How HR can fix the recognition-reward-retention disconnect

There is often a disconnect in organisational recognition and reward strategies

There is often a disconnect in organisational recognition and reward strategies, according to an expert in the area, who said that in essence, employees want recognition and employers reward behaviours or performance.

“Employers must first answer, what do they want to achieve from a recognition and reward strategy?” said Margaret Goody, HR and employee relations specialist of Akyra Strategy & Development, a solution provider at the upcoming marcus evans HR Summit 2016.

“What do employees want and appreciate as recognition? If the reward the employer is offering does not recognise the employee’s individual contribution or what the employee actually values as a reward, then they might not see it as recognition.”

There is no point in giving recognition, such as movie tickets, to a workforce where a majority have indicated they have no interest in seeing movies, Goody said.

“HR has a responsibility to identify the reward being offered will fit what the workforce will value as recognition,” said Goody, who also cited research which showed that employees in Australia value being able to respect their manager.

“HR in itself does not retain staff”

“The key reason people leave their job to go elsewhere is because they have lost respect for their manager or they do not believe they are getting any leadership or guidance from their manager,” she said.

“HR in itself does not retain staff.

“HR can work with managers to find the most effective communication tools and how to provide the best opportunities to their team in a way that engages their team members, so they feel valued and can identify where their actions contribute to the growth of the business.”

The goal of managers should not be to have a satisfied workforce, but to have a workforce that is engaged and who wants to be a part of the business growth, according to Goody.

“For instance, if the employee responsible for answering phone calls knows answering calls correctly and giving the right service or correct information might lead to a future sale or might help to retain a client, then that employee feels they are part of growing the business because they can see how they contribute to it,” she said.

“They have lost respect for their manager or they do not believe they are getting any leadership or guidance from their manager”

Goody also explained that performance is about how an individual does a job and potential is what they are capable of doing.

“Just because someone performs really well in a role does not necessarily mean they have got the potential to be a manager,” she said.

“This is where the conflict between performance and potential can arise because some employers might think if an employee performs well in doing their job, it means they will be a good manager.”

Employers should not confuse being good at doing a job as having the potential to necessarily be a manager or lead a project, and Goody said they should instead identify what potential individual employees actually have.

“Psychometric assessments can assist in identifying potential as can other aspects including the ability move between tasks, progressive matrices and working memory capacity,” she said.

The marcus evans 12th annual HR Summit will be held from 21-23 March 2016 at the RACV Royal Pines Resort on the Gold Coast. For more information visit the conference site. Image source: iStock