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Employee Reward News: Employee Recognition and Reward Trends

2017 has been a busy year in employment, HR and rewards and getting employee recognition and rewards right has never been so important. But what will the year hold? With changes in the gender pay gap reporting requirements, payments for sleep-in shifts and GDPR dominating the headlines, where do employee recognition and rewards sit in the HR function in the year ahead?  We took a look at the few predictions of HR and rewards trends ahead.

Employee recognition and reward trend: Health and wellbeing moves front and centre

New research from global employee engagement company Reward Gateway has found that wellbeing, recognition, pay and bene ts will be the top employee engagement priorities for HR professionals in 2018, so could this the start of you getting employee recognition and rewards right this year?

The research, which surveyed 565 HR professionals found that companies are looking to invest heavily in both wellbeing and recognition. Two areas that UK employees have said are crucial to them, but don’t feel as though their employers are adequately providing. Reward Gateway also discovered an astounding 22 million British workers, or 7 in 10 employees (71%), have felt stress or financial strain in the last five years. Despite these numbers,
the same research also found that a third of respondents said that their company currently o ers no wellbeing programmes. However, when 59% of employees surveyed would rather work for a business with a culture where they received recognition, over a higher salary job – this could be the year to put wellbeing front and centre.

Employee recognition and reward trend: Agile working

With The Agile Revolution at #1 in the business read charts on Kindle, it’s time to get ready for a new way of working. HBR suggests that Agile espouses collaboration, customer centricity, team-based culture, and continuous improvement. For HR and incentives this could mean new business practices. Take a look at some of the great blogs around Agile working for inspiration on new ideas like cadenced meetings, retrospectives and working in cycles. It could be a huge change. According to McKinsey, when aiming for a new agile approach, global bank ING took away teams and instead made 350 nine-person “squads” in 13 tribes – and made every employee at its headquarters (nearly 3,500 people) re-interview for their job. Staggeringly, 40% of these people ended up in new positions or parted ways with the company. They worked on encouraging the sales force and branch network to embrace agility through daily team stand-ups and other tactics.

Léon Benjamin, who has worked with companies like British Airways, Microsoft & BT argues “Agile working is about the capacity to change before the case for change becomes desperately obvious. If you’re not fast, you’ll be last.”

Employee recognition and reward trend: Employee Shares

For the smaller company looking to recruit, retain and incentivise key employees, arrangements which allow for the discretionary grant of options, or allotment of shares could be worth considering in 2018. Share plans can offer significant tax benefits for businesses and employees. With careful structuring, the returns to employees can be taxed at between 0%- 20% and with the benefit of corporation tax relief for the business.

Even with no likelihood of a sale or other form of an exit event, employee shares can still provide value to employees. Internal markets can be created to create liquidity in private company shares and enable employees to realise part of the increase in value from their shares. Additionally, dividends (with their small and reducing tax-free annual allowance) can give the employees an opportunity to share in the profits of the business.


Employee recognition and reward trend:Work practices

In a recent study, just over 1 in 5 employees said that they didn’t believe anyone wanted to hear their ideas at work and 18% said that even when they put their ideas forward, they were rarely implemented.

Worryingly, as many as 16% of workers said that any new idea would actually be treated with suspicion and criticism, while 15% of people believed their business leaders actively discouraged innovation.

2018 could be the year we really start to create work practices to encourage new initiatives. This could mean you have regular job swaps that foster new perspectives from di erent employees, that you develop cross-functional teams, introduce a new ideas or “what if?” section to regular meetings or even have a dedicated area within the business that will promote interaction with employees – whether it’s a relaxing environment or a training area that inspires new thoughts and approaches.

Employee recognition and reward trend: Investment in out-of-office events and experiences

When it comes to events and getting out of office, 2018 looks set to be the year we really look at how to innovate. With so many similar team building and away-day options available, there can be the risk that many employees will have ‘been there and done that’ meaning they don’t fully immerse themselves in the experience and get the best out of it and organisations won’t get the value out of their investment either.

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