Jayne Tory, reward manager at Asda: Seasonal instant rewards are a big motivator

It is essential for employers to vary their recognition strategy throughout the year so [staff] are motivated to help deliver various initiatives. Ensuring any schemes are varied and fresh helps maintain the interest of [employees] and in return helps support corporate activities.

Variety is vital because, in my opinion,employees are always interested in what is new and different with regard to their benefits package. What works well within Asda is a strategy that mirrors corporate trading, marketing, local and operational initiatives. For example, Easter eggs could be used to incentivise staff in the spring, Halloween-themed incentives are good for October and outdoor activities and gardening equipment would make good rewards for [staff] during the summer months.

During the Christmas period, Asda ran a scheme called “Thanks for going the extra mile”, which allowed line managers to nominate members of its 4,500 store and depot-based workforce to receive a card, which, when scratched, revealed a prize. These included DVDs, CDs and items of George-branded clothing. The supermarket also funded Christmas for five lucky reward winners by paying for their Christmas shopping to the value of £200.

Reaction to our Christmas instant reward scheme was very positive. It was a great way to let [staff] know when they had done something really special and to thank them. There are many business reasons behind implementing instant reward schemes like this. Such schemes encourage positive behaviour in employees and, in return, they support their fellow colleagues through other business initiatives. Immediately recognising and celebrating the positive behaviour of an individual creates a role model for the rest of the workforce. Instant reward schemes also trigger positive morale throughout the workforce and boost the self-esteem of those employees who have been recognised.

It goes without saying that an effective recognition scheme is good for improving productivity and retention, and helping to attract the best people to come and work for Asda.

In the new year, Asda will yet again be revamping its recognition scheme to incorporate its business activities.