Employers should focus on rewards

Reward and recognition are central to driving good employee behaviour.

If staff know that they will be rewarded for adhering to certain standards - and helping companies to achieve their goals at the same time - they will be more content and willing to go the extra mile.

Indeed, developing a reputation as an employer that looks after its staff is only going to stand companies in good stead in the long run, and make it easier to compete with rivals when looking for the best talent.

A new report by BlessingWhite has found that reward and recognition is vital to changing behaviours and mindsets, as organisations should be shifting away from an individual approach to one that focuses on the team as a whole.

Businesses working in the financial sector have to look at how they are setting objectives, managing behaviour and defining what constitutes an exceptional performance. Profits at any costs will only be counter-productive in the long run.

"They also appreciate that the drive toward a new mindset needs to be role modelled from the top down and that it was important to take real and swift remedial action where unacceptable behaviour was occurring," BlessingWhite stated.

GSK shows value of best practice

Pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has done a lot of work at overhauling its rewards programme. It introduced a 'Patient First' focus in 2011 in an effort to encourage more accountable and measured sales behaviour, and this saw performance targets shifted away from individual metrics to a system whereby bonuses were shared to teams based on scientific knowledge, selling competency, customer evaluations and collective business unit performance.

Employees should not be solely focused on the amount of money they are making, so it's important to make sure employers facilitate the development of collaborative environments.

"Leaders do need to remain aware that as long as the primary driver for entering their sector is money, there will be an inherent bias toward behaviours that result in the highest short-term gain," the report stated.

Refreshing reward schemes

Research by Edenred found that 2015 was going to be a big year for employee benefits, with 39 per cent of companies looking to open up channels of communication with staff in an effort to put together a compelling reward and benefits proposition.

"As personalisation, technology and online communication reshape consumer behaviour, it is vital that organisations understand these trends and put them at the heart of their benefits proposition," said Andy Philpott, marketing director at Edenred UK.

Bearing all of this in mind, how can businesses overhaul their rewards system? BlessingWhite offers four methods:

  • Set goals that incentivise collaboration across silos
  • Create bonuses dependent on the quality of customer feedback
  • Set shared goals across teams
  • Have a gold standard recognition for customer centricity or levels of consultation and engagement with wider stakeholders

With the war for talent hotting up as the global economy recovers, businesses have to think about how they are viewed by potential candidates. Making staff genuine advocates through rewards programmes is a good place to start.