In terms of employee recognition, don’t employees really want cash above all else? Sure. In a blind survey, employees will predominantly say that they want cash. However, they will also say that they want a 30-hour workweek and no at-risk salary component! What is important is that an employer’s compensation strategy creates an environment in which all employees are engaged and working toward a common goal. A total rewards strategy will have many components, including salary, benefits, commissions, rewards and bonuses.
I suppose it would be memorable to receive an iPod from my employer, even with the company logo engraved on the back, but aren’t some employees likely to say, “Look, I’ve already got three iPods. What I need is money for my kids’ education”? If an employee says that, then it most likely arises from a salary issue rather than a rewards issue. It is important to have a clear delineation between the corporate budget used for salary, benefits and rewards. And each of these should be paid using a separate “currency,” which should be associated with its central purpose. In the area of health benefits, this would be medical insurance; in the area of rewards, this could be a portfolio of low-value awards used to say, “Thank you for a job well done.”
What’s the single greatest non-cash reward you’re aware of, in terms of satisfying the recipient and meeting the employer’s goals? It is a common misconception that all employees can be provided with a single gift that they will all be satisfied with. It is essential that today’s employer accept the fact that their workforce consists of individuals who are also consumers. This is especially true in the global workplace, where employees are dispersed across the globe. The solution is to give locally relevant choices in the form of a local shopping experience where an employee can choose the award that best suits them and their local marketplace.
A job hopper’s market
In a column in Psychology Today, Judith Sills notes that HR’s attitude toward those whose r