Employee rewards programmes: Building trust and engagement in the workplace

The workplace is now almost unrecognisable in comparison to 10 years ago. The rapid advancements in technology, social media and management have changed the way we work and where we work from – which is basically anywhere these days thanks to cloud technology. So why are employers still struggling to engage their workforce?

Gallup’s state of the sector survey revealed levels of employee engagement so low it’s not only top of the HR agenda, but also the company agenda, as employee engagement goes hand in hand with retention. In turn it affects the company’s ability to be successful.

With only 19% of millennials agreeing that most people can be trusted, the lowest ever on record, and the highest expectations in terms of social tools available in the workplace, tackling this crisis may seem daunting. But quick wins such as a rewards programme delivered via a company intranet can help drive a culture shift to increase engagement and build employee trust.

How does this work?

Rewards encourage peer to peer recognition. Firms can decide what works best for their company, who can award points to whom, whether there are prizes attached to it or if it is for an internal awards programme; it’s completely flexible to suit different corporate cultures and budgets.

Making a difference

Who doesn’t like to be acknowledged for a job well done? There is a great sense of achievement when somebody says well done or thanks for the help. When the ‘rewards widget’ appears on employees’ intranet homepages, it’s there for everyone to see, and naturally gives employees a boost.

Rewarding one another instantly builds relationships and creates a more collaborative culture, regardless of department, location or seniority. Those recognised want to continue to do a good job to build their points and get acknowledgment of a job well done, whilst others want for their name to appear on the homepage. This level of engagement is a breeding ground for building a more productive workforce, co-workers collaborating and sharing expertise regardless of their job title, department or location.

Example: Business Environment built rewards into its HR framework

Business Environment initially offered Amazon vouchers for a set level of reward points. It then rebranded its rewards to ‘Smarties’. Anyone can reward anyone else with Smarties and passing a vocational qualification also gains you points.

When Business Environment conducts annual reviews of employees, the manager is now given an export of each reward an employee has received. The review process now includes an employee’s view, a manager’s view and a record of peer to peer impact – which removes the awkwardness when you are asked “what did you do eleven months ago?”

Rewards are one of many ways to increase engagement in the workplace. Giving users a reason to go on to the intranet to do something positive and fun like rewards is a good place to start if you’re struggling with user adoption.