David Harvey, managing director of U.K. research company Business Intelligence (BI), writes  that employers are turning to innovative approaches for rewarding their staff.
In a recent BI survey of small and medium-sized U.K. enterprises a large majority of respondents reported that recognition was as important to them as pay and benefits. BI’s research identified the following key practices that helped maximise the value of organisational rewards:
- Promoting the value of rewards; communicating all the aspects of an individual's reward package was seen as being essential in creating a better appreciation of the value that the package actually represented.
- Being innovative; often it was not the most costly perks that employees appreciated the most.
- Giving control to employees; self service using Web-based flexible benefit "menus" helped to minimise costs.
- Delegation of payment options to line managers; enabling IT systems so that line managers were able to analyse and devise pay policies which improved local performance.
- Introducing health and well-being programmes; the provision of gyms, health checks, on-site medical and dental services, health advice, and health-education sessions was shown to cut absenteeism and to raise performance, while contributing significantly to profitability.
- Improving loyalty through engagement strategies; e.g. allowing staff to work on their own projects, or to qualify for superior perks.
- Introducing employee recognition schemes; these underpin performance based cultures.
- Consulting employees; to find out which rewards they value most.
 R10723 Harvey, D., (2008), The morale high ground, Director, Vol 61, Iss 7,pp 60-65, Institute of Directors, London
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