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The official definition of a reward is a ‘thing’ that is given in recognition of service, effort, or achievement. What sets a reward apart from a salary is that your salary is part of a contract encompassing a fair exchange of value – you do the time/work in exchange for an agreed financial remuneration.

An employee reward scheme is not part of their remuneration package – rather, it can be better defined as employee ‘perks’ – those things that recognise the effort and hard work of an employee, and endeavours to reward it with an act or item.

Is a reward scheme going to cost a company a large investment?

While monetary rewards for employees are often believed to be the preferred option, there are a number of equally valuable rewards, which do not require financial input from the company. Knowing how to retain employees without money is the foundation of building a staff reward scheme that will encourage employee engagement, motivation, performance, and retention, without significant cost implications.

What will set one company apart from its competitors though, in terms of being a good place to work and therefore managing to attract and retain the best people, is the implementation of a rewards scheme that offers real value and additional perks.

Take a long-term structured approach

The most important first step is to establish a long-term strategy for employee rewards and implement a system that is fair, arbitrary, and doesn’t pit individuals against each other. This strategy should incorporate systems for both monetary and non-monetary rewards, employee assistance programmes, and employee recognition programmes.

A company’s reward scheme will provide a clear framework for progression and achievement. Although it is believed that rewards fall within the HR remit, their actual delivery to the workforce should be more focused on the teams within each department. Assign monitoring and benchmarking to individuals in each team who can communicate the goals of the rewards scheme effectively to their team members and work with them proactively towards achieving these goals.

Although you want to avoid any toxic competitiveness between individual employees, a little bit of positively focused inter-departmental rivalry doesn’t do any harm.

Examples of non-monetary employee rewards

Time-based rewards tend to be the most popular for employees to feel recognised and valued.

Flexible working – understanding that not everyone’s life fits into neat schedules and allowing leeway through a more flexible approach to the hours they work is a huge bonus for many people trying to juggle work and family commitments.

Encourage ‘intrapreneurship’ – there are people who are happy to clock in and out, perform their duties, get their salary and any perks, but are not particularly motivated to set the world on fire. In contrast, there are those who have the drive and passion to innovate, take the initiative, ask questions, and learn as much as possible. These are people who will soon leave if you try to stifle their drive. A vital reward for such people is to give them the time and space to help you develop other areas of your business alongside performing their main role.

Do regular ‘walk abouts’ – as your company grows, there are probably people working for you who you barely know. At least once a month, take the time out to go to them, thank them for their hard work, and ask them questions about themselves – are they enjoying their job? What can be done to improve it? Are there any problems? Ask about their family, hobbies, etc. Really get to know them.

Extra leave – while you have to be cautious that people don’t take advantage of your good nature, giving someone an extra day’s holiday in recognition of a job well done is a massive incentive for many people. That day is valuable.

Monetary rewards

Financial incentives include an increase in remuneration, employee stock options, mid-year, and end-of-year bonuses, paid time off, profit sharing, and cash awards.

Some companies like to offer ‘experience days’ for employees and their families – booking and paying for a family day out in recognition of hard work and commitment.

Employee assistance and recognition programmes

Employee assistance programmes, or EAPs, have become very popular over the last decade. Although many have their foundations in private health insurance, giving employees access to private medical and dental services, counselling, and occupational health services, many EAPs have now extended their offerings to include shopping discounts for many high street brands and supermarket chains, gym memberships, personal development discounts, free lunches, cinema tickets, and discount vouchers for other experiential activities.

An employee recognition programme allows you to structure a framework around ensuring there is a consistent focus on recognising employee efforts and achievements and integrating this into the very culture of the company. The key is that this structure matches the company’s overall objectives and values.

If you would like to discuss in more detail how an employee reward and recognition scheme can be developed and integrated into your business contact Paydata today to arrange a call.

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