Particularly since the labor force tumult caused by the pandemic, organizations generally need more than a fat paycheck to get their people to consistently perform at a high level with something approaching enthusiasm. Sure, it’s crucial to have “team players,” but employees need to feel recognized for their efforts as individuals. That takes an effective employee rewards program. Here’s what you should know about implementation.
We have a growing dichotomy: on one hand, organizations are, of course, constantly mindful of their performance. If they aren’t, they eventually won’t have much of an organization. On the other hand, employees, especially in a tight labor market, expect more from you.
Can the proverbial twain ever meet? Yes – IF the organization develops employee reward and recognition programs to help it keep talent and to motivate employees to perform – or continue to perform – in a manner that gains desired results.
Explain Employee Rewards
Employee rewards programs recognize their peoples’ contribution to the company’s success. They may be independent of the organization’s pay plan and structure, but not always.
Such programs can help you lure and keep top talent, and ensures that employees understand that they are appreciated, respected, and motivated to help the organization meet its objectives. In general, employee rewards program can go a long way toward improving the employee experience, which is key to corporate success.
What is Meant by Employee Experience?
This is an encapsulation of everything an employee perceives about their organizational journey, beginning with their position candidacy through to their exit.
How Can We Know What Employees Want?
Each company — and within it, each employee — is different. Organizations have disparate cultures. Therefore, you may think it’s virtually impossible to guess what employees want. Well, that’s kind of the point: you don’t want to “guess.”
That’s where surveys come into play. And we’re not talking about just the requisite annual questionnaire. You may need more frequent surveys that also include periodical, relatively shorter “pulse” surveys that are confined to a subject or two. Survey results can be used in the development of your rewards and recognition strategy. Just remember that if people are unaware of certain rewards, or don’t understand how they can get them, then you may as well not have them. That’s why benefits communications are key. If you need help in this area, we suggest you enlist the assistance of Mercer.
Establishing an Effective Employee Rewards Program
Before crafting a total rewards program, you should understand the types of employee recognition. One is private recognition, such as a phone call or email from a top exec. With public recognition, the higher-up will, say, call the prized employee out in a speech.
Note, too, that there are organizations that acknowledge accomplishments of every kind so frequently that recognition is baked in. The result is employees who take their positions and performances personally. They buy into organizational goals and tend to give companies their all.
Still other organizations have values-based recognition programs that seek to spur employees to aim for common goals. Inclusive recognition programs, meanwhile, work to achieve organizational parity.
Another characteristic of an effective rewards program is specificity. Why? Because citing a certain achievement makes a reward seem more genuine and less boilerplate. Afterall, most employees can tell if you’re essentially going through the motions for the sake of having a “recognition luncheon” or some other related activity.
Ultimately, implementing an effective rewards program means, first, understanding your employees and their needs, and improving their experience so that you can recruit the talent you need – and keep what you have. You also must have expertise in terms of communicating the benefits you develop. For that, we suggest the global consultant Mercer.