For many people their summer holiday is a time when they take stock of their career progression. For some, a change of direction is inevitable, but employers, particularly SMEs, need to be careful that they don’t lose staff unnecessarily at this crucial period because they don’t feel valued at work.
Claire Ward, HR expert and founder of HR subscription service thehrhub.co.uk says that today’s employees are motivated by recognition as well as rewards, and it’s vital they feel engaged from the moment they join the company. She has the following advice for employers:
- Link rewards to business goals – Do you want to drive teamwork? Then give everyone a shared objective (and bonus pool).
- Be flexible – If you can ring-fence a pot of money for all financial benefits you’re planning to offer, then how about giving your staff the option to select where they’d like to put it? People at different life stages will need different things.
- Benchmark your salaries – Do this internally and externally on a regular basis and make sure you pay equal pay for equal roles, know what the market pays and where your team is in relation. No one wants to be left behind, so make a plan.
- Give responsibility – If someone shows promise, give them the chance to take responsibility for a new area/project/team.
- Give interesting work – For many people, completing an interesting project or task is as much of a reward as financial reward.
- Give opportunity – You’ve employed everyone for a reason, so let them share their skills and brilliance openly with each other through lunch-and-learn sessions or company presentations.
- Give awards – Ask all staff to nominate an employee for demonstrating going ‘above and beyond’ or contributing to a key goal.
- Give public praise – Let the wider team know when someone has done a great job (just don’t forget to miss off ‘what they did and why they did it’ from any communication).
- Give help – For those ambitious members of your team who really want to develop their skills and knowledge further.
- Give feedback – Encourage your team to give each other feedback by helping them to connect with each other.