Ways to reinforce company purpose using reward and benefits to re-engage employees

When you think about your employees right now, there is likely a lot going on for them, and it’s critical for leaders to think about the best ways to connect, recognise and support  their people to keep companies moving forward. At a time like this, if we look at our organisation’s purpose, we can re-engage employees in new and exciting ways that create productive and resilient organisations and people.

Ways to reinforce company purpose using reward and benefits to re-engage employees

Purpose-driven companies are leading the way and doubling down on their mission to make employees feel more connected than ever before to their organisation's 'why.'

It’s important to remember this: The fundamental reason your business exists hasn’t changed overnight.

However, the ‘how’ you are delivering on your purpose and mission might be changing. For instance, you might be delivering more virtual client strategy sessions rather than in-person ones, or using your goods and services to help out people in need, such as breweries that are making hand sanitisers or using unused office space to double as vaccination centres.

One way that you can reinforce your company’s ‘why’ is to evaluate your reward and benefits strategy. Remind your employees why they’ve chosen your company to work their hardest for, by putting in place innovative rewards and benefits to re-engage them when they need support the most.

Here are a few ways we’ve done this to help bring it to life:

1. Introduce or strengthen your wellbeing focus

Employee wellbeing has always been important, but it’s come into the spotlight more and more as employees are continually adjusting to new working environments, schedules and chaos in their day-to-day, in and outside of work. Employers need to realise that their people will put their best efforts into furthering your company mission and purpose only if they have the tools and resources to take care of themselves and improve upon their mental, physical and financial wellbeing.

That’s why it’s so important for HR leaders to look for new ways to support their people, whether that’s opening up more direct lines of communication and resources to improve mental health, or directly through employee benefits that can ease financial stress or other burdens at home.

Proactive and preventative wellbeing benefits can have an incredible impact on the lives of employees and, in turn, the work they do. When you look after your people, you also teach them to look after themselves.

Here are a few things we’ve done recently:

  • We’ve encouraged employees to download a running app and expense the cost back to us, in the hopes that people will make space in their day for moving away from their work and stepping out the front door.
  • Our employer-sponsored book club lets employees purchase professional development titles at no cost, but during Covid-19, we’ve extended this benefit to allow for one expensed ‘non-professional development’ book per month – encouraging and supporting employees to take time away from their work and focus on something they love personally.
  • We give staff an annual Wellbeing Allowance to spend as they choose – all employees have to do is provide a goal, how they will reach it and the cost of the chosen activity or equipment. Once approved, the money hits their bank account on the next pay day and they can get started. I chose to spend mine on new trainers to support my passion for running!

2. Focus on reward and recognition

If the way you are delivering on your purpose has changed slightly, sharing the ‘how’ through recognition is a great way to highlight the behaviours that contribute to success and some of the new ways in which people are contributing to the organisation's purpose.

For employees, the organisation's purpose needs to align closely with their own values or morals, and speak to what they want to achieve in their life in the context of work. Connecting the organisation's purpose to that of your employees helps people feel a sense of safety and belonging. It enables them to be part of something much larger than themselves, while feeling valued and respected. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Making sure that your teams have visibility on what others are doing throughout the business, and shout about it loud and proud through social recognition.
  • Brainstorm new ways to bring our ‘new normal’ to life, such as incorporating working from home eCards into your usual suite of eCards. We’ve seen nearly 85% of our 400+ employees receive recognition, and more than half of them have sent it, totalling nearly 2,000 moments of recognition across our business.
  • While recognition is a free ‘perk’ for our employees, we also emphasise reward by empowering managers to reward star performers with monetary bonuses, or rolling out a one-time all-hands bonus in lieu of an expensive pay rise.

3. Extend disposable income without the cost of a company-wide pay rise

While employees may be looking for a pay rise, it is oftentimes a large expense to the business. For companies that are going through uncertainty or disruption, committing to an ongoing cost can be detrimental to a business’s future. I’ve found that many businesses are turning to reward programmes such as monetary bonuses or introducing a low-cost benefit that can put hundreds of pounds back into your employees’ pockets, such as an employee discounts scheme.

The Covid-19 crisis has bought with it a huge amount of financial pressure for families. Whether it’s furlough, redundancy, relationship breakdowns, loss of a family member, or other incredibly challenging life experiences, we understand that this year may have been the hardest one you or your employees have ever had to go through.

A one-time cost of a monetary bonus or implementing a new programme can still put a smile on your employees’ faces, while keeping your budgets in line.

4. Don’t forget to shout about your benefits

Depending on what you’re adding or evaluating in your benefits stack, it can be hard for employees to keep up with what’s available to them. I can’t talk about what to offer your employees without reminding you to make sure you give them extra attention in your ongoing internal comms planning. Share employees’ stories on an internal communications hub or on your social media platforms, create FAQs so employees understand the ins and outs of their benefits package, and make sure they are all centrally located so employees can easily access and engage with them.

Though we’re in a challenging situation, the most important lesson I’ve learned from all of this is to make sure that what keeps us ‘RG’ hasn’t gotten lost. Sticking to our core values and putting our people first has set us up for success.

If employers leverage purpose as an anchor to support leaders and employees through an environment of constant change, we will come out of the other side of this not just surviving, but thriving.

The author is Robert Hicks, group HR director at Reward Gateway.

This article is provided by Reward Gateway.

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