Retaining your key talent in today’s competitive job market means that you must think about talent recognition as an ongoing part of your business strategy instead of a year-end event. If you wait until the end of the year to reward a top performer or leader, he or she might get wooed elsewhere.
Once a year is not enough…
Often an organization’s potential loss of performance or skill outweighs traditional programs and rigid cost control processes. To retain your best talent, you must do better than merely recognizing them in their paychecks and via a per-year bonus. As part of an increasingly best practice discipline called continuous performance management, organizations can offer real-time career navigation, short-term project or accomplishment incentives, and subsequent rewards.
Beyond salary and bonus plans, this continuous recognition and reward approach requires budgeting for contingencies in which key talent is a flight risk and the organization’s potential skill loss outweighs immediate cost control. Is there a way to budget for this without “breaking the bank?”
Enter rewards and recognition programs. They can be viewed as a departure from sole reliance on traditional performance management and annual reviews, and as part of the continuous performance management movement.
The Importance of Rewards and Recognition Programs
Let’s be real. Bonuses and pay increases aren’t always available options for employee recognition. Fortunately, when it comes to compensating employees, it’s not always just about money. While top talent usually demands top pay, a hearty paycheck doesn’t always result in job satisfaction. Employees want to be recognized beyond their wallets for their loyalty and contributions. This is where HR comes in with a playbook of rewards and recognition that can keep top talent engaged in making a difference.
When an employee achieves a critical certification, or a customer success rep raises satisfaction quotas, think outside traditional rewards like plaques and high-fives. Instead, think about creative rewards such as gift vouchers, hotel and restaurant stays, and small spot bonuses while drawing recognition toward an employee and his or her accomplishment. The reward is performance based and personalized.
Here are some examples (in addition to any direct “thank you”):
- An extra vacation day
- A paid class or semester for something fun
- A gift card from an individual’s favorite store
- A subscription to their favorite magazine
Companies with high-maturity rewards functions report 28 percent higher average revenue per employee over three years. ~ Bersin
To address short term organizational objectives without exhausting your people, you need to factor into the equation short-term incentives, work-life balance and bench strength, the latter which represents your back-up capabilities attained through career and succession planning. There’s a lot you can do, but you also need an easy way to track it all for auditing, record keeping and career development and people management decisions.
A Platform for Fluid Rewards and Social Recognition
Support these ongoing reward and recognition efforts with a talent management software system flexible enough to evolve with your short-term incentives and longer-term reward and recognition programs’ growth and requirements. aTalent provides:
- A framework for your short-term incentives. An environment that empowers HR to manage the reward program and incentive types.
- An easy way for managers to request new incentives for their subordinates, including flexible approval flows.
- Short-term incentive reasons. A transparent way to indicate why the short term incentive is awarded, e.g., a completed project, an achieved anniversary, a recently received badge, a skill or learning achievement or certification attainment, or completion of a mentoring assignment.
- Hiring or retention bonuses. Hiring and retention bonuses can be entered within the system, and user organizations can decide if they want their managers to be able to directly request retention bonuses.
In addition to HR administrator and manager involvement, employees can award badges to their peers. Support for this peer-to-peer type of recognition can be included as part of a growing people-centric approach.
Whether nominated by a manager or peer, the token of appreciation can be memorable by going beyond the acknowledgement and carrying a reward so that the gesture truly counts.