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Employee reward and recognition in the next normal

Blogs Human Capital Management

Employee reward and recognition programs align employee effort with business goals, to attract, retain and motivate an organisation’s most important asset: their people. With the COVID-19 pandemic sending the world into crisis, reward and recognition programs have become even more essential to help ensure employee engagement and wellbeing in an organisation.

With the acceleration of HR’s digital transformation in the past months and today’s remote workforce, employers need to take a closer look at their current rewards programs as well and adjust them accordingly to make rewards meaningful and sustainable during and beyond the crisis.

In a recent webinar, our remuneration management partner Curo, sat with a panel of experts to discuss how the pandemic has changed the shape of rewards and recognition. Here are some of the key takeaways from their session:

Employee wellbeing is still a priority

There is a tension between taking care of employees during the crisis and protecting the business’ cash flow. With the global economy going into recession this year, organisations—especially those in the harder-hit industries—have been implementing different ways to keep themselves afloat, like layoffs, pay decreases, suspended bonuses and reworked commissions.

Despite this, we have seen businesses get more creative in rewarding their employees in the new environment. It can be simple, like encouraging social and peer-to-peer recognition through internal and external channels and holding virtual celebrations. Some may employ more elaborate strategies, like allowing employees to bring home their office chairs to help set up their home office to giving employees a paid  ‘mental health’ day. Employee wellbeing remains a top priority, followed by refocusing incentive plans to align with the current business situation.

Talent retention and engagement

In these uncertain times and a significant lack of financial resources, everyone is worried about talent retention. Managing and engaging a remote and virtual workforce now requires a different approach: what is it that my employees need and how can I meet them without increasing internal cost?

One way to approach this is to see employees as individuals. People come from different backgrounds, have different needs and situations, so approaching rewards with this kind of empathy will help in talent retention. Attendees in the webinar highlighted the challenge of aligning their reward programs to business outcomes. Without access to the physical office, presence-based merits are no longer relevant, so changing the culture to reward output and contribution is a way to retain talent and ensure wellbeing.

Staying competitive in the current environment

With no end to the pandemic in sight, a continued challenge in the foreseeable future is balancing financial pressures to stay competitive whilst ensuring their employees’ wellbeing. While the approach will vary across organisations, defining what creates value your company and what performance means, realigning forecasts, and recognising positive actions to reshape rewards programs were ideas that came up in the discussion.

It might seem easier to wait until the crisis is over before doing any major transformation, but by then, it might be too late. Organisations who want to thrive through these uncertainties need to be innovative and agile in their approach to reward and recognition now, to secure their future.

Make reward and compensation easy with Remuneration and Reward Management Software

Ascender is delighted to announce our partnership with CURO, an online, configurable compensation solution designed to ensure organisations manage and optimise their human capital investments and deliver on their reward strategies. This user-platform provides a real-time view to decision makers to support informed pay decisions.