September 7, 2015

10 great organisational reward ideas

Everyone likes to be rewarded for doing well at work. How people want to be rewarded and how companies want to reward them can vary. But the important thing to remember is this: it is the feeling of being rewarded that really counts. That’s what makes people feel happier about their workplaces, their managers, their colleagues and their career in general.

There is a lot of talk about extrinsic rewards versus intrinsic rewards. An extrinsic reward is one that is external to the work itself and it generally is financial. While these rewards have an important role to play, this famous video clip by Dan Pink, demonstrates that money is not always the answer.

Intrinsic rewards are psychological rewards that employees get from doing meaningful work and from doing it well. It is widely believed that these intrinsic rewards are the ones that really make a difference.

The ideal is no doubt a mix of the two – extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. Below we have highlighted 10 great organisational rewards that we think can really make a difference.

Some financial rewards:

1. Pay rises. Let’s start with the obvious. As the Dan Pink clip shows, if you pay employees the right amount in the first place, they stop thinking about money as much. Pay employees accordingly and consider higher pay rises for those top performers.
2. Bonuses. The carrot approach works as a straightforward approach. Hit this target and we will give you a bonus.
3. Profit sharing. Employees like to think that if they put in the extra mile to achieve greater business success, then they will enjoy some of the reward. They have a vested interest.
4. Pensions. It’s a huge concern for many people so a good pension plan means a lot to a lot of people.

Now onto more intrinsic rewards:

5. Career development. Reward employees by investing in their careers. Training is an obvious one, but mentoring or coaching schemes are also worth considering. Second someone to another part of the business so that they can learn new skills and connect with new people.
6. Professional development. Give employees the opportunity to further their professional development, such as gaining a new qualification. They benefit and so do you as an organisation as they bring their new found skills and experiences back into the workplace with them.
7. Say thank you. It’s so simple but so easily overlooked. Nothing beats a thank you, particularly if it’s public. The former CEO of US company Campbell’s Soup, distributed thousands of handwritten notes to employees, thanking them for their efforts.
8. Public recognition, perhaps accompanied by a small gift. It doesn’t need to be huge – maybe once a month an individual or team is singled out for their efforts, profiled on the company Intranet, and given an Amazon voucher.
9. Team days out. This is the double whammy of being a good way to reward staff, whilst also being a team bonding day. It could be a day at the races, a lunch out, a trip to an adventure park – whatever best suits the team in question.
10. Volunteering opportunities. People often like to do some kind of community work or environmental work. Some companies offer a certain number of volunteering days a year and they can be hugely popular.