Top tips to ensure your reward and recognition strategy stays consistent
There’s been much research on motivational theories and, while everyone is different and has different drivers, recognition is high on the list. Recognition encompasses a wide range of actions, from a simple thank you to having your name in lights at an award ceremony.
But recognition only goes so far. Reward must follow to ensure desired behaviour is repeated.
The importance of defining a strategy
While you can say thank you any time, employees must be clear on what behaviours and outcomes will be rewarded. While reward and recognition strategies boost morale and engagement, they also encourage employees to meet their targets.
There can be no mixed messages and you must be consistent or your employees will become confused about what’s expected of them. You can define your recognition criteria based on numerical targets and core values. However, these need to be constantly reinforced through clear communication.
Make it effective and inclusive
Before focusing on communication, it’s worth highlighting that rewarding in an inclusive and impactful way is another crucial part of ensuring your strategy is effective. There are two quick and easy ways to do this:
- Find out what matters to your people.
- Offer rewards that are flexible and versatile, giving freedom of choice.
If your employees find your reward mechanisms unsuitable, they aren’t going to be motivated by them. Furthermore, being flexible doesn’t mean that you need to offer a variety of different rewards. All you need is one solution that allows people to choose, such as with eVouchers and gift cards that can be redeemed with a large variety of retailers.
While non-financial rewards and experiences can do wonders for your teams, keep in mind that you can use your reward and recognition strategy to help stretch wages further.
Planning for consistency
Effective communication starts from the top and filters down throughout managers and teams. That said, the best strategies include the opinions and suggestions of various roles and titles to get additional perspectives and insights.
Line managers are likely to be more in tune with the wants and needs of their teams and more aware of their personal pain points. As such, it’s best to bring them in at the strategising stage instead of communicating a plan that’s been agreed without their input.
If your managers don’t believe the strategy is appropriate, then it’s unlikely the rest of your workforce will either.
This is even more important if you amend an existing reward and recognition strategy. Change is best received when it’s done with the people affected instead of to them.
Embody the message
Embodying the message is crucial if your reward and recognition strategy is linked to core business values. Leaders and managers must live and breathe the desired behaviour and lead by example.
Effective communication goes beyond issuing managers with a list of behaviours to be recognised and instructions for giving a reward. The strategy needs to be embedded into everyday thinking. Additionally, your managers need to be well trained and empathetic, so they’re not just dangling the carrot of reward, but encouraging teams along the path to recognition and success.
Get everyone together
When it comes to information and strategy sharing, it’s best to get all your managers in the same space. Organise an off-site event, share the information and get interactive by having your managers brainstorm examples or act out behaviours and achievements that would be worthy of reward.
Mix the learning with fun, but ensure your managers understand the benefits that follow an effective reward and recognition strategy. Further to guaranteeing consistency across the business, your managers will be eager to get their teams to excel and come out on top.
In partnership with Sodexo Engage
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