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5 Reward Programs to Attract, Engage and Retain Top Talent

Updated: Nov 29, 2021

One of the most valuable investments you will make in your organization is in your people. Companies (as well as associations and unions) need to do a lot more to attract, retain and engage with their group. A leading way to round out the total rewards offered is to add a compelling reward programs.

These different types of rewards programs serve your company and people in a variety of ways including: stronger and more loyal engagement, retention and employee advocacy - drawing even more talent to your team:

1. Performance-Based Rewards

An increasing number of employees are looking for opportunities where they can share in the organization’s profits. This is especially true for more talented individuals. This can be in the form of performance bonuses, stock options or a revenue/profit share.

Many companies have begun offering performance-based incentives to people across all departments – not just those in marketing and sales. People who get to participate in the company’s performance tend to feel more valued, and are therefore more productive.

Pros: Money is a key motivating factor.

Cons: Structuring rewards and determining exactly how much each individual should be paid is a complex activity. Moreover, performance-based programs might exclude and demotivate certain groups of employees.

2. Health and Wellness

Studies have concluded that every dollar invested in health and wellness can result in average savings from $3.27 to $5.81. Healthier employees fall sick less often and take less time off. Most importantly, they are more energetic, productive and engaged.

Many companies go beyond offering only traditional health insurance and provide gym memberships and other incentive programs. For example, Accenture gives free Fitbits to its employees and rewards those who complete exercise goals with deal couponsPros – Money is a key motivating factor.

Pros: Investment in health makes people more productive.

Cons: Organizing and monitoring these can be difficult.

3. Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the most important considerations for today’s employees. An increasing number of companies from Fortune 500's to startups are rolling out flexibility programs such as remote work options, flexible working hours, etc.

For example, Lisa Butler, Chief Talent & Diversity Officer at Manulife, says, “Through flexible programs, employees can achieve both their professional and personal goals, like remote work and adjustable schedules. About 25 per cent of our workforce currently has a flexible work arrangement of some kind, even if it’s just working from home one day per week.”

Other companies like ARM, Contently and SAP offer sabbatical programs that allow their people to take time off to engage in a pursuit that’s truly meaningful to them, while still keeping their jobs.

Pros: Employees are more engaged and happier.

Cons: Managing remote teams involve several challenges.

4. Leadership Development Programs

Companies on the Great Places to Work list all have one thing in common. They give their employees opportunities for developing their leadership skills. This can include in-house training or coaching, or offsite programs. These training programs are great for engaging your employees because it gives them the opportunity to build the skills they need to grow in the organization.

Pros: Excellent for nurturing your talent.

Cons: Leadership training is usually expensive.

5. Exclusive Rewards or Preferred Pricing Programs

One of the easiest and most popular types of employee rewards programs is offering exclusive discounts on various products and services. Employees get a membership card that give them exclusive deals at a range of merchants. These could be for restaurants, grocery stores, dry cleaning, entertainment, travel and adventure activities, accommodation, and so on.

Pros: These programs are usually managed by a third party and easy to organize. They are also a low-cost way to reward your people.

Cons: Finding the right partner organization who has a wide selection of deals that appeal to everyone and will manage the entire program for you, can be difficult.

Keep Engaging

These different types of employee reward programs keep your people engaged, retain them much longer, and make them your brand advocates so that more talented people join you. It’s one of the most valuable investments you will make in your people.

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