In this article we’re delving into how your company’s rewards options could be dramatically changed post-coronavirus, and how your HR team can ensure that the rewards you offer remain attractive to your colleagues.
Employee’s Perspective: What’s Changed?
Before Lockdown, popular workplace rewards including extra holidays, bonuses and gym memberships. But will this change when your colleagues return to your office?
Without the ability to truly travel in 2020, your colleagues may no longer wish to have the extra holidays but instead a pay increase so they can spend it on their home and family. Perhaps they would prefer to swap the gym membership for a membership to explore Ireland’s outdoor parks and countryside, or swap holidays for another alternative.
Employer’s Perspective: What’s Changed?
So, what does this change in employees’ habits and way of life mean for you as an employer? Well, it’s safe to say that your employees will be reluctant to take any holiday leave this year. Could this spell the end of holiday reward schemes? With more people opting for staycations, this may mean shorter annual leave stints - could this effect a work schedule if you have staff overlapping on shorter holiday stints?
The closing of gyms and sporting activities meant people headed outdoors for exercise during the lockdown. And while gyms are in the process of reopening in Ireland, perhaps people will be more reluctant to head indoors for exercise, opting for a walk or a hike instead. Perhaps this could mean that any gym membership rewards that you offer may become redundant for your staff?
Rethinking Rewards Post-Lockdown
Clearly the perspective has changed for many of your employees; is it time that you rethink your reward schemes to ensure that your employees value these and use their benefits? Here’s some alternatives:
• Great Outdoors Memberships
Your colleagues may have begun to use their outdoor surroundings more during lockdown - why not swap out the gym reward for a membership to one of Ireland’s national parks or resorts? Your staff may appreciate this reward more, improving their satisfaction while working for your organisation.
• Pay Rewards
With the pandemic set to continue to affect the world’s economy until a vaccine can be found and guaranteed, your employees will be reluctant to take holiday leave. Why don’t you review this, opting for extra pay rewards?
If your business is in the financial position, reviewing your employees’ salaries would boost job satisfaction. Perhaps you could begin a company share scheme as an alternative if your workers would be interested? Reviewing pay as an alternative to holiday rewards could be more attractive to your staff while the pandemic continues.
• Holiday Alternatives
Holiday leave continues to be a contentious employment issue as many of Ireland’s workers remain reluctant to use annual leave while the economy hasn’t fully opened yet, restricting what they can and can’t do while they take off work.
Perhaps your business should begin to look at holiday alternatives; annual leave may not be the most attractive job benefit right now, but providing an early finish once or twice a month could prove valuable to your staff. Meanwhile you can demonstrate your willingness to provide alternative benefits to your employees as thanks for their continued commitment to your company.
While 2020 may not be the year for jet-setting, if a vaccine can be found, 2021 could see a boost in Irish workers wanting to take off annual leave. Why not begin a holiday lottery scheme? This could provide your staff the opportunity to be rewarded for extra holidays that they can begin to use next year, maintaining satisfaction that they will not waste any benefits that they are given whilst working for you.
Ultimate Alternative: Reward Choice
Most importantly, providing employees more choice when it comes to their rewards is the ultimate alternative. Currently this is not the case for many Irish businesses, with little flexibility for workers in choosing what benefits they would like to enjoy. Perhaps your staff would prefer extra holidays or a gym membership over a share scheme, or vice versa.
Whatever the situation, it is best to provide more flexibility and choice, where possible, with your reward schemes. This will improve company culture, making your business more attractive to potential talent, and increasing your chances of retaining your staff, boosting loyalty as a result.