How leading organisations reward employees
We asked Dorothy Hisgrove, Chief People Officer from PwC and Naomi Johnson, General Manager from Starcom how reward and recognition can be achieved when pay increases or promotions are not an option.

When talk is gold

When observing developing children as well as emotional growth in adults, human psychology tells us that praise and verbal encouragement are proven ways to inspire effort and motivation.

So, it’s no surprise that Hisgrove believes that recognition is contagious. At PwC, there is an emphasis on openly communicating and celebrating great work.

“Having your recognition visible to your entire organisation is very important. I do feel it brings a person’s purpose to life” she says.

Dorothy also advocates for open and positive communication with employees in other ways.

“Have a meaningful conversation (about flexibility) because you can make it work for people.”

Time is money – give it back

SEEK research has uncovered that over a third of New Zealanders said that extra annual leave would appeal to them. Starcom is at the fore of this result, hosting monthly awards where the winning employee takes away an additional week of annual leave for exceptional performance.

Similarly, PwC’s ‘Refresh’ program rewards people who put in additional hours on a project with time off, so they can recover after periods of high intensity work.

Time is really of the essence at Starcom where Johnson explains how the seasons impact flexible working hours.

"All through summer (our staff) can finish at 4pm and get out and enjoy the sunshine, and on the other side we actually do 'Winter Warmers' where we have a 10am start on a Monday morning."

Tailor rewards by individual and group drivers

Johnson believes that reward and recognition is one way to fuel the culture in an organisation - “the trick is finding what the hook is for the individual," she says.

Starcom really get to know their employee demographics and tailor perks to suit.

Johnson explains, "For anyone who sits at the entry level, we have those increases more regularly, and it would be a smaller increment of salary just to keep people engaged."

Looking at what motivates different generations, genders and more, can be a great antidote to a one-size-fits-all reward and recognition program.

Despite common thought, SEEK research has found that money isn’t everything to employees. From flexible working hours and locations, to extra days off, companies can keep their employees happy and engaged by starting conversations, actively listening and delivering perks that make employees feel visible and appreciated.

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