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Reward and recognition challenges for employers

Employee recognition sounds like a nice thing to do, right? But believe it or not, like many HR tasks, putting a reward scheme in place for your employees is not always plain sailing.

A top concern for HR is budget availability, whilst others include problems related to aligning a reward scheme with employees’ needs and the company’s goals.

But getting your reward and recognition programme right is proven to positively impact engagement, employee happiness and to improve employee relationships – all factors that impact retention, and in turn, customer satisfaction.

So make sure you’re prepared with our ‘heads up’ on the kind of challenges you may face...

A lack of buy in

This can happen when you don’t take the time to truly understand the motivations of your employees. Gather thoughts and opinions from individuals from across all areas of your organisation to ensure you're implementing a plan that will both motivate and engage. A programme that provides a low possibility of winning for employees won't work and won't act as an incentive, nor will rewards which are unsuitable for a range of individuals.

Budgetary constraints

Be sure that whatever rewards you’re promising are possible in terms of budget. This may mean speaking with leaders and finance teams to work out the approximate costs associated with offering what you’re proposing. If what you’d hoped to implement isn’t possible, it’s best you realise that before rolling out the programme to your staff. Rewards don’t always need to be expensive – get creative!

Time and resource

Like any initiative, a reward and recognition programme will need time assigning to it. Allow for adequate researching time, planning time, as well as time and resource for properly communicating and promoting your scheme. Other considerations may include things such as line manager training for consistently and fairly using your programme, and on how to give praise/feedback to both winners/losers.

A lack of consistency/understanding

For your rewards and recognition programme to be fair, respected and followed in the ways in which you intended, it’s important to ensure that your ‘rules’, i.e. a list of qualifying factors, are communicated to management. You can keep control over the way in which your programme is used through clearly defining the behaviours your business rewards. These should also be aligned with your business’ values, expectations and goals.

Unintended consequences

Look ahead to understand what these could potentially be. Have you got a good balance for your business? You don’t want to end up with a large number of winners, all expecting cash prizes which then take you over budget. And at the other end of the scale, you equally don’t want to disgruntle the majority of your workers should your rewards be unachievable, or handed out intermittently, as opposed to regularly and consistently.

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