Employee Recognition Schemes

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Recognition schemes are an effective way for employers to regularly establish their corporate values and ethos amongst employees.

Employers can use recognition schemes as a tool to motivate staff, or reward them when they go the extra mile to provide the quality of customer service the company aspires to. In the lead-up to the 2012 Olympics McDonalds did just that by offering staff the opportunity to work at one of its four Olympic Park sites throughout the games in recognition of their hard work.

Fellow employees nominated their champion employee of the month over 10 months which resulted in 2,500 staff being able to work at Olympic Park.

What is an effective recognition scheme?

Some companies either cannot afford to offer their employees huge rewards, or they feel they do not need rewards and benefits packages. This may be the case for smaller businesses in particular where there are fewer staff but a tighter knit team, therefore employees may find that being part of a team that works closely together provides enough drive to make the organisation succeed alone.

However, employers providing rewards and benefit packages may be those where the basic salary is either low or stagnant, particularly during the recession. Therefore, finding alternative ways to reward employees for their loyalty and hard work is more economical than raising the annual salary of all the employees by 5 per cent.

If a business does decide to recognise employees with benefits and rewards, employers face the struggle of assessing what is the acceptable level of reward for their industry and location. Employers must decide what their recognition scheme is trying to achieve, what they want to reward in their employees and how they are going to reward it.

Riaz Resh, Sales and Marketing Manager at incentive scheme provider Ovation Incentives said to Employee Benefits: “The desire to be recognised and appreciated regularly is a fundamentally human need, so the size and sector of a business should not be a consideration.”

Resh believes that this can be achieved through the use of pre-paid incentive award cards which are topped up by employers and can be used by employees how they see fit, around the globe. This has the advantage of avoiding breaching any cultural taboos, yet does it have an impact?

Jon Bryant, executive director at JLT Employment Benefits disagrees, he believes that employers should instead consider recognition ceremonies which reward those employees who have achieved excellence based on nominations from their peers within the business, or customers.

Bryant said to Employee Benefits: “These have a huge impact on organisations because they are driving the behaviours employers want and are giving publicity to high achievers.”

Rewards within budget

Bryant’s suggestion takes into consideration those businesses with little to no reward budget. Whereas a City insurance firm may decide that £100 is an appropriate amount to spend on rewarding an employee, a call centre or an agency may consider £10 an appropriate amount that will achieve the same result.

An effective way to judge what employees deem fitting for the organisation and their personal level of work, responsibility and role within the company, is to encourage employees to suggest rewards themselves.

Resh states that reward budgets should be calculated on the assumption that 60 per cent of employees are rewarded at least once a year in some form or other. This can refer to peer nominations which can be non-monetary based, or larger rewards depending on what a business considers suitable.

Involving employees in the reward planning process can be a tricky process as many employees will not be comfortable suggesting what they believe they deserve to their superiors. However, successfully including employees will achieve two things:

  • Employers will have direct access to what their employees value most and can align these findings when planning the business’s strategy and annual budget
  • It will encourage employees to be enthusiastic about the incentives and the results it could mean for them

There are many ways for employers to recognise and reward hard work within a workforce, and many large companies may find that it is crucial to morale and motivation.

Portfolio CBR are experienced recruiters of compensation, benefits and rewards professionals who can plan a rewards scheme or benefits package that suits the budget and ethos of your company. If you would like more information about bringing in a skilled and experienced compensation specialist or rewards professional into your business, please contact the Portfolio team on 020 7650 3190.