Q We have a limited budget around rewards and incentives, and want to maximize this as much as we can in order to improve employee engagement. How much do we really need to spend per employee to get maximum engagement?
A. It’s not the size of the prize – it’s what you do
with it that makes the difference. With so much
gloom and doom in the media, employees will
not be surprised if some things change. However, there
are a few basic things to consider to make sure that you
don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. If you have
been working hard on employee engagement, now is
the time to consolidate, not abandon the plan. If you
haven’t been formally rewarding or even recognising
people, now is the time to standout and be different.
From our experience in dealing with our corporate
clients, the top-performing firms are spending at least 5
per cent of their payroll expense on engagement and
recognition activities. While we recommend this level
of investment, we have many great success stories with
clients who have spent far less.
HR and operational management need to show an
ROI just like the marketing team but their spend needs
to be treated as an investment, too. The question is:
what is disengagement costing you? The Gallup
Institute research shows disengaged employees cost
Australian businesses $32.7 billion per annum.
Four things to consider:
1. Do a few small things often. Notice people, know
who they are and what is important to them. A
personalised message or handwritten note can
mean way more to them than expensive trinkets.
2. Make sure you communicate the program. If you
are spending your entire budget on the prizes and
none on letting them know about the program, you
won’t have the opportunity to influence behaviour.
3. Don’t let Christmas get crunched. To finish off the
year, an acknowledgement is needed. Instead of
a lunch it could be drinks, or instead of a big
hamper a $30 lolly-shop-in-a-box experience.
4. Many people are challenged by increasing work
loads, working harder, faster and longer just to
keep their jobs. A token of thanks is essential
5. Maximise what you do by following up the
winners and getting them to share their stories.
Manage the prize giving-process with the same
dedication as you do working out who is going to
be a winner. It doesn’t cost anything to put their
photo and story in your newsletters or intranet.
There is no doubt that you reap what you sow; but
it’s not always about how much you spend so much as
how you spend it.
By Naomi Simson, CEO, RedBalloon Days. Contact: 1300 85 09 40, email:
firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.redballoon.com.au