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Five ways that reward can motivate employees to stay with an organisation


Your people are the greatest competitive advantage of your business. When it comes to rewards, not every company has the budget to retain top performers by increasing salaries or offering bonuses.

With the market becoming more competitive, establishing a progressive culture and strengthening an employer brand is vital to attracting and retaining talent. According to Forbes, companies which scored in the top 20% for building a “recognition-rich culture” had a 31% lower voluntary turnover rate than those who didn’t. On the opposite side of this, a lack of recognition will reduce productivity, performance and negatively impact employee engagement.

Here are 5 areas to consider when you next review your reward strategy to keep employees motivated, performing and striving for success.

1. Become an employer of choice! Your biggest advocates will be your people. How they feel about working for their employer will reflect in your recruitment and retention rates.

For any organisation that wants to see cultural change the management team has to understand and support new reward policies. Culture feeds from the top down.

Where possible, work with the people that work within your business to build a benefits scheme together. Your employees should be able to express their views and ideas on the business and importantly reward structure; after all, they are the ones going to be using them. By doing so, you will begin to sow the seeds of a culture where employees are encouraged and actively listened to. Employees who feel appreciated and involved within an organisation are likely to work harder to create a happy, positive and productive workforce.

Coworkers talking, looking over one another at a casual meeting.

2. Give people the opportunity to learn and develop

What if we train people and they leave? What if we don’t train people and they stay? Employees want to be employed by an organisation that not only makes their day to day role enjoyable but allows them the opportunity to grow and develop in the workplace.

Keeping hold of the best employees means supporting their growth within and outside of the business. Giving your people access to learning and development programmes and encouraging open conversations with managers to discuss their future career plans, plays an integral role in retention levels.

We have seen a huge increase in flexible working over recent years, could the same be considered for employers supporting employees to achieve personal development goals in addition to those within the business?  Support could be allowing individuals to request flexible working to have time to pursue personal development or access to a small fund that can be used towards online courses or books.

An increase in job satisfaction will mean employees are more content and engaged when at work; ultimately this increases retention of staff and productivity when at work.

3. Put yourself in someone else shoes for today

Employees have an expectation of their ‘core’ total reward they expect from their employer. Salary, life insurance, private medical, pension etc. Whilst all of these benefits are valuable and take up a significant amount of the benefits budget, they are all benefits for the long term or ill health.

Take a step back from your role and put yourself in someone else’s shoes. For one day only you’re going to be Sarah from the warehouse. She gets up at 6am every day to get her children ready for school before jumping on the train at 8am to get to work for a 9am start. Think about what benefits you could offer to make Sarah’s life easier; these can be simple solutions, for example the introduction of a discount and shopping site, childcare vouchers, season ticket loans, financial wellbeing programmes, dental, discounted parking, these are all things that can support everyone ‘today’.

Coworkers smiling, having a conversation.

4. A little thank you goes a long way

The workplace is busy, our jobs are task focused and at times we undervalue the impact a small gesture and the words like ‘thank you’ can have on an individual. Allowing managers to recognise positive contributions for specific tasks and projects, improves moral and can support a successful work culture. A little thank you can be in many forms, a small gift voucher or box of chocolates

Reinforce the behaviour amongst colleagues and make time for managers and employees to participate. The introduction of a small award once a quarter, allowing employees or managers to nominate those who go above and beyond their role can help keep employees motivated and engaged with reward.

5. Give your rewards an annual health check

My final tip is to make sure you’re reviewing how your rewards and benefits are performing each year. There’s no value in providing something that isn’t being used, or hasn’t been used for years. By making sure your rewards and benefits have an annual health check, you can make sure they remain relevant, valued and make a difference to your people.

If you'd like to discuss ways to improve recruitment and retention in your business, contact David Pinner, Consultant, at
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