intangible rewards

The success of an organization is determined by the level of its employees’ competence, motivation, and performance. Therefore, it is especially important to be able to keep good specialist in the organization. However, this task sometimes might be complicated. One of pitfalls of keeping a good specialist in the organization is the impossibility to give employees a raise when all competitors pay much more money for executing the same kind of work. In this case, keeping an excellent employee may seem rather impossible. Believe it or not, but if employers can create the right condition and a healthy atmosphere in the office, there is a chance that highly valuable employees will want to stay no matter how much they can earn in the competitors’ firms. 
Of course, giving your employees the desired level of pay raise is the best option for keeping them in the company. In order to do that, your human resource specialists have to do competitive research, analyze the sums required to lead a healthy lifestyle, creating a pay raise system. If the company is not ready to accept this pay raising challenge or does not have enough funds to pay its employees higher salaries, it is better to use the following pieces of advice to keep good specialists. 

1. Creating winning compensation programs 

Compensation is not all about higher wages. The compensation philosophy of a particular company defines the reward strategies that would support employees in various ways and make their life easier or more pleasant. At the same time, this philosophy aligns with the organization’s main values, business strategy, objectives, mission, and available funds. A thought-through compensation philosophy not only assist in keeping the old employees but also to attract new talented candidates to join the given company. As for the old employees, this program will help keep them working in the organization and motivate them to perform at their best. In addition, compensation programs can be based on employees’ performance. As a result, these programs will also help to reward high-performing professionals with special benefits and incentives. 
The compensation and benefits may be connected with different services an employee can get if they work with you: corporate trips, corporate foreign language lessons, massage sessions, gym abonnement compensation, yoga at office, etc. These benefits will make your employee’s life healthier and happier, which will undoubtedly influence the overall level of satisfaction regarding the current job. Obviously, an employer has to pay some amount of money to ensure the possibility of providing employees with these benefits. Nevertheless, it is quite possible that an employer can get a huge discount due to collaboration possibilities or the corporate mode of obtaining the services. 
In addition, employees highly appreciate the presence of social responsibility. So, it is better to pay attention to the size of vacation time (maybe it is better to make it unlimited), offering a possibility to have a flexible schedule or take dogs to the office, a shared car/bus transfer to and from the office, etc. Employees should feel that their employer is taking care of them.

2. Intangible Rewards 

Although all the mentioned compensation and benefits are quite tangible, there are also intangible rewards: recognition, appreciation, work-life balance, personal and professional development, to mention only few of them. In fact, intangible rewards may be even more important than tangible ones. Would an employee with adequate self-esteem stay in a company where they don’t feel any respect and recognition? With a rare exception, the answer is more likely to be negative. Therefore, make sure you provide every employee with intangible rewards as well. Here are a few tips that make employees feel that they are appreciated in their workplaces: 

  • Don’t forget to thank your employees. 

While it is sometimes impossible to say the exact phrase “Thank You” to employees, there are different other ways to express your appreciation and recognition. The old-fashioned way of saying “thank you” is creating the wall of fame where everyone can see the best employees’ photos. Another way to demonstrate that your employees’ performance is appreciated is to use sticky notes with praise or simply do it verbally on a regular basis. If possible, an employer can give the best parking spots for the best performing employees. All these practices will cherish a sense of comfort and recognition among employees. In some cases, it is also useful to provide the best employees with such tangible gratification as concert or cinema tickers, free meals, or days of casual dress code.

  • Promote a work-life balance among employees.

Not all employees have a built-in sense of the importance of having a work-life balance. Of course, you may gain benefits from employees who work overtime and do not care too much about their personal lives. Nevertheless, with the flow of time workaholics might start to feel that they are about to burn out. Therefore, the HR department of the organization needs to make the employees pay attention to the need of balancing work and other spheres of life, especially health. Although the work is extremely important, all career prospects lose their significance without maintaining a balanced healthy lifestyle. 
As a rule, employees tend to get more constructive criticism and directions on doing some tasks better. Therefore, giving verbal gratification is an integral part of making the employees feel acknowledged. It is important to mention not only some tiny flaws that should be improved but also the overall contribution they have put in the current project.

