Dawn Moore: How can reward and benefits contribute to happiness at work?

It has long been recognised that reward and benefits, as part of an overall employee experience, are a key part of happiness at work. A good reward and benefits package demonstrates that an organisation cares for its employees, particularly where it is clear that there is not a one-size-fits-all approach to reward and benefits and employees can see that an organisation is looking to support them no matter what stage they are at in their lives and careers.

For the last four years, Murphy has worked successfully on increasing its overall employee engagement year on year. There are eight well-known factors that it takes into account when putting together its engagement strategy, one significant factor being known as Fair Deal, which is effectively related to reward and benefits. It is worth noting, however, that only a small part of the most successful reward and benefits strategies relate to those that are purely financial.

We have found at Murphy that while financial rewards are important, the effect on overall happiness and engagement of those is shorter term. Those elements that have received the best feedback and have promoted longer-term engagement to our workplace include things like extra time off and or other gifts to recognise key milestones such as getting married, the birth of a child or service milestones.

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Additionally, those benefits that make people feel better about themselves overall such as paid-for wellbeing initiatives, mental health support and the opportunity to give back, in work time, to local communities and charities in the areas where they work are cited year on year as continually engaging people to the workplace and acting as a differentiator when it comes to attraction and retention.

Dawn Moore is group people and communications director at J Murphy and Sons