Tuesday, March 3, 2009

10 ways to reward (and therefore retain) staff

1. Give them a pay rise.
The downside: A $2,000 pay rise may equate to an increase in take home of only say $25 per week to your employee, not ground breaking. Plus, you’re then committed to that extra $2,000 ongoing.

2. Give them a bonus
The upside: A bonus is a one off, it’ll mean a lump sum goes to your employee (to some this is much more exciting than a trickle feed of $25 per week). It’s also not an ongoing commitment.
The downside: A lump sum payment can be harder on your cash flow.

3. Public praise
The downside: Some people can get really embarrassed and you can be seen to be playing favourites.
The upside: For those that love the spotlight, this praise in front of their colleagues can be worth more than gold.

4. Private praise
The upside: This is so easy to give, as long as you remember to and are sincere.
The downside: The words “come into my office I need to talk to you” may initially strike fear into your staff if they are more used to fire coming from your tongue than praise.

5. Home style praise
Sending a heart felt card or letter home to a staff member’s parents (for Gen Y’s) or to their partner or kids is a gorgeous way to show your appreciation.
The downside: sending the same letter to all your staff is just lazy and you’ll get busted.
The upside: having your staff member’s family feeling awesome about where their relative works and what type of person they work for.

6. Gifts galore
The upside: A well thought out gift is remembered and talked about, cultivating a stronger culture for your organisation. Using the “magic form” we developed in our organisation is an ideal way to get the low down on what would really delight your staff. Want a copy? Contact me here and I’ll send it to you: www.kirstydunphey.com/contact.html
The downside: A lame impersonal gift does nothing to cultivate the relationship going forward.

7. More responsibility / promotion
The upside: If you chose the right person to move forward in your organisation they’ll grow and shine with the responsibility.
The downside: Promote a person not yet ready into a management role and you’ll not only have issues with that person but with all they manage.

8. Flexibility
The staff member who knows that they can take off an afternoon to watch their kid’s swimming carnival and make it up later tends to value the organisation a lot more than the rigidity of always adhering to the letter of the law.
The upside: adding flexibility such as the above example, or allowing a staff member to start an hour early, or offering a day off per year for your staff to do charitable work can be easily implemented.
The downside: it takes management to monitor this to ensure flexibility doesn’t equal you being walked all over.

9. Train them / develop them
One of the greatest compliments you can give to a staff member is to say – I appreciate you and I want to see you develop and grow. Easy ways to do this: get a speaker/trainer into your office, do a training session yourself, go buy a book or buy one for each of your team members or set up a training library your staff can borrow from at any time.

10. Your time
One of the biggest complaints by staff in my experience is that “my manager doesn’t listen to me”.
The upside: It’s easy fixed if you know about it and care to take the time.

The manager’s dilemma?
You now have to pick the right reward for each of your individual team members. For the introverted person, public praise could be the worst thing they can think of. For some, throwing money at them when all they really want is a heart felt thanks could be a huge insult.
It’s not easy to reward appropriately, but the best manager’s try and try again until it becomes another skill in their talent war chest.

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By Kirsty Dunphey with 4 comments


I think the biggest problem a lot of staff have is trying to balance work with their private time and responsibilities. A great way to retain and reward staff is to acknowledge this AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Why not include access to concierge services as part of salary packaging or as an employee-of-the-month type reward so that staff can concentrate on getting their job done and leave the small but important things of their private lives to someone else? Practical solutions are what is required here, in my opinion.

We have had great success with our quarterly team meetings. The meetings are called TNT (which stands for Today'N'Tomorrow - but as TNT has a more "explosive" vibe) and our staff vote secretly for a peer award we call The Roadrunner (tying in with TNT theme). Because the average demographic of our staff is X and Y they seem to love the input and also the acknowledgement. It is the finale to the Friday 5.30 meeting which also consists of stats from each department and general market news. we head out for a team drink after the award is handed over. It's a framed photo of the staff member and a $100 gift credit card (which can be used practically anywhere.)

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Great list. Most employees definitely relate to the points mentioned. At the end of the day of course, the decision is on the management if a particular employee is worth to keep or not. There are employees who really cares not just because of the money but the way they are treasured in the organization.Novated Lease

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