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Employee benefits: Fit the person to the perk


“There’s an abundance of incentives out there to inspire employees to go that extra mile or to reward someone for a job well done. However choosing an appropriate staff reward is not that simple, given the range of incentives and varying requirements of employees. It is important to know what makes an employee tick so they feel valued and totally rewarded,” argues consultant Sandra Beale.

At board level, which is populated by high-flying, status-conscious individuals and, still mainly men according to research board level, incentives should address the ego of these high earners and achievers. Creative reward ideas that epitomises the ultimate in luxury can often appeal such as luxury trips using world-class travel and staying in top hotels, or attending a movie premiere with A-list stars. These all have that “once in lifetime” aspect which individuals would never think of organising themselves so it makes things a bit different.

For cash-rich, time-poor females executives who are ambitious and hungry for success and often driven individuals, incentives that provide a legitimate opportunity to be luxuriously pampered are bound to be winners. While a day at an expensive spa will do the trick,a more structured experience, where there is an element of the unique, could appeal much more. There are providers who will organise a package of spa treatment, beauty education and luxury cosmetic goodie bags whilst providing dining on strawberries and champagne to reward female executives for achieving their targets. Such incentives can also improve team bonding and raise the game for the next year.

For middle managers in need of a bit of fun who are the doers of the team, with responsibilities upwards and downwards, an incentive that provides “a change is as good as a rest” reward could work. In every organisation there is a manager who is put upon: they are at their desk well before the team in the morning and there well after the boss has left in the evening. A coveted gift would be more time and certainly relaxation. Possible suggestions for this type of employee could include attendance at a cookery school whereby they learn the art of cooking whilst drinking champagne and wine. Again this type of incentive is great for team building in an informal relaxed environment. Other suggestions could be designer luggage, branded goods and stationery such as pens might be seen as an appreciative reward.

For competitive salespeople, invigorated by fun and excitement the instant reward could hit the spot. The thrill of the chase is what drives most salespeople, but it’s a tough, competitive job and they all need a release and a bit of fun. A scheme whereby they can be rewarded with high value vouchers for increased sales to purchase luxury goods, holidays and services could work.

For shop-floor low-earners in key customer-facing roles in need of appreciation short term performance rewards work well. Whether it’s the shop floor, the call centre or the factory floor, the rank and file tend to be the people who make sure the business ticks over. Often they are also the first point of contact consumers tend to have with a company, so their input is invaluable. Conventional reward wisdom decrees that such staff perform best with the carrot of immediate gratification.

A suggestion at this level could be as part of an incentive and motivation scheme to offer the top performers to go on a week-long activity break to a together to a luxury destination such as in Australia or Hawaii; somewhere different. Other suggestions could be sitting on a table at the Brit Awards or receiving an iPod. If in doubt vouchers and top-up gift cards are the failsafe option for this group. Their advantages include their flexibility – multi-redemption vouchers and cards from suppliers mean that different personalities are catered for.

So to summarise, to make employee reward work and to support business objectives companies need to profile their demographics and survey their requirements see what turns them on.

For more information contact Sandra Beale FCIPD on 07762 771290 or [email protected]. Website: <a href="
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