Many Ways to Effectively Reward Hardworking Employees

Article originally posted in The West Australian newspaper.

WHEN it comes to rewarding loyal employees, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach, according to Career Consultant Kendal Drew.

“It is important for employers to understand what drives their employees’ performance,” she said. “Is it doing worthy work? Is it about status, job title or a high salary? Being valued for their effort? Rewarding time in lieu? Or something else?“An astute employer will respond to those drivers first in understanding and getting to know each staff member, identifying what’s relevant to each and applying them accordingly.”

Referring to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management, which identified the cost of
a single personnel hire at about US$4000 ($5740), Ms Drew said the biggest costs for employers came from an inability to retain hardworking, dedicated staff members and avoid high turnover.

“Frequent rehires can quickly become an organisational expense,” she said. “It is not just the cost of recruiting and training of new hires that is involved here. There is also the human cost of the ongoing staff who have to cover higher workloads throughout the changeover period, train the new personnel and adjust to the new hire. “There’s also the ‘survivor’ element of the staff that continue through constant change, leaving them feeling unsettled and unable to tackle some of the bigger tasks while they concentrate on ‘business as usual’ activities throughout change.”

Ms Drew said it was worth noting and rewarding the value of “corporate knowledge”. That is, valuing the long-term, dedicated employees who hold high levels of business know- how. “These are often the people within the organisation who others turn to when seeking to understand a decision or change,” she said.

“This knowledge has a high, uncharted value within organisations.” Placing value in performance reviews, Ms Drew said they were beneficial only if administered proactively. “There’s a clear benefit with annual performance reviews when they are done well, however, career conversations should not be confined to an annual event,” she said. “Best-practice career management involves regular, ongoing communication and the co-creation of plans for development that will maintain stimulation and engagement. “The process should identify achievements, skills gaps and employee ambitions, and the resultant plan then needs to be acted upon.”

Ms Drew said in terms of employee traits warranting a promotion, corporate knowledge was invaluable. “There are clear benefits in promoting from within and rewarding and utilising that knowledge,” she said. “The individual would need to be demonstrating potential and willingness to operate at a higher level and be the right fit for the role. “Sometimes it will be the person who is willing to challenge the status quo who is the best fit in a higher-level role because they will bring new thinking and stretch the role.

“One benefit of promoting from within an organisation is this demonstrates trust in the current workforce and a commitment to building their skills and helping them achieve their developmental and career goals. In the wider organisation, others will see this display and this can effectively raise productivity and performance, as there will be a sense that if one is rewarded in this way, there is an intention to raise others in a similar fashion. “This is one effective way to build trust within an organisation, and the flow-on effects can be widespread.”

Author – Sandra Argese

Copyright The West Australian newspaper