Employee Rewards Programmes

Implementing a new employee rewards programme is an incredibly hard task for an employer. Employees must be bought in to the initiative, communication must be on-message, and all this in the face of a workforce most likely disengaged and already performing below par. But what are the latest top tips on how to positively implement and design a rewards programme?  

  1. Consult – get everyone to chime in up front, get them in a room, get a flip chart out, and take their ideas. They might not all be usable. They might be largely impossible to implement, but the act of consultation and involvement is absolutely the key to “buy-in” and collaboration. But do this face to face – don’t send an email for comment – this is too easy to ignore and criticise. Taking employees in manageable group sizes is a much better way of actually forcing engagement with the issue.
  2. Consider – the reward must be worth the effort. There is no point in engaging the workforce in a mass consultation if you go for a scheme that has only the smallest margin of them engaged. Rewards need to be considered, realistic and attainable for all.
  3. Communicate – as you work on designing the programme. Keep the workforce up to date. The business world is littered with the tombstones of initiatives that began but were never implemented – or started, and then mutated into something completely different over time. Communicate as you go along and you will neutralise this problem.
  4. Check In – make sure people understand what is expected of them, how they attain the reward, and the expectations of them. There is no point in having them all working towards goals they don’t understand. The check-in is the work of the line manager, and this should be done regularly – as often as weekly, at one-to-one catch-ups. This should be part of the language of the company: “how are you doing to your rewards? Do you need any help to this?”
  5. Consistency – make sure rewards are delivered in a timely and consistent manner, as designed and agreed. There is nothing worse than a discredited rewards programme to an employee. “I was supposed to get X, Y and Z, but it hasn’t been paid yet.” Equally, this also means when you agree rewards, make sure you are being realistic about what you are prepared to deliver. If this is a cash reward, for example, what is the financial impact of all employees getting it?
  6. Connection – rewards must be connected to performance, otherwise there will be no positive impact on cultural behaviours.
  7. Choice – allowing an element of choice in the reward enables the employees to motivate themselves to a particular goal. After all, we are all individuals, and what motivates one might not motivate the other, and could even turn them off.

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