Companies that want to foster a culture of success must create a rewards and recognition programme that genuinely cares for the employee.
However, every employee is unique, with diverse backgrounds, experiences, and skills that make up their entire personality. Each one of them will have different expectations regarding employee rewards, and it’s up to you to set the standards.
According to Deloitte, organisations that reward their employees by recognising their positive behaviours have a 14 per cent higher performance and productivity output than companies that don’t.
Still, even if about 80 per cent of companies have rewards and recognitions programmes in place, why are they struggling to reach their targets? One problem is that many setbacks occur when organisations fail to maximise their reward and recognition strategies by not communicating their expectations and intentions to employees.
How to align rewards with employee expectations
Aligning employee expectations with rewards requires careful consideration and a strategic approach. Here are some steps to help you achieve this alignment:
- Define clear performance expectations: Set clear performance expectations for each employee. These expectations should be specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART goals). Employees should clearly understand what is expected of them in terms of performance and results.
- Conduct regular performance reviews: Regularly review and assess employee performance against the defined expectations. Provide constructive feedback, highlighting areas of strength and areas for improvement. Performance reviews provide an opportunity to discuss rewards and recognition based on achievements.
- Link rewards to performance: Create a direct link between rewards and employee performance. Establish a performance-based reward system where employees are recognized and rewarded based on individual or team contributions. This can include financial incentives such as bonuses or profit-sharing, non-financial rewards like recognition, promotions, or career development opportunities.
- Offer a variety of rewards: Recognize that different employees may have varying preferences when it comes to rewards. Some may be motivated by monetary incentives, while others may value opportunities for growth and development, flexible work arrangements, or public recognition. Provide a mix of rewards to cater to diverse employee needs and motivations.
- Communicate clearly: Communicate the reward structure, criteria, and eligibility to employees. They should understand the link between their performance and the rewards they can earn. Transparent communication helps manage expectations and ensures fairness in the reward system.
- Adopt a culture of performance and recognition: Cultivate a work culture that values high performance and recognizes employee achievements. Encourage managers and colleagues to provide timely and meaningful recognition for outstanding work. Regularly celebrate milestones and accomplishments to reinforce the importance of performance and rewards.
- Continuous feedback and development: In addition to formal performance reviews, provide ongoing feedback and coaching to employees. Help them understand how their performance contributes to the organisation's overall success. Support their professional growth and development through training, mentorship, or career advancement opportunities.
- Monitor and adjust: Regularly monitor the effectiveness of the reward system and gather feedback from employees. Assess whether the rewards align with their expectations and if they are perceived as fair and motivating. Adjust the reward system as needed to ensure it remains relevant and supports employee engagement and productivity.
Remember that aligning employee expectations with rewards is an ongoing process. It requires active management, regular communication, and a willingness to adapt based on employee feedback and changing organisational needs.