Are you interested in finding great employee rewards that work for everyone? As you may know, incentives can give employees the drive to go for gold,
Are you interested in finding great employee rewards that work for everyone? As you may know, incentives can give employees the drive to go for gold, but it’s important to get the strategy right. Employers should focus on finding rewards that can be easily personalised to suit everyone.
We caught up with Sodexo Engage’s Iain Thomson who thinks the key to success is personalisation.
“When we talk about incentives, we need to ask ourselves, what do we want to achieve? It shouldn’t be a box-ticking exercise, it should be about showing staff you value their hard work.
There’s a tonne of research out there about how important it is to acknowledge someone’s efforts at work. Incentive strategies don’t need to be grand gestures, but they should always make employees feel appreciated. And they should be rewards employees actually want.
While cash rewards were once the go-to incentive, times have changed. In a world where employees tend to have one eye on the job listings, it’s important to have that extra edge. Rewards that show employers have invested time and thought, rather than just provided the bare minimum, can have a much bigger impact.
If there’s one thing we know, it’s that no two individuals are the same. What works for one won’t necessarily work for the other, so having a “one size fits all” approach simply won’t cut it. That’s where personalisation comes into its own; picking specific rewards for a specific person is much more likely to engage and motivate staff.
In an ideal world, each employee would be given an individually chosen gift tailored to their hobbies or passions, but we know this isn’t always possible, especially in larger organisations. But it is possible to understand preferences. Do people want to be rewarded as a team? Or would they prefer individual incentives? Do they have something big going on in their lives like a wedding or a house move?
Personalisation doesn’t need to be overly complicated; adding the employee’s name to a letter or email can be all that’s needed to make a big difference. Thanking someone in person is also important and shouldn’t be underestimated. But if you want to make a real impact, choosing rewards that can be easily tweaked based on an individual’s preferences is key.
This might require a little more effort than a generic, bulk-bought gift and will mean managers will need to take the time to find out what makes their team members tick. But as the saying goes, knowledge is power; companies who show they care about their staff will boost morale and productivity and, ultimately, their bottom line.
Life stage versus age
Knowing what stage in life an employee is at is a great way to figure out what reward will go down well. But that shouldn’t be confused with age, because even if two people share the same birthday, it doesn’t mean they’re at the same stage in life. Some may be single and planning a holiday of a lifetime, while others may be approaching a completely different life event, like a wedding or second baby.
Great employee rewards that work for everyone include rewards such as multi-store gift cards or cinema tickets can be easily tailored. The beauty is, they appeal to all age groups, whether they’re a graduate or nearing retirement. Gift cards can help with the cost of day-to-day living or allow people to spoil themselves if they want to – plus, they can be easily tailored depending on personal interests and circumstances. If an employee is moving house, for example, a gift card for a furniture store offers a special touch. It’s about finding out the important milestones or events and tailoring rewards to suit them.
Equally, experiences like the cinema or meals out give people of all ages the opportunity to do something different or treat themselves. Offering just a few of these options gives managers the variety they need to keep everyone happy.
Happy employees, happy business
Once employers have got a good strategy in place, the key is to keep it coming. Repackaging incentives for different seasons and times of the year will keep it fresh and interesting. Employers need to make sure employees feel valued and appreciated all year round.
A great way of offering incentives is through a recognition platform. It can host all the options available to employees in one easily accessible online portal, and make it easy to share information with the whole team at the same time.
While it’s impossible to come up with a never-ending list of incentives that suit absolutely everybody’s individual tastes, it is possible to offer great employee rewards that work for everyone by using options that can be tailored to appeal to everyone. Businesses who want to keep staff sticking around in the long-term should aim to make rewarding as personal as possible. In turn, employees will be motivated as they feel as if their contribution makes a difference. A win-win all round.”