well done for everything you achieved this week. However big or small, you made it through. Great job!
Now, be honest. How did it feel reading that? Did you nod quietly to yourself? Reflect on everything you managed to fit in? Did you marvel at the fact you made it through another hectic week?
Recognition feels awesome. It’s also an incredibly simple way you can reward someone. Sure, it’s not a six-figure cash bonus. But it’s something every employer can implement to make their people feel that warm fuzzy feeling you just felt, dear reader.
In the wake of the pandemic, an overflow of job vacancies has revealed something concerning: there’s a huge skills shortage. It’s harder to attract and retain the talent that you need. Finding new ways to reward existing employees and excite potential ones could not be more important.
As we explored in our latest white paper on total rewards, people want more than just a paycheck. They’re looking for the perfect balance of financial and non-financial total rewards that speak to their individual needs and desires.
And to clarify, total rewards aren’t just a salary and pension. They can include anything from remote working and sabbatical leave to learning and development and stock options. Rewards don’t have to cost the earth, they just need to show that you understand and value your people.
The rewards employees want often change over time, based on individual, social, and wider global circumstances. Young people at the beginning of their careers might want learning and development opportunities. Those with childcare responsibilities might look for remote and flexible working options, or additional paid leave.
One thing’s clear though: only 37% of employees say pay is their sole reason for being in employment. So if you’re relying on salary alone to convince candidates, good luck hiring in this market.
Back in 2019, just 6% of workers were upskilling for a new role. And a report by City & Guilds Group suggests more than half of employers are facing barriers to recruiting the necessary skills and talent. This means businesses face two different challenges right now: retaining existing talent, so they don’t need to hire as often. And making their company as appealing as possible, so that a limited number of candidates want to work for them.
Before you can build a rewards package that makes candidates and existing employees jump for joy, you need to get clear on this definition. Because it’s probably not what you think it is.
Remember all that free time you had when you didn’t have to go into the office? Pretty nice, wasn’t it? If you were fortunate enough to be a white-collar worker sent home from the office, it may have opened your eyes to the joys of remote work. Today, remote working is a great organisational perk (arguably, a necessity). Pre-pandemic, it wasn’t very high on anyone’s list. Global events, societal pressures, and changing living standards can all influence the type of benefits we look for in a job.
Remote working is a perk that employees benefit from inside and outside of their paid hours. Other benefits, such as extra paid time off and sabbatical leave, provide value for employees outside of office hours. Learning and development initiatives are beneficial for employees now and in the future, as they use their newfound skills to advance their careers.
A comprehensive rewards package should include perks that employees appreciate inside and outside of working hours. Short-term benefits like cash bonuses and recognition programs provide an immediate boost of motivation for your people, while long-term benefits such as learning and development and stock options give your team another reason to stick with your company.
Of course, total rewards are only effective if your employees and candidates know about them. Research has shown that employees are more likely to be satisfied with company rewards if they’re communicated regularly.
For clues about what your people will find rewarding, look to your company’s purpose and culture. Let’s use a travel company as an example. If your business operates in the travel industry, there’s a good chance your existing employees like to have adventures of their own.
Some rewards that fit with this company profile could be awarding Airmiles for good work, organising working retreats, or implementing a digital nomad policy. Creating a targeted rewards package is not only a way to treat your employees – it attracts candidates who are also interested in these types of rewards. And if you’re running a travel company, what better than to have employees who love to travel too?
Great rewards have one thing in common: tech.
One of the most critical features of any rewards program is technology. Having the right tools and systems in place to manage and communicate your organisational perks is key to helping employees make the most of them.
Performance Management Systems (PMS) and Real-Time Reviews (RTR) allow managers to provide consistent feedback, monitor targets in real time, and reward more fairly and comprehensively. Metrics from PMS and RTR systems can also show employees how their efforts drive company success.
What’s more, there’s a whole host of apps and integrations to share with employees, so they can manage their rewards in real time. Antiquated requests for annual leave can be put aside, and replaced with collaborative HR platforms where employees can contribute.
Good governance of employee rewards programs minimises the opportunity for bias or unfair treatment to slip through the net. Good governance is easily aided by automation and technology. Scheduling regular performance reviews automatically mean these vital opportunities to connect with employees never get missed.
With a balanced rewards package and a little technology to manage it, employers can acknowledge great work and incentivise more of it.
If you’re ready to make total rewards a total success for your company, download our white paper on total rewards today.