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It's time to adopt an employee reward system

by Ethan Hawkes
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Employee Engagement

Employee morale is one of the critical factors in measuring the health of your organization. One of the best ways to keep morale high is to implement a strategic employee reward system. In fact, all organizations big and small should have a reward system in place.

Compensation and appreciation

The two basic elements of most employee reward systems are compensation and appreciation. Compensation can include, but isn’t limited to, an employee’s salary, their health insurance, tuition reimbursement, and so on. It can also include free and discounted goods. Compensation is typically something tangible (or it represents something tangible, as insurance represents future cost savings).

Appreciation includes gratitude, recognition, and acknowledgment. It’s generally not tangible. The organization can express appreciation in many different ways and for many different reasons. Employees that are productive and perform well should be recognized. But an employee should also be recognized for their less obvious contributions. Employers can show their gratitude and recognize achievements with compensation. They might also bestow appreciation in a public way, such as during an awards ceremony.

Designing a rewards system

Because compensation and appreciation can take so many different forms, it’s wise for employers to take the time to design the rewards system that will best motivate their particular employees, align their strategies, and strengthen their organizational culture. In order to do so, however, they need to have some idea of their employees’ wants and needs.

Having an open door policy and speaking with employees can give supervisors and managers some idea of what would motivate their employees in terms of compensation and appreciation. However, there are a few problems with basing a rewards system off of these methods alone. Employees aren’t always straightforward about their needs or their complaints. Some might keep their thoughts to themselves. A manager might hear what employees want, but misinterpret an employee’s priorities.

Instead of working on assumptions, organizations should be taking action based on actual data. Sometimes it’s difficult to collect data that’s pertinent to overcoming a challenge, but this isn’t one of those times. Simple employee surveys, like those conducted by SurveyMe, can help employers understand the types of compensation and the expressions of appreciation that will truly motivate their employees. 

Employee reward systems are most effective when they are designed to bring employee goals and organizational goals into alignment. By allowing employees to have a hand in designing their own rewards system by providing feedback through surveys, employees are empowered and encouraged.
 
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