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We Ask the Experts

What does a good reward and recognition scheme look like?

Virgin Money Murphy MTR Elizabeth line Sky Betting & Gaming

As much as anyone claims to love their company, colleagues or even boss, we all know that most people don’t work solely for the sheer joy of it. But in general, even if we’re lucky enough to work doing something we’re passionate about, we do need our work to be rewarded. And that’s not just in terms of salary and benefits. Quite often, the most motivating accolades come from our peers, either inside or outside of our organisation.

The Society for Human Resource Management’s annual report on Retaining Talent found that, “Performance-based rewards can increase retention among high performers,” and that, “The ability of well-designed pay-for-performance plans to reduce harmful turnover can more than offset these plans’ increased costs.”

But more important than simple ‘cash’ rewards is a culture of recognition: data from employee experience firm Achievers found that 44% of staff who left their place of work did so because of a “lack of recognition and engagement at their current employer".

With this in mind, it’s important to remember that each organisation’s reward and recognition scheme will be a good reflection of its culture. Is it spontaneous? Meticulous? Both? Does it offer equal opportunities for reward and recognition to workers at all levels of the organisation? These are important questions to ask.

While you’re thinking of those answers, though, we turned to our Advisory Board experts to get some tips from the people at the top of the rewards and recognition game. See what they had to say below.

Syreeta Brown,

Group Chief People and Communications Officer,
Virgin Money

“A good reward scheme should be celebratory, motivational and inclusive while making both individuals and teams across the business feel appreciated for their hard work and behaviour. It should also provide colleagues with the opportunity to choose what rewards work best for them.

“I would recommend having regular and honest conversations with colleagues so you can listen to their concerns, their needs and their thoughts and in doing so you can identify what, as a company, you can do to make a positive difference. You can then develop a strong scheme around this with a choice of rewards that people need or want rather than what you assume they would prefer.

“It’s also worth noting that, given the current financial climate, it’s important to look at the bigger picture and ensure you’re supporting your colleagues’ wellbeing and work-life balance. So, try considering how you can make your reward scheme work alongside your wellbeing strategy, as well as your purpose and values, and show your team that you are there to support them in the long-term.”

 

Syreeta Brown,

Group Chief People and Communications Officer,
Virgin Money

“A good reward scheme should be celebratory, motivational and inclusive while making both individuals and teams across the business feel appreciated for their hard work and behaviour. It should also provide colleagues with the opportunity to choose what rewards work best for them.

“I would recommend having regular and honest conversations with colleagues so you can listen to their concerns, their needs and their thoughts and in doing so you can identify what, as a company, you can do to make a positive difference. You can then develop a strong scheme around this with a choice of rewards that people need or want rather than what you assume they would prefer.

“It’s also worth noting that, given the current financial climate, it’s important to look at the bigger picture and ensure you’re supporting your colleagues’ wellbeing and work-life balance. So, try considering how you can make your reward scheme work alongside your wellbeing strategy, as well as your purpose and values, and show your team that you are there to support them in the long-term.”

 

Dawn Moore,

Group People and Communications Director,
Murphy

“Good reward and recognition programmes are clearly aligned with overall business strategy. They provide a range of financial and non-financial elements which reward exceptional performance and also encourage specific positive behaviours that align with the company values.

“The best schemes also allow for spontaneous recognition and are designed in a way which ensures that they are fair and have inclusivity at their core.

“You will only know if a reward and recognition programme is successful by ensuring that you are able to capture and proactively analyse a range of data outputs, some of which can be as simple as how many employees are using a particular scheme or by asking questions about the schemes and their impact in your employee surveys.”

Dawn Moore,

Group People and Communications Director,
Murphy

“Good reward and recognition programmes are clearly aligned with overall business strategy. They provide a range of financial and non-financial elements which reward exceptional performance and also encourage specific positive behaviours that align with the company values.

“The best schemes also allow for spontaneous recognition and are designed in a way which ensures that they are fair and have inclusivity at their core.

“You will only know if a reward and recognition programme is successful by ensuring that you are able to capture and proactively analyse a range of data outputs, some of which can be as simple as how many employees are using a particular scheme or by asking questions about the schemes and their impact in your employee surveys.”

Claire Metcalfe,

Deputy Director of People and Culture,
MTR Elizabeth line

“A good reward and recognition scheme should support the desired inclusive culture of the company and support the achievement of business objectives. This means the scheme should align to the company values so that colleagues are engaged and motivated to live by the right behaviours. A good scheme will also ensure that unintended consequences are considered so that no one group of employees is at an advantage or disadvantage over others, and that it is in everyone’s interest to recognise the efforts of others.”

 

Claire Metcalfe,

Deputy Director of People and Culture,
MTR Elizabeth line

“A good reward and recognition scheme should support the desired inclusive culture of the company and support the achievement of business objectives. This means the scheme should align to the company values so that colleagues are engaged and motivated to live by the right behaviours. A good scheme will also ensure that unintended consequences are considered so that no one group of employees is at an advantage or disadvantage over others, and that it is in everyone’s interest to recognise the efforts of others.”

 

Clive Smart,

Head of Talent Acquisition,
Sky Betting & Gaming

“A good reward scheme has a leading selection of monetary incentives and employee benefits alongside rewarding employees’ accomplishments and milestones. Recognition tends to be more intangible, non-monetary, with the recognition holding more of an emotional value, and the recognition is often a surprise, it’s an appreciation of performance or achievements. To create a great place to work you cannot have one without the other.”

Clive Smart,

Head of Talent Acquisition,
Sky Betting & Gaming

“A good reward scheme has a leading selection of monetary incentives and employee benefits alongside rewarding employees’ accomplishments and milestones. Recognition tends to be more intangible, non-monetary, with the recognition holding more of an emotional value, and the recognition is often a surprise, it’s an appreciation of performance or achievements. To create a great place to work you cannot have one without the other.”

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