Reward means more than pay

Ask employees what motivates them – don’t assume a single reward package will inspire all,

Oliver Shaw, Chief Commercial Officer of Cascade HR – an IRIS Software Group company, provides top 10 tips to reward employees in the modern business environment…

1. Start from day one – kickstart employees’ motivation from the minute they join the team, with a positive welcome and access to all the resources they need. This initial interaction will create the sense of feeling rewarded, from the outset. Overlook even seemingly minor details, such as the provision of a dedicated desk space, a fully functional IT set-up and/or building access passes, and their feeling of worth will be eroded from day one.

2. Ask employees what motivates them – don’t assume a single reward package will inspire all, especially within increasingly diverse workforces. View your staff as the individuals that they are and try to craft reward strategies that will truly make them feel…rewarded! Some people will be extremely vocal about what they’re looking for, whereas others may prefer to make requests anonymously via a staff survey.

3. Don’t underestimate the power of a thank you, during both tricky and ‘flying high’ times. It needs to be personal though, irrespective of business size, so that it feels sincere.

4. Focus on outputs, not hours worked, and provide true flexibility, as much as practically possible. A simple step is to move away from the traditional 9-5 mindset, but, where feasible, extend that flexibility to retain great talent, e.g. allow sabbaticals. This will make the overall role package extremely compelling and difficult to walk away from.

5. Empower staff to make decisions and – providing they reach informed conclusions and learn from mistakes along the way – support this iterative process. Don’t crush that person if they fall at the first hurdle and if they struggle due to lack of training, recognise where improvements are required on all parts.

6. Make a fuss of people on their important dates, from work anniversary cards to a later start on birthdays.

7. Take risks on people – there’s nothing more unrewarding than being the colleague who can (and does!) do the job but doesn’t get the promotion. The most suited person for a role isn’t always the one who shouts loudest.

8. Promote professional development and devise a 360ᵒ performance management framework that works for the business and colleagues. It’s important to set and review targets, and plug gaps with either on-the-job or external training and coaching.

9. Recognise that people increasingly want to ‘do good’. So, from CSR days to inviting staff to organise charitable giving opportunities, show that your organisation exists for more than just commercial gain. Studies show that this is particularly important for Generation Z employees who are extremely prepared to challenge the ‘norm’.

10. And of course, offer the most competitive salary you can afford – just realise it isn’t the only reason people come to work.
As always, this topic is multi-layered. And it will undoubtedly be a challenge for the next 10 years. But the likes of flexible working models are becoming more common and are here to stay in particular. They certainly feature within our annual research findings from the HR landscape. So, with some thought, and determination, we could ensure it works for all rather than holding anyone back.

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