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How to get reward right without being reactive

Businesses are facing a lot of challenges right now. Quiet quitting combined with a cost of living crisis and economic slump, is a recipe for a restless, discontented workforce.

Ensuring your employees are happy at work and committed to your company is more of a challenge than ever, and right now it needs to be a priority. 

Cover story: What benefits do your employees really care about?

The future for rewards in a changing world

Applying organisational diagnosis to design rewards for an international workforce

One of the best ways to foster a supportive workplace is by having a well-run rewards programme. What this looks like differs from one company to the next. All that can be said for sure is that one size doesn’t fit all.

There are many ways to create a successful rewards programme, and here are five top tips for doing so in these testing times.


Tailor awards to personal tastes

It is crucial to show employees that they are seen and valued as individuals. Giving identical rewards to all employees sends the opposite message. It says that everyone is the same, and that the company has put minimal thought or effort into rewarding them.

Show employees that  you value their individual contributions by putting in that little bit of effort and giving a reward they will actually appreciate.

If your workforce is remote you could send a personal video or message, showing just how much you notice and value them. This will drive an emotional connection that simply isn’t possible otherwise.


Don’t tie cost of living support into rewards

We are facing difficult economic times and employees may be struggling to afford basic amenities such as heating and food, or enjoy a decent quality of life. While businesses may rightly want to show support to their employees, this shouldn’t be presented as a reward.

A reward recognises going above and beyond in the workplace - living the true values perhaps. Cost of living support is to ensure everyone in the business can afford access to everyday requirements that should be a given.

Don’t confuse the two, they won’t be received as openly and could be spent on frivolities rather than necessities if positioned as a reward.


Reward a balanced approach to work

Particularly during times of hardship, rewards should not be presented as incentive to pick up extra hours, over-work, or risk burnout. It is important that employees have work-life balance, both for themselves and for the workplace. In the long-run a business needs happy, healthy employees not ones who are pushed to (or past) their limits. Reward working smarter, not harder.


Foster an appreciation culture

Instead of relying on a once a year awards ceremony, you should create an environment in which employees are congratulated and appreciated daily. This keeps motivation up all year round and provides positive affirmation for your employees which will encourage them to stick with the company in hard times.

At Prezzee, we have a slack channel for colleagues to praise and thank each other, with an integrated rewards scheme. Colleagues can send taco emojis to each other which can be transferred to a reward. Initiatives like this are great to ensure employees receive regular recognition for their hard work, and set the groundwork for a larger rewards programme.


Make your rewards inclusive

There’s often a tendency to reward one type of personality, but a whole variety of people with different skills is required to make a business function successfully. Reflect this by rewarding for a wide range of achievements and make them inclusive of everyone in your workforce. This could include rewarding consistency, diligence and reliability as well as stand out contributions.


A final thought…

In a nutshell, a key aspect of maintaining a happy and loyal workforce during a recession, is showing employees that they are valued and important. Ensure that your rewards programme is tailored to employees’ interests and needs, and is inclusive of different types of workers. Give employees that personal recognition and appreciation of their achievements and you’ll quickly notice a stark difference.

James Malia is UK MD at Prezzee