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Using reward to enhance company culture





Posted by Roy Curnick on 27 November 2018

Using reward to enhance company culture

HR Reward | Reward Consultancy | Motivation | Employee engagement | Business Ethics | Culture | Total reward | Pay Structure | Recognition | Reward Strategy | Job evaluation

Recent research suggests that pay growth for workers moving jobs has risen to the highest levels for more than a decade, suggesting a growing “disloyalty bonus” for job movers over those sticking with their employers. (Source: The Guardian)

This begs the question: at a time of record levels of job-switching, how do you keep employees on-board? One answer is to focus on something money can’t buy – company culture.

Often our clients are keen to develop or reinforce their company culture through good reward policies and practice. Clients now see a strong company culture that is lived and breathed by employees not as a nice-to-have, but a must-have.

Reward and reward strategy have a significant impact on a company’s culture in terms of design and structure, but also feel. Attracting and retaining talent is more complicated than offering a good salary and a pension scheme. Employees want to feel valued, appreciated – part of the family.

The first step to is articulating a reward strategy that suits your business down to the ground. A reward strategy doesn’t need to be long, complicated, and unforgiving. It just needs to give you an approach to answering any questions you have about reward.

It could be as simple as, “we will pay you fairly compared to your peers”. Alternatively, it could be a set of principles that outline what you want reward in your organisation to achieve. Whatever it looks like, your reward strategy should give you comfort that you are making the right decisions to attract, motivate and retain individuals.

Now you’ve talked the talk, it’s time to walk the walk. While your reward strategy will go a long way to support the culture, it is the implementation of the strategy through your reward mechanisms where employees will ‘feel’ it.

Having a clear and transparent pay structure will help you act out your reward strategy. A clear pay structure will also help your employees see and understand the fairness in your decision making, giving them comfort in the process, as well as showing them a career path that will excite and engage them.

Reward architecture should always serve the needs of the business, first and foremost, and that usually means commercial imperatives. But no matter how hard-nosed your strategy is, there should always be a human way to show appreciation for a job well done through recognition schemes.

Furthermore, it’s important to ensure recognition is relevant and timely to gain the best levels of engagement. Allowing managers flexibility to reward their teams when they have done something great, rather than wait for an end of year incentive scheme to pay out, will help build that feeling of togetherness needed for a strong bond between employer and employee.

Company culture is notoriously difficult to pin down, but a good culture will definitely have distinct values and ethics. From a Reward perspective, it takes clear terms of engagement to ensure everyone is bought in, knows how to behave, and knows what to expect from others’ behaviour.

In conclusion: keep it simple, keep it fair, keep the personal touch… and you’ll end up with clear and well thought out reward mechanisms that will help you to engage, attract and retain your employees.

To discuss enhancing your reward architecture, call 020 3457 0894 or email

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