3. Promoting a healthy and friendly working environment

Usually, it is not so easy to quit a job when the atmosphere is friendly and supportive. Make sure that you encourage an easy-going, relaxing, and friendly atmosphere at the office with the help of team-building, corporate psychological workshops, corporate parties, or events. Furthermore, take an interest in getting to know your employees: employees’ personality types, their particular traits, hobbies, and marital status. Understanding your employees both as staff and unique individuals may be beneficial in boosting the performance and creating a healthy working environment. Therefore, it is necessary not only to instruct your specialists and make them work hard, but also to find some time to get to know them better and let them build friendships.
Another aspect of creating a healthy working environment is encouraging breaks among employees. It is essential to make sure that employees understand that they have the right to have a pause, take a breath, and then go back to work feeling refreshed. This practice will eliminate stress, minimalize tension, ensure trust, and help employees to be more productive.

4. Create the bigger picture: make your employees part of the company mission.

Demonstrating employees that they make part of the bigger picture will bring a number of positive outcomes. 

  • First, employees can be more aware of their contribution to the project and how the company changes the world for the better. 
  • Second, employees will be more motivated to perform efficiently at their work and more willing to collaborate with coworkers in a peaceful and understanding manner. 
  • Third, playing the integral part of the company’s goals accomplishment will make specialists feel appreciated. 

Therefore, make the company’s values, mission, project milestones, and strategic goals crystal clear for your employees. This clarification will help specialists to boost productivity while working as a team and be in alignment with the defined direction. 

5. Creating conditions for development.

The successful achievement follows after professional development and active training. To achieve the greatest results, specialists have to be prepared for making the best out of their work, i.e., acquire all the necessary skills, knowledge, and information about trends in the given industry. In fact, if you’re afraid of spending huge sums of money on your employees’ development, put your hesitations aside. Creating conditions for the improvement of professional skills does not always mean expensive training sessions and pricey conferences that usually cost a fortune. It is quite possible to find creative and imaginative methods to train the staff on a budget. For example, it is possible to send one specialist to a particular course, and then this person should train their coworkers. Moreover, this method is quite efficient since we learn better when we teach other people.  Another option may be free of charge or cheap online courses and informal lunch-and-learn events, brainstorms, or at least intellectual games. Remember that where there is a problem, there is a solution. So, keep training and developing your employees in any situation. As a result, they will not want to leave a place where they can grow both personally and professionally and learn something new and exciting. 

6. Providing regular feedback and evaluation

When you update employees on their performance, they feel that they are growing and are able to work even better. Try to concentrate on the positive moment; show some appreciation. As for flaws and imperfection, do not scold them. Instead, introduce the recommendation and your expectations under the form of challenges, goals, or their mentors’ directions. Keep in mind that the sense of progressing and recognition are among the main aspects that keep workers in a particular position or enterprise. 
At the same time, do not forget that it is necessary to make this feedback and evaluation mutual. You may agree that one-sided evaluation is simply not fair. Therefore, communicate with your employees regarding their expectations, satisfaction, and future goals. If you think that they might feel not at ease while doing so, try using anonymous Google Forms or other online platforms for creating polls. 

7. Corporate parties: have time out of the office. 

It is not a secret that rich corporate life creates a sense of unity, friendship, cooperation, and dynamic. Corporate parties can bond coworkers together, making it hard to leave their current company. Throwing a party will also give your employees confidence, more motivation, a change-of-scene feeling, and some freshness. At the same time, it is not necessary to stick to the organization of corporate party to build the bond among workers. In fact, it is possible to look beyond the standard teambuilding entertainment and still find some feel-good triggers. For example, it might be a good idea to encourage the team to participate in charity events. This choice will surely boost the team spirit and the sense of self-worth since your employees will have the opportunity to feel they can improve the world and do something really good and valuable. Another option is such in-office activities as games or cinema nights, pizza Fridays, some special occasions celebration (Halloween, New Year, birthdays, etc.). Therefore, make sure to incorporate team building activities unrelated to work. This element will help employees build bonds and a stronger team. 

8. Conduct a pay analysis

It is quite possible that you overestimate the conditions that your competitors have. In any case, it is always helpful to conduct a competitive analysis and compare your company to others in your market. Check out salary reports of your competitors and the average salary rate at job websites. It is also useful to prepare some possible questions of your employees why you pay less than others. 
As we can see, key talents retention is an art that defines the scope and quality of your business as well as the position of an enterprise and the market value. It is not only the amount of salary that defines the desire of workers to stay or quit their jobs. A good working atmosphere, funny gatherings, and professional development opportunities are the main factors that lead to making your best employees stick around.

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay