Reward and Recognition: Setting the expectations for your employees

Reward and Recognition: Setting the expectations for your employees

October 27th 2020 - employee engagement
For businesses that want to create successful workplace cultures, a reward and recognition programme is an indispensable tool. According to Deloitte, companies that reward and recognise positive behaviours have a 14% higher productivity and performance output compared to organisations that don't.

Reward and recognition aim to drive engagement with company values and objectives; a mere 15% increase in engagement can boost your margins by as much as 2%. But if over 80% of organisations have some form of recognition programme in place, why are many struggling to achieve their targets?

Through our extensive experience in creating healthy and productive company cultures, we've found that many of the setbacks occur when businesses fail to leverage their reward and recognition strategies by not communicating their intentions and expectations to employees. And by this, we mean more than the initial onboarding process and a few generic posters around the office. 

To help make sure your reward and recognition programme is a result yielding initiative, we'd like to help you set up your employees expectations successfully.

Download the ultimate guide to rewarding positive behaviour, complete with  cheatsheet.

Where is the benchmark for rewardable behaviours?

All reward and recognition strategies rely on the organisation's leaders. If there isn't clarity as to what the objectives and goals are within the leadership teams of your company, things can get confusing for the rest of your people.

A successful strategy requires a targeted design that's built around the goals in your mission statement. Start by answering these questions:

  • What challenges are you trying to solve?
  • What does success look like for your business?
  • What behaviours are important to your business?

Defining these key points will help you to set the benchmarks for your programme and ensure you can effectively measure your efforts. As a result, improvements and adjustments can be made efficiently. 

Look at your business' core values. From there, it's easy to determine the behaviours you're trying to inspire in your employees and how they incorporate your company values. Rewarding these behaviours then becomes much easier. 

It's essential to document the process and adequately train your leaders on the implementation of the reward and recognition programme. If they understand the rationale for the behaviours you’re rewarding, and the benchmarks you’re measuring against, they are much more likely to buy in and help engage the teams they lead.

Interested in how to promote positive behaviour in your team? Check out our guide to encouraging positive behaviour in the workplace with our reward and recognition cheatsheet.

Help employees understand why you've chosen this strategy

To get your people on board with the long term objectives of your reward and recognition strategy, they need to understand why you're rewarding certain behaviours. This needs to be explained in simple terms that are clear to everyone. Highlight what employees can expect in return for engaging with your plan and exhibiting these desired behaviours.

Increase engagement with internal communication

Ensuring all employees feel included is critical, particularly if you have remote teams or operate a large organisation with multiple departments, shift patterns, and locations. If you'd like your internal stakeholders to align with your brand's values, it's important to make them feel part of the brand. The Incentivesmart platform has a newsfeed feature so that businesses can publicise corporate activities, updates and achievements. It's a quick and simple way to create a centralised source of company information that allows teams of all sizes and structures to be kept in the loop. Using this tool will help to enhance transparency in your organisation and show a proactive approach to affecting and communicating change.

Help your people to see that what they do matters 

Provide context and justifications for your expectations; this will help to increase accountability and encourage staff to participate in the activities that drive positive business outcomes. It’s also useful to make sure your staff understand how the behaviours link back to your core values. When employees can see the bigger picture, they'll understand how their contribution affects the overall success of the business. As a result, your people will be far more motivated and eager to make sure the programme is utilised as intended. 

Top tips to achieve this:

  • Don't just hand your expectations guide off to staff members.
  • Meet with your staff to discuss your expectations and have an open dialogue.
  • Address questions that employees have about your expectations.
  • Ask for feedback and establish whether everyone has understood your objectives.

Set up for reward and recognition success

Once you've communicated your expectations to your team, it's not enough to just let them "get on with it." 

Set your employees up for success by making sure they have the appropriate knowledge, skills, abilities and resources to accomplish the things you'd like them to. Show them who the go-to person is if they have any questions or concerns and encourage transparency.

Model the behaviour you want to see

Employees naturally take cues from their management team. They pick up on how they're expected to behave when they watch you. The way your management team acts has a direct impact on how the rest of your team behaves. 

If your senior team has bad habits – like complaining about customers, work-life balance and presenteeism, or failure to follow processes and procedures, those issues will trickle down to the rest of your team very quickly. It's best to ensure that you and the rest of your business' leadership model the same behaviour you want your employees to exhibit. 

Do you have questions about designing a strategic reward and recognition programme? Are you curious about how to approach setting expectations? The Incentivesmart team is ready to offer expert advice and market-leading tools to help you achieve your reward and recognition goals. Get in touch with us today.

creating positive behaviours through reward and recognition

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