People Before Profits – The benefits of an effective staff reward program

Long gone are the days of expecting a company to provide their staff with long term opportunities so one’s career is now ultimately in the hands of the individual. As a result, people move between organisations with greater ease than ever before, making staff retention and loyalty trickier to manage.

Staff reward and recognition programs, if managed properly, can be excellent tools to activate team members and provide them with tangible incentives.

Here are some of the reasons:

  1. They improve the experience of working with an organisation and boost morale.
  2. They provide an avenue to reinforce the company culture and, if they are branded, its brand integrity – something that is of increasing importance as shifts are being made to permit staff to work partially (or, at times, entirely) from home.
  3. They inspire achievement and enhance the push towards achieving goals.
  4. They are a benefit of tenure and demonstrate to others that the organisation values the commitment and loyalty shown by years of service.

These programs can be executed in several ways, including the provision of an experience such as a holiday or team celebration, additional leave, a monetary or physical product of some kind, or a combination of these things.

There is no “one size fits all” secret method to creating a successful program. When asked, I recommend clients first survey their employees, perhaps providing them with a list of options, to gauge what inspires them the most. The program then needs to be clearly defined and communicated to the team. Once this has been done, the organisation should forecast to take advantage of economies of scale when ordering from suppliers.

The benefit of including branded and/or personalised pieces, is that the symbol of appreciation becomes tangible, visible to the public and long lasting. Like all promotional products, they need to be seen as an investment in one’s business.  When used in this context they are doing double the work, as they are also helping to ensure the ongoing success of the organisation.

Apart from certificates and awards, desirable lifestyle items, drinkware gift sets and elegant pens are popular inclusions in reward and recognition programs. An industry specialist will be able to assist you in selecting the right reward and recognition items for your team, as well as guide you on how best to decorate with your brand and any inspiring messages you may wish to include.

Finally, how, where and when reward and recognition items are delivered is also important. Achievements made public throughout an organisation or via social media may provide a valuable PR exercise, promote within success within the organisation and inspire others. However, large scale announcements are not always necessary to demonstrate to team members that they are valued, the individual/s receiving the recognition and how they prefer to be acknowledged is worth keeping in mind, as is the nature of the reward. In addition to this, knowing just when to add this “extra cream” to the pie can elevate its impact and rally morale when it is needed most.

Our teams need inspiration and recognition, perhaps more than ever before, take a moment to check in with an industry professional and find out how they can help.

Have you ever received a prize of some kind from your employer or been recognised for your time with them?

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