It is typically quite straight forward when we think about a rewards package for our employees – it’s a salary and maybe some commission or bonus scheme. This is understandable. It’s the way that things have always been.
But isn’t it about time we rethink our reward practices? Employee motivation for coming to work has changed significantly and the working practices themselves keep transforming so why not also rethink how we reward our people?
In this post we’re going to look at what type of rewards are most common in workplaces and what perhaps businesses could consider to ensure that their reward practices achieve more than just employees showing up for work.
Employee Reward – Money First
Most businesses use monetary rewards as the key benefit for their employees. As we said, employees will get their salaries and might additionally get bonuses, commission or regular salary increases.
However, research has shown time and time again that monetary rewards do not motivate or engage employees to the degree that other rewards do. However, employers are often stuck in the cycle of thinking that money is what employees care about most. Don’t get me wrong – money is very important but money will only go as far as to get an employee to do work for you. Money will not engage an employee to do good quality work, go the extra mile, get creative, innovative or even remain in employment with you. In fact, when it comes to staff retention, salary is often the least effective motivator. How many times has someone resigned because they’ve been offered more money elsewhere?
This is why it is important that additional rewards are also considered and offered to employees.
Another common way of rewarding employees will be to give them time off. Holiday is something that all employees have an entitlement to and employers often try to offer more than the minimum statutory requirement in order to provide an additional reward to their employees. Often employers tie in the additional holidays reward with length of service. Whilst this might have seemed a good idea for gaining longer length of service commitment from employees in the past, with the new typical career length span of 2 -4 years, these parameters might need to be reconsidered. Additional holidays might help businesses get the candidates that they need in a competitive market or retain the talent once in employment.
Employers who get a bit more creative offer additional time off for their employees. Examples would be time off for volunteering both as part of the company’s CSR (corporate social responsibility) or on an individual basis for employee chosen charities or community groups. Such time off is considered to deliver significant employee engagement benefits and also support the overall commitment to the company. The investment for the business is rather small to allow employees to take let’s say 1 or 2 days a year for volunteer activities but it can deliver significant benefits of employee engagement as well as a positive company image in the public and of course additional marketing opportunities.
Time off for training is another area that employers often offer their employees. Some employers offer time off for training that is work related and helps employees build up their skills and some even offer additional time off for training that is not work related but supports individual development of the employees. The government is talking about the potential of workers being able to request time off for training so it is clear that the general move is towards greater investment in employee skills which would require businesses to allow time off. Employers should consider setting time aside for their employees to have training as this is perceived as a benefit and could be a great incentive when considered both in terms of career progressions and general development in the role. This is another method of rewarding employees that can be a competitive advantage for employee attraction and retention as well as engagement.
Now a Bit More Creative – Additional Benefits
If a business is more creative, then they start going further and thinking about additional benefits that they can offer their employees. Employee well-being is important and so many businesses now offer gym memberships to their employees and some even offer different exercise classes on their own premises. I myself have worked for an employer where we had a yoga teacher come on site once or twice a week which was a benefit that was appreciated by the employees.
More and more businesses are also offering private health insurance which can be a great solution to ensuring minimum employee absence levels. Healthy employees ultimately mean employees who can be very productive. So, a benefit that supports employee wellbeing is something that businesses should consider.
What’s Next? Reconsider your Employee Benefits
There are many additional rewards and benefits that employers offer employees ranging from shopping discounts, to holiday trips or even spa days. We know that for many businesses this is already a stretch too far but there are many simple cost-effective benefits that companies could consider in an effort of gaining greater engagement of their workforce (although there are often tax implications so you do need to check with your accountant before implement these types of things).
If you would like to explore the different employee benefits that you could offer, we at Lighter HR Solutions would be happy to help. Just give us call on 0203 319 1649 and we will help you get more creative with your employee rewards!