Does your Organisation need an Employee Rewards Programme?
Does your Organisation need an Employee Rewards Program?
It is now the perfect time to decide whether or not your organisation needs a reward and recognition programme for your employees and, if so, which programme. Programmes range from recognition, incentive, retention, performance, and sales orientated campaigns and have become an integral part of an organisations’ internal marketing and HR departmental assets. In this article we therefore outline the questions to ask when considering a programme for your company or specific department.
The first step is to evaluate your organisation and staff. Ask questions such as:
- What is your office moral? If it is upbeat and positive this is a good start but if not, try to pinpoint why not – do staff members complain quite a bit to one another about their work, do they communicate efficiently to one another, do they take pride in their work, etc.?
- Are your employees happy? On a scale of 1 to 10 how would you rate your employees happiness in their position, in the office and when performing their daily tasks?
- Are the expected behaviours communicated and reinforced? Companies often have set behaviours they expect their employees to adopt, but unless these are thoroughly communicated and encouraged, employees will seldom embrace them.
- Do your employees fully embrace your company values? Ensuring that your staff fully understand and adopt the company culture in their daily duties depicts their job satisfaction and often how the company is perceived by your clients.
- Does your organisation have effective and open communication amongst hierarchies? Are your employees and managers communicating effectively to one another, do managers inform employees of important company happenings, and do your staff feel that their managers are approachable?
- Do your employees feel appreciated? Do you regularly recognise and reinforce good behaviour and additional work input?
- Is team work actively encouraged in the organisation? Do you encourage colleagues to support one another and help out when needed? Does team work come readily to employees or does it need to be encouraged?
- Are your employees self motivated? Can you leave the majority of your employees to carry out their daily duties independently or do you constantly have to supervise them? Do they work because they have to, or because they want to?
- Does the organisation adequately retain staff? Is your staff turnover excessively high with employees constantly leaving the organisation and new members joining resulting in increased employee acquisition and training costs, as well as company time?
- Is your company remuneration enough to encourage staff loyalty? There are various aspects that affect employee loyalty, one of the most common thought to be salary and remuneration. However, studies have shown that if employees do not align to the company’s values or feel underappreciated in their job, no matter how high the remuneration, they will not remain loyal or dedicated to the organisation.
If you answered no to any of the above questions, your organisation does need a reward and recognition programme in 2015. The question then is whether to explore an internal or external programme, and what type of rewards to offer?
Monetary rewards - Monetary rewards and incentives are not necessarily the answer. Many employees expect commission on their salaries or additional bonuses and therefore do not see this as a reward but part of their salary. If you want to encourage increased performance, profits, loyalty and overall commitment, additional measures in the form of recognition from authority figures and peers, as well as rewards, to collaborate the recognition and appreciation of the company, need to be implemented. Another important note is that monetary rewards are taxable no matter the amount whereas rewards are tax free up to the value of R5000.
Point based rewards – The most effective rewards in the corporate environment are point based rewards that work off an online system. The platform functions as an online shop on which the points the employee earns may be accumulated and spent on items or experiences that the employee actually wants and appreciates. Giving the employee the gift of choice is the best way to guarantee satisfied recipients and the added tax benefits on rewards versus cash make this a seamless and efficient option.
Internal low budget campaign – Running a campaign internally is not necessarily cheaper. You need to keep in mind that work still needs to be done to run the campaign which converts to people’s time. What often happens is that an existing employee or manager is tasked with managing the campaign which results in much of their time being taken up which could be used on profitable output instead. The campaign also tends to fluctuate in quality as the person responsible may not always have time to give the programme their full attention, causing lower delivery in communications and reminders (if these are provided at all).
Formal rewards programme – What the company thinks their employees want and what the employees actually want are two different things. This is where an external entity adds true value to you – they do not have any bias and offer evaluation tools (such as surveys) from an external standpoint that illicit honest and valuable feedback from employees. From there a professional programme is designed according to your needs, budget and desired values/behaviours. Once implemented everything from point allocations according to predefined criteria or nominations, a formal platform where employees may choose their preferred reward, and regular proficient communications are all handled by the outsourced agency. The added benefits of an online/mobi platform is that you may add modules such as polls, leader boards (to encourage friendly competitiveness), a recognition page listing those who have been rewarded, on the spot rewards functionality (so managers may allocate points) and a nominations form, in addition to the extensive online shop. The platform is also designed in your company branding or according to a campaign theme further encouraging participation from employees and reiterating the desired behaviours you would like them to exhibit.
What is most important when considering a campaign is to take the initiative seriously – a half hearted effort will only ruin the experience for all involved and waste the company’s time and money. What many fail to realise is that an effectively and professionally implemented programme has the potential to increase performance, commitment and improve behaviours amongst staff, therefore paying for itself.