When it comes to workplace reward and recognition, there are often varied and inconsistent ideas of what motivates individuals and teams, with the lowest common denominator coming down to the ‘carrot and stick’ approach.
This, usually financial, ‘carrot’ is often seen as the easiest way to reward both individuals and teams alike, but is it true to say business leaders understand the value of what a truly engaged workforce can deliver?
This was one of the key questions we posed as part of a series of roundtables undertaken by Resource Management. We spoke with some of the UK’s leading HRDs to understand better what could be done to enable positive change – both for business and employee.
Put simply, it is not surprising that confusion is king. Various studies show that the differences between engagement and motivation are still not entirely understood. And we must also bear in mind that incentives and their effectiveness will vary from department to department and role to role.
However, what comes through clearly is that employees who are motivated to complete tasks are more likely to do so if they are part of an innovative process.
What we at RM found, through both our white papers and continuous interactions with HRDs, is that the most successful programs allow autonomy in action and thought – qualities that traditional financial incentive methods are often lacking.
To simplify this, we created four alternative common denominators for success:
- Have ‘big’ conversations across the whole organisation – conduct regular staff engagement surveys and polls to find out what people think and need to conduct their job to the best of their ability
Appreciate the little things that people do to help the company and reward in kind – subtle gestures such as ordering dinner, booking taxis for late workers or recognition from the CEO or board go a long way
- Allow greater flexibility and creativity – giving employees more control over their working time and enabling more flexibility where appropriate
- Create a ‘greater purpose’ – develop a sense of belonging and team spirit among employees
By facilitating these kinds of changes through strong leadership from the top down, it is possible not only to drive broader corporate goals, but also increase employee loyalty at the same time.
Just getting past the first hurdle of these new ways of working means that not only can we strengthen UK Plc, but we may can change people’s lives in general for the better.
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