It’s not all about the money, money, money

Some interesting results have just been released following a study conducted by the CIPD, the professional body for HR and people development and a not-for-profit organisation that champions better work and working lives. Focusing on the behavioural science of reward, the research was geared around discovering what incentives are effective in the workplace.

The report, aptly entitled ‘Show me the Money!’ looks at a variety of factors including salaries, pay structures and progression, pensions and benefits, and rewards. It is the first attempt at applying insights from behavioural science to the issue of rewards within the workplace – and showed that it’s not always all about financial remuneration.

The report goes into some depth on a variety of areas, but the outcome seems to be that really, attracting, engaging, retaining and motivating staff can’t be approached with a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution.

Insight: Workplace attraction as important as salary – the report outlines that whilst the initial drivers when considering where to work are salary and benefits packages, being a great place to work with a progression and development path is key.

Small business action: having a plan in place for the development of employees may seem like daunting or expensive task, but employee development doesn’t have to mean external training or accreditation. Good programmes can be put in place on-site with an existing employee as a mentor.

Insight: Pension benefits only attractive to some – there has been a big focus on increased employer contributions to pension schemes, touted as a bonus or benefit, but this research highlighted that this is only attractive to those later on in their career. Younger candidates saw this as a deferred benefit.

Small business action: This may change over time as the issue of pensions becomes more prevalent, so if higher pensions contributions are an incentive already in place, ensure that regular communication about the benefits of this is executed.

Insight: Communication, praise and recognition can go a long way – today’s generation of employees want appreciate and value good communication within an organisation and praise and recognition for their work. This is something that can be easily implemented and make a world of difference as part of an incentives programme.

Small business action: recognising employees for good work is something that can be done easily and offering rewards doesn’t have to be a significant cost. Offering a spa day, vouchers or similar, alongside praise and recognition, can do wonders for morale.

Rewards will always be a subjective area as the preference of individuals and what motivates them will vary. It’s important to commit to monitoring and reviewing benefits and incentives in line with changing employee desires and expectations, for true success.