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Aligning reward with the employer brand strategy is crucial to retaining and motivating staff

Integrating reward strategy with employer brand will help employers put themselves in the best position for the upturn, new research reveals.

According to the CIPD and Mercer, reward can influence employee attitudes and should be linked to behaviours that support organisation strategy.

The report identifies emerging themes and examples of good practice and highlights those areas where approaches to interlink the employer brand with the reward offering have worked particularly well. It also addresses the challenges that companies have faced.

The report also reiterates the role of communication as a crucial way of reinforcing employer brand as it raises awareness of the rewards offered by an organisation. While financial rewards are important, non-financial rewards were also found to be key in reinforcing the brand.

It is important to check whether the reward approach is adding value to the employer brand. This can be done using HR metrics such as employee surveys or performance management data, as well as business metrics such as customer service or budget reductions.

Charles Cotton, reward adviser at the CIPD, said: "There are many benefits that can be derived from having a compelling employer brand that is supported by employee rewards, which is demonstrated in our interviews. Engagement can be enhanced by a brand that is demonstrably aligned to rewards as it provides an opportunity for companies to put their money where their mouth is in promoting desired corporate behaviours and image. Engaged employees who believe in the brand then promote the image more effectively to customers."

Chris Johnson, head of Mercer's human capital business, added: "All participants in this research agree that aligning rewards with the employer brand helps in attracting, retaining and motivating staff. It demonstrates the employer's financial commitment to the employer proposition, which in turn fosters a positive employee experience. In the long-term, branding and reward should become mutually supportive, ensuring authenticity within the organisation."

The report draws on insights from a survey of 44 organisations, a panel discussion and nine organisation case studies, including Abbey, Bacardi, Malmaison and Hotel du Vin, McDonald's, Midland Heart and tw telecom.