Give recognition and rewards your employees will love

Give recognition and rewards your employees will love

focus and concentration gold boxed gift

What do employees really want when it comes to rewards and recognition from their employer or their boss, or manager, leader, head honcho? I never know what the right word is nowadays, ‘boss’ seems so ‘do as I say’ and not so collaborative, ‘lets get this sorted’ really. Yes the authority hierarchy is there, rightly so, and who’s in charge, and who does what,  does need to be understood and clear to all. I recall an A&E example of crash teams dealing with emergency patients, knowing exactly who does what and when, else is would be a total disaster but, bossing, directing, managing should be based on mutual respect of roles and polite too right.

There are a myriad of reward and experience type providers out there, some brilliant, some chancing their arm,  that claim to provide employee perks, employee rewards, team building, or staff benefits that will keep your employees motivated and your exceptional and good employees from heading out the door to your nearest competitor. Reality is you want to improve culture, you don’t leave as your boss awarded you with a fab dinner for closing that deal, or hitting exceptional customer satisfaction results. You go (personal circumstances, and significant money and pay offers by the competition excepted) because you feel unappreciated, unchallenged, (if that’s your thing) and under valued.

Basically like any relationship break-up really. You head out the door when you said (possibly repeatedly)  what you needed and wanted from the relationship, what you were prepared to give, but you weren’t’ listened to, or felt ignored anyway. Nothing changed, correct? Nothing significant enough anyway or the improvements weren’t sustained despite best efforts..

As someone with a fair bit of experience in the reward and recognition space, what became apparent to me over the years is that most solution providers set on a commercial model and offering and whilst it may suit some organisations employee rewards and recognition needs, it is often designed around what the solution provider wants to sell and can do some sustainably and that they will get up in the morning for.

Is that the best thing for you, your companies and your employees? Probably not. Is it better than not doing it? Yes of course. Is there a better way? Yes definitely, it’s like everything though effort, cost,  convenience and impact.  If you have a staff retention problem, impact should be your number one focus.

I visit an amazing pub for dining regularly, they have a staff member there long serving they have bought a company car from, regularly as part of her package. She is one of the best restaurant managers i have ever met and I’m a harsh judge at times.  Maybe I am out of touch, but I don’t think many restaurant managers get perks like that. It’s to reward loyalty, appreciation, make it easier to get to the place of work without relying in the unreliable, and because she is worth it and let’s face it the owners have done the sums. They have intelligently evaluated the cost and value relationship and she is clearly worth every penny.

Is ‘off the shelf’ reward and recognition solutions a problem?

It could be, the supplier is looking to configure their solution options for you based on their system first, not necessarily your needs, and for them with the least effort and the least cost. That may not be in the best interest of your organisation or the very reason why you are looking to address reward and recognition in your workplace specifically.

A standard solution may make things cost prohibitive, or too admin intensive, or just not appropriate for your staff and their lifestyles or preferences or your business.

Many organisations want to give time, or no direct cost, minimal impact on the bottom line in terms of spending money out of the business (to keep the FD happy). You know that type of benefits or rewards where it’s maximum perceived value, minimal outlay. There’s nothing wrong with that, as the more the better and it really is about doing as much as you can for the best value as a business. That’s commercial common sense.

So perhaps in real life experiences, such as giving time to volunteer at a local charity or good cause, (great for your community social impact too), providing the facility onsite cafes or food vouchers, parking subsidies,  flexibility in any number of ways such as time off, flexible time,  and other more human centric, people focused options to deserving employees, not just reward points or spa days.

Whilst a tangible reward or event is great of course, sometimes, someone’s life means having an early finish, lunch with the boss, a free pass duvet day or a fun or vocational learning voucher might be more appropriate and appreciated by the employee, and perhaps more easy to give and affordable for the specific organisation and the staff it employs.  The more appreciated by the employee it is, the better the reward impact.

cartoon boardroom table with profiles and sales falling

What you are trying to do as an employer is build that relationship and company culture that says to the employee, you really do matter, we care and we want you to care about the continued success of this business by stepping up every day if possible, and doing the best you can, making the best decision possible, as often as possible, considering the company’s wellbeing and future.

As by doing so, you are thinking about yourself and your future success in the business and the life it helps fund for you, and your colleagues and doing all you can to help keep it thriving for you all.

In essence, acting more like the owner of the company likely does, when they consider what risk they put the business at, how to juggle growth, overheads, costs, getting sales, funding, the competition and managing finances, cashflow and paying wages. It’s a lot to think about, all the time and do their job.

Ask a business owner what keeps them awake at night and the vast majority (whom employ people) will say after their own security is accounted for financially, it’s all those they employ. It’s almost like a parent in some respects, they worry about those dependent on them, why children are referred to as dependents.

At E&P we do what we can to keep up to date with the recognition and rewards sector, ( I think it should be renamed the appreciation sector) as like everything, it’s changing all the time. We can help you work through what might be the right solution for you and your company.  A good mix of thank you’s, rewards, gifts, recognition and celebrations all help with enhancing the employee experience. Life’s too short to be miserable at and in work.

We want to help employers be able to create and give memorable and lasting employee experiences for their employees. That means making moments that matter, memorable (and for the right reasons!).

Whatever your size of company is, we have something for you. We offer flexible solutions tailored to your business needs and budget. Together we can make sure employees feel valued and appreciated at work.

Like what you’ve read? Sign up to our employee engagement newsletter to hear more, fresh from the blog.

Engage & Prosper is a UK based privately owned Employee Engagement Consultancy and Social Enterprise. We’re on a mission to help organisations develop a highly productive and fulfilling, collaborative workplace culture, with their people, through enhanced employee engagement strategies, fabulous and effective internal communications platforms and tailored reward and recognition programmes.

For more information on Engage & Prosper or to discover how we can help you achieve your organisational and people goals please call +44 (0) 330 223 0464 or find out more at www.engageandprosper.com