Jenny Davidson: How can a reward strategy drive employee engagement?

A recent Aon Hewitt survey on drivers for employee engagement, 2014 Trends in Global Employee Engagement, published in May 2014, indicated that pay is one of the top four drivers of engagement.

Jenny Davidson sets up reward consultancy

In the past, pay and benefits have tended to be described as a ‘hygiene’ factor, with little impact on employee engagement. More emphasis was given to career development and employees’ relationship with their manager (leadership).

The employee’s perception of pay and benefits, and how fairly they are rewarded within the organisation, has also proved to have a positive impact.

In April, we heard about Next’s chief executive officer sharing his £4 million bonus with staff and, in May, the negative reaction reported in the press by Boots’ employees, whose performance-related bonuses will not be paid for the first time in 10 years.

If an organisation’s annual bonus scheme is based on a balanced scorecard with both financial measures and other key performance indicators, such as customer satisfaction, then it is an idea to produce a red/amber/green (RAG) chart at the end of each month to show how the business is performing against these measures.

Hot 100 Club – Lorica - 2014

In this way, employees will be focused on improving the business in the right areas and there are no surprises at the end of the year.

Share ownership is another way to make employees feel engaged with the organisation. Consider making the best use of the increased employee tax limits in these areas, up to £500 per month in a sharesave scheme and a maximum of £1,800, or 10% of taxable income for the year, for a share incentive plan. 

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Another driver for employee engagement is making the workplace and its benefits relevant to the workforce, so employees can manage their work-life balance seamlessly, including bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies and access to discounted Apple products, as well as the more traditional childcare vouchers and gym membership.

Jenny Davidson is interim head of reward at TalkTalk