The importance of rewarding staff and how to do it well

Robin Hay looks at how to motivate staff through benefits.

It’s safe to say the workplace has been transformed over the last decade and businesses are now placing more prominence than ever before on employee engagement.

Engaging people management is critical in any industry, but for the hospitality industry, which has traditionally had a high staff turnover rate, it is paramount, with turnover rates costing the industry millions every year.

As well as the financial impact, there is a huge reputational advantage to having happy and healthy staff. After all, why would a client have faith in your ability to provide a guest centric offering when you can’t even engage your own team?

Staff are any organisations most valuable asset and as the old saying goes, people don’t buy products, they buy people. Just like you would with any other element of your business, staff need to be nurtured, supported and encouraged if they are to be successful.

So how should you reward your staff? Often managers will go down the financial route and offer an increased salary or bonus. While this can be an effective strategy, not all employees will be motivated purely by money. If you really believe in rewarding your colleagues for their continued hard work, then offer them a range of benefits.

This could be more flexible working hours, additional holidays, social events or even a rewards scheme which gives staff the opportunity to win prizes for their continued efforts. Ensuring that there is something for everyone will not only result in an exemplary work ethic but will also promote a positive work culture.

Humans have an innate desire to learn and grow so don’t ignore it.

The key thing to remember is that each of your employees is an individual with unique needs and motivators and should be treated as such.

While rewards for a job well done are essential, one of the most overlooked elements of employee engagement is showing an employee that you are dedicated to their personal and professional development.

Your colleagues want to know that there is room to develop and learn within the organisation and will often place more importance on long term development than short term financial rewards. Humans have an innate desire to learn and grow so don’t ignore it.

One of the best ways to retain great staff is to encourage strong involvement with the business. By this I mean fostering a closer relationship between an employee and their company. A great way to do this is to offer them a tangible part of the company that is uniquely theirs.

Implementing an equity share ownership programme is a great way in which to reward colleagues of all levels who have achieved and delivered above-and-beyond what is expected of them. The company can then buy the shares back at a multiple based on the growth of the business in a set number of years.

This gives colleagues a palpable connection with the business and means that they have a direct interest in the company being successful.

The main thing to keep in mind is that any great business is made up of a mixture of different personalities, cultures and beliefs that need to be considered when trying to engage staff. Be open to discussion and really listen to staff requirements. Often you’ll find that staff will let you know exactly what they need, you just need to be open to hearing it!


About the author

Robin Hay is owner and director at Bennett Hay


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