10 Ways that Reward and Recognition Can Transform Employee Wellbeing

2020 has been the perfect year to demonstrate exactly how critical the combination of compensation and wellbeing is when it comes to employee engagement. Suddenly businesses have seen their teams scattered across the country, working from home often in more tumultuous environments, with limited contact with colleagues. That’s not to mention the financial impact of furlough and reduced family income. Employees, more than ever, need their employers to ensure they are being looked after across all factors.

What Does Rewarding Employees Actually Look Like?
There’s a magical triad of forces that every HR professional knows is the key to employee retention and engagement. The right combination is also how great employers attract great employees.

They are reward, recognition and wellbeing.

If any of these elements are missing from an employee engagement strategy the stool is likely to figuratively fall over. Employees need to be rewarded and recognised of course, but if working hours are ludicrously unmanageable then poor wellbeing will wipe out any financial incentive you can throw at them.

This is more important than ever as working from home has made the benefits of onsite gyms, counselling and socialising far less accessible. Employers need to think very carefully about how they keep the stool upright.

10 Ways to Get Wellbeing Right

1. Put wellbeing on employees’ and leaders’ scorecards
Make wellbeing actionable and make it clear to your people how essential it is to your organisation. By doing this you demonstrate your commitment and keep it at the forefront of their minds.

2. Talk about wellbeing in compensation and development discussions
This promotes clarity about what is expected around an employee’s role and what wellbeing looks like for them. It becomes just another part of their package.

3. Ask employees what they need to feel rewarded and recognised, and how that contributes to wellbeing.
This is by far the easiest way of getting engagement right. Right from the horse’s mouth!

4. Reward and recognise wellbeing achievements
Don’t forget that if you put wellbeing on the scorecard, you have to reward people when they hit that target.

5. Lead from the top
Create a wellbeing board that can have oversight of initiatives and keep communication going.

6. Create wellbeing champions
Find employees with a passion for wellbeing to grow a community of practice that can support the work of the organisation and wellbeing board.

7. Tailor wellbeing for global mobility (GM):
If you have GM programmes, consider not just the financial impact of relocating, but offer employees wellbeing support and signposting to help this huge transition.

8. Make rewards flexible
Give employees choice about what reward looks like for them, so they can plan for their lives. Whether that’s a car, pension or private health plan, giving employees control is good for their wellbeing.

9. Don’t reward poor wellbeing behaviour
Even with good intentions, a bad culture can derail wellbeing. Make sure managers know that constant long hours, checking emails at midnight or skipping lunch are not the signs of a dedicated employee. They are the sign of an employee heading towards burnout.

10. See Covid-19 as a learning opportunity
What did you do right as an organisation? What didn’t work well? How did other organisations respond? Equipped with this information you can build a plan for any future situation that impacts us the way the pandemic has.

The main thing to remember here is that reward, recognition and wellbeing need to be seen as a whole, rather than individual parts. Even if you get that, it’s up to you to convince the leadership team, too.




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