Value your employees with meaningful rewards

Financial bonuses have long been seen as an effective way to retain your employees and motivate your team.  But many business sectors are becoming increasingly competitive as they gain momentum and find ways to thrive and survive in the current and impending economic climate.   As a business owner, you will have to ask yourself whether the traditional financial bonus scheme really benefiting anyone? Or is this out-dated method no longer fitting in with the modern way we work?   The real question is will we have to consider more meaningful rewards?

Financial reward can create conflict

Financial bonuses have been a regular occurrence for many businesses over the years.  However, it’s becoming increasingly reported that they no longer hold the value that they once did.  Creating conflict in the workplace when bonuses are varied, and making the team feel de-motivated when the bonuses don’t arrive after a difficult financial year, they can also be easily outdone by competitors who are looking to poach employees.

Rather than using the money to motivate your team, look to include more valuable benefits in the workplace.  These benefits can enhance their working lives.  They can also make the work environment a more enjoyable place to be.

Create ongoing benefits rather than once a year

Let’s be honest, most of your employees probably wish they were somewhere else most of the time,  Through lack of engagement at work, they may feel like they won’t see the benefits of all their hard work until the end of the year.  This can seem a long time to wait.  So think about the advantages that would make their day better and increase their productivity with meaningful rewards.

With an average 80% of our lives spent at work, it’s time to start offering work/life balance. Creating that balance can bring about happier employees, who are less likely to leave, and more inspired to do well.

It seems that our cousins across the pond have a better understanding of employee benefits.  Some of the biggest US companies offer ‘work perks’ that could easily rival that of any business in the UK.  Take some inspiration from these brands to see if you can offer your employees a meaningful rewards package.

It’s the little things

Google may dominate the world for their business, but they also dominate as the best place to work for its incredible employee benefits.  From a sweet shop, free catering, to an in-house laundry service and hairdressers, the list could go on.  Now it may not be financially viable to set up this kind of meaningful rewards in your own business, but even just taking a leaf out of Google’s book about the value of these perks can help you to create your own.

Google request recommendations from their team as to what they would like to see implemented.  Suggestions include what could help their daily lives as well as their work lives.  Ultimately the two become combined in the end.  If you could help improve your team’s day-to-day lives you will also make them feel more secure and focused at work.  Here are a couple of ideas about meaningful rewards you can easily implement in your organisation.

1. Pet Friendly

As the old saying goes, Dog is Man’s best friend.  One company that’s taking this seriously is pet insurance company Trupanion.  This company allow all of their employees to bring their pets to work with them.  And not just on one day of the week or month, but every day!  As Trupanion’s focus is pets, they felt that allowing their team to bring their pets to work would make them understand that they’re working for their pets rather than for the company.  A great philosophy that has seen the company introduce a number of pet-related benefits.   Benefits such as dog walkers, stair gates to offices and a pet play area for lunch breaks.  It may not be productive in a normal office environment to have dogs and cats roaming free, but for Trupanion it works in motivating their team’s passion for pets.

This example can be used in many businesses, as they’ve taken the sole purpose of their business and made meaningful rewards.

2. Health & Wellness

Many companies are now incorporating a health insurance package into their employee benefits,   Some companies include features such as online diet and exercise program for all employees, a personal trainer, salad bowl luncheons and a masseuse that comes in regularly to offer back, neck and shoulder massages.

Physiotherapist Ben Barker from Total Health Clinics comments that “In the modern world of work we spend a lot of time sat over a desk.  This is bad for our health and can cause long-term harm. From bad posture to an increase in weight gain. By offering an incentive to have health professionals provide care in the workplace, it can encourage people to be more active at work as well as outside of work.”

With health becoming a subject important to many businesses, implementing this benefit, in particular, can improve on the number of sick days that staff take due to ill health, reduce stress, and create a more positive working atmosphere.

Of course, not all of these benefits can be done by your own business, but it certainly goes to show what can be done and improved upon in the workplace.  Put that financial bonus towards other incentives for your staff that can help them to lead a better life, and you’ll soon see their work improve along with it.

Author information

David Walker

As a freelance writer within the business and marketing sector, I've spent many years working alongside SME's in an effort to grow and boost their business in the new digital age of marketing.


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