“We are regularly rewarded, and this makes us feel valued. We are most often awarded as a team, and are taken out to enjoy our success together as a team.”
These words, from one of our survey participants, neatly sum up the power of an effective reward and recognition strategy. Such a strategy can be used to reinforce behaviours, foster collaboration, praise high performers, shine a light on overlooked or neglected quiet achievers, and, of course, have fun.
Another respondent writes: “I am constantly provided with constructive feedback and praise from management and recognised for my work.”
In organisations/industries that don’t offer the highest remuneration, rewards and recognition matter even more – especially with the knowledge that while a ‘thank you’ doesn’t cost a dollar, the impact on the recipient can be amazingly positive. “Within the framework of a not-for-profit, recognition plays a greater role that says ‘rewards’, particularly financial rewards. The staff understand this and are motivated to achieve business outcomes,” wrote one respondent.
It’s not just contributions to business outcomes that deserve praise – it’s also appropriate to reward and recognise those who embody ‘organisational spirit’. Data#3, for example, has a number of national and state-based reward and recognition programs running across the business. Each is underpinned by the company’s core values of Honesty, Excellence, Agility, Respect and Teamwork. “Our awards are designed to give all employees at all levels of the business the opportunity to be recognised for demonstrating outstanding and inspiring actions at work,” says Tash Macknish, national manager – OD and HR, at Data#3.
Of course, technology is also shaping this space, with tools now available to provide social and peer-to-peer recognition. The ability to ‘like’ and ‘share’ means recognition has never been more transparent. Technology is also helping to make instant rewards possible – usually borrowing some elements of gamification in the form of points that are accumulated, which can be exchanged for certain benefits. Moreover, the use of software means that tracking employee preferences and tailoring their rewards based on order history and points redemption is easier than ever.
“We have our own reward portal where colleagues can grant recognition and points to each other for various things… Recognition also comes with points that can be redeemed for various goods,” said one employee.
Another wrote: “My employer gives us the option of choosing our own reward from a pool of products and services. It means I can choose something that resonates well with my personal preferences.”
Employers of Choice have done away with ad hoc reward and recognition programs, replacing them with more structured programs that factor in individual performance and even development plans.
“We have structured rewards such as the quarterly GEM award, but there are other incentives such as 100% club that involves an overseas trip. Structured bonus and variable rewards incentives are implemented and managed well via our Talent and Performance Plans,” wrote one employee. The alternative – a more ad hoc approach – is less desirable. One employee described a monthly initiative whereby “the winner is randomly selected out of a hat … [which] makes it feel less rewarding and more [based on] luck”.
“Our people are our business and recruitment is a highly competitive industry, and as such our team work hard, and as we grow we are committed to not only enabling their success but we have a responsibility to be mindful of their wellbeing. We launched a company-wide wellbeing initiative last year, called #HKMYDAY. Every single member of the team gets a paid long weekend every month, to do something that’s important to them, whether that’s giving back to the community, spending time with their family or friends, or picking their kids up from school. It gives them the opportunity to spend a well-earned day of rest, doing something that’s important to them. It comes back to our EVP again. This is one of the ways that we can demonstrate to the team that we care about them personally, and are committed to their wellbeing.”
- Harley McLean
, HR manager, Halcyon Knights