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The top four trends in employee reward and recognition for 2017

Jacqueline Benjamin | February 2, 2017

HR professionals analysing and writing down the top trends in employee reward and recognition

As the New Year gets well underway, here are our predictions for reward and recognition in the workplace:

1. More employers will embrace Reward and Recognition

Countless reports have highlighted the fact that praise from management and leadership attention are more effective motivators than financial reward and more and more HR teams are incorporating this thinking into their employee engagement strategies. We’ve seen a growing appetite from HR teams to integrate formal Reward and Recognition schemes onto employee benefits portals and we expect this trend to continue in 2017. Distinct from salary and benefits, staff recognition schemes have an important role to play in motivating and engaging staff and can be a cost effective way of achieving this. Carving out a small percentage of, say, your bonus pool can go a long way with initiatives such as training and development, or recognition, making a huge difference in terms of value proposition. Moreover, encouraging managers to say ‘thank you’ can cost nothing at all.

2. But there will more pressure on HR teams to prove its value

ROI (Return on Investment) is a phrase that comes up again and again when we’re meeting employee benefits professionals. Having clear KPIs and the data to prove that a recognition scheme is delivering value, is more achievable than ever and more and more HR teams are incorporating this into their planning. The quality of data that can be collected by online portals is amazing, from take-up, to engagement and approvals, and we’re seeing more and more businesses use this in interesting ways, from talent spotting to retention and performance management.

3. Social recognition will continue to grow

Social platforms such as LinkedIn and Yamma now form an important part of most organisations’ recognition and reward strategy, providing a visible and convenient platform for employees and their managers to recognise their colleagues. The savviest employers are even incorporating some of these functions (the ability to like and share, for example) into their own bespoke platforms. At the same time, we’ve also seen that these platforms should be used to augment, rather than replace, traditional, face-to-face recognition. There’s still a place for good, old-fashioned presentations!

4. Rewards will become more tailored

Employers have cottoned on to the fact that best employee rewards are those that are tailored to the humour and tone of an organisation, team or even individual. Each team member is different and will be motivated by different thing. There’s been a notable growth in everything from experiential and lifestyle-focused awards to training and development as a result. Likewise, something that is meaningful for one business may not be the same for everyone. We’ve known clients where a coveted parking space can be as valued as a day out at the races. Moreover, the use of software means that tracking employee preferences and tailoring their rewards based on order history and point redemption is easier than ever.

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Topics: Reward and Recognition

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