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Anna Jaycocks

Blackhawk Network Europe

Marketing Director

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How to nurture employee wellbeing through rewards and recognition

How rewards and recognition can enhance employee wellbeing.

There are times when the wellbeing of your staff depends on them feeling recognised beyond the salary you pay them. Even organisations with no real history of employee rewards have found themselves needing to think differently in 2020, with care homes being a good example.

The coronavirus pandemic has left our wellbeing in an especially fragile state as we try to achieve a reasonable balance of mental and physical health while adjusting to living our lives very differently.

While not every year will witness as much change as 2020, we can still learn from the examples we’re seeing now. 

In such a pressure cooker of restrictions and stresses, small things can easily tip us over the edge. The good news for employers is that this works both ways.

Creating a small positive experience may well have a bigger impact now than before the pandemic. This is an opportune time to prove to your stakeholders that improving employee wellbeing through rewards and recognition doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive.

Here’s how to make it work for your business.

Get the basics right

Recognising outstanding performance is one of the best places to start and the key to doing this well is acting quickly. Consider bulk-buying physical gift cards that you can grab at a moment’s notice or go digital to issue tailored rewards in minutes.

Bear in mind that going ‘above and beyond’ might look a little different at the moment. If some of your people work in frontline environments where they interact with the public, simply coming into work demonstrates a bigger commitment than before.

Meanwhile, you might want to recognise the achievement of someone maintaining a high-performing team while coping with the challenges of working from home.

Don’t forget about recognising long service milestones or promotions either. In a time of so much sacrifice, making sure people feel properly celebrated at these key moments can go a long way.  

Adapt to change

What each of us needs to be well and stay well is evolving all the time, so analyse what you could do differently every few months. Do you need a more diverse range of reward and recognition options? Could you use your existing ones more effectively?

We’ve seen some original ideas this year, such as businesses using rewards to support furloughed staff and large employers setting up charities to support employees going through particular hardship.

While not every year will witness as much change as 2020, we can still learn from the examples we’re seeing now. If you’re an HR professional hoping to improve employee wellbeing, stay close to the priorities, gaps and pressure points in the lives of the people working for you. Get this right and you’ll be rewarded too.

Interested in this topic? Read The link between reward and wellbeing: how to get the balance right.

Author Profile Picture
Anna Jaycocks

Marketing Director

Read more from Anna Jaycocks
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