in situations where pay rises are not feasible, there are several other ways employers can motivate and reward staff.

A woman smiling brightly while conversing with a man
A woman smiling brightly while conversing with a man

Money is an essential driver in an employee's relationship with the organisation, but it is not the only one.

Our research has revealed that employees are more interested in task rewards and work/life balance once income reaches a certain level.

Whether or not this income hygiene level has been reached, when pay raises aren't an option, an employer has other avenues to motivate staff with various rewards.

First are the basics, including health insurance, parking, company car or gym membership.

There are no surprises here, but such benefits can be worth discussing.

Then it's time to get more creative.

consider these options:

  • Flexible working arrangements to work from home once a week or for staff to choose core working hours.
  • Provide extensive training plans for staff to upskill.
  • Offer tangible recognition for staff who excel – a congratulatory email cc'ing the leadership team, a handwritten note, or mentioning their successes during meetings.
  • Provide a rostered day off (outside of annual leave), rewarding successful task completion.
  • Offer rewards based on specific personal interests – e.g. sports club membership or theatre tickets.
  • Offer time out of regular work commitments to work on projects your staff may be passionate about.
  • Create a monthly or quarterly awards event showcasing the efforts of staff who excel. Include peer-nominated awards.
  • Provide the opportunity for staff to volunteer, increasing morale through altruistic pursuits.
  • If you have multiple office locations, offer staff a change of scenery by swapping offices.

Finally, be aware that different generations are motivated by extra rewards and attitudes to pay rises. 

With Baby Boomers, for instance, seniority was the key to pay increases. The widespread adoption of pay linked to performance came about when Generation X was new in the workplace.

Both of these generations shared that pay was a personal matter not to be discussed with others. Generation Y members are more likely to share pay information – and to leave if the comparison is unfavourable. 

Failing to design effective, durable reward systems that acknowledge these differences and consistently produce fair results runs two risks. For current employees, reward policies perceived as unfair are likely to reduce motivation and increase their chances of looking elsewhere for employment.

Candidates' interest in an employer may wane if they discover a questionable approach to rewarding employees.

This is especially true for members of Generation Y, who are likely to pick up feedback on employers through social networks. 

need help engaging your staff?

A Randstad recruitment consultant can offer advice. 

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