Ways to reward your staff

Why reward your staff? An effective and well-planned reward system will help your business by providing staff with incentives to improve. If you reward your staff you ultimately unite them, improving their emotional connection to their work and retaining your staff numbers, saving you the cost of replacing employees. However, ways to reward your staff must be smart and follow your business’ goals.

The most obvious way to reward your staff would seem to be a financial reward. This is a perfectly acceptable way to reward staff, if you highlight how the decision to reward staff should be made, what goals they need to work towards to achieve these rewards and whether they are long term or short term financial rewards.

How do you know when to reward staff? This depends on the goals of your business. If you are working on a project that simply requires time, then this is something you can reward. However, don’t blindly reward staff for staying overtime. Nor should you passively allow a culture celebrating unpaid work to continue.

It may be more valuable to your company to reward staff for more lateral achievements. For instance, can they find innovate performance/processing solutions? Again, if this is something you identify as a priority, then you need to facilitate its fruition. Don’t just expect your staff to come up with innovative ideas out of the blue. Those ideas are there if you want them, so facilitate innovative thought through a variety of approaches, whether they be in group or one-on-one sessions.

Beyond financial compensation, there are other crucial ways to reward your staff.

Reward your staff through benefits

Before you reward your staff through compensation or praise, you need to create an environment conducive to performance. Consider how your staff interact within and with your workplace. Are there ways to improve this to foster innovative results? This isn’t a figurative but a literal approach. It can be as simple as increasing how ‘green’ the office environment is, as research has established the health effects of a workplace with significant greenery and sustainability measures.

Beyond how your workplace ‘looks’, can it function better? Is an open-plan office suitable for the type of work done in your company? Do you require paper in your business or can you become a paper-less office? Such measures will again reinforce an employee’s impression of their own contribution to sustainability within their workplace.

Can you break up how your staff interact with the office? Including benefits such as clear and inviting rest/lunch/play areas, consider small measures you can invest in to break up the day. Yoga classes can help employees de-stress, feel less pressure to maintain their health outside of the office and invite innovative thought when away from the desk.

Reward your staff through praise

A completely free and entirely fundamental part of your reward strategy is through praise. This approach must be separated to maximize the effect on your staff. Highlighting a person’s contribution to your company doesn’t mean you recognize it and just tell them so. You recognized it ages ago, remember? This part of the process involves ensuring that those in the company who should know about a person’s achievements are made aware of this. It can take the form of a presentation, it can be worked into a regular meeting, or it can be made official through an email.

The second part of praising an individual for their contribution can be through showing a personal appreciation for their work. This is the least formal aspect of rewarding your staff. Yet, it can be the most powerful in retaining your staff and their interest in their work. Appreciation can be conveyed through a small mention at their desk if their contribution was important but relatively minor, or through the form of a one-on-one, planned meeting for those moments where an individual’s contribution has been significant.

Through these three approaches of compensation, benefits and recognition, and an understanding of what you are looking for in the results your staff provide, you can make the difference between creating a successful or a stagnant business.

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