Traditionally, the awareness of a cash or non-cash bonus by staff was thought to drive performance, but is this really the case?
The Pros & Cons
A demonstration of employee appreciation can be critical for staff morale, showcasing your commitment as an employer to invest in your staff.
Bonuses benefit businesses as it is a simple, quick-fire approach to reward staff. Management can show their appreciation for great performance, loyalty and commitment by providing an end-of-year award – let’s face it, come Christmas time, cold, hard cash will always be welcome.
But, the bonus can often begin to be taken for granted – as a result, employees often begin to seek more meaningful feedback or rewards, as a token of appreciation.
When taken away, bonuses can quickly come back to haunt your business, as employees view them as a standard year-end procedure, an entitlement as part of their job, rather than a reward.
The onset of the 2008 financial crash catalysed negative sentiment toward bonus incentive schemes, placing them uncomfortably in the spotlight. They quickly became a marker of the Celtic Tiger era, the “suits” culture that was now recognised as a direct cause of the crash, and the growing gap between the organisation and their senior executives.
What Alternatives Are on Offer?
With these concerns in mind, it’s time to reimagine the bonus, and get inventive:
- Giving Power Back to Your Employees
Creating an opportunity in the workplace and providing variance to an employee’s daily routine, giving staff more autonomy will demonstrate your value and trust in them, enhance creativity and sharing of ideas, boosting performance as a result.
- Short-Term Accolades
Gratification through short-term accolades will provide a mental link for staff to their recent positive actions, driving up more regular performance, rather than the bonus as a catalyst for improvement at the year’s end.
Regular quality performance will become the norm, boosting your reputation as a business amongst customers and stakeholders alike.
A Fresh Approach
By moving away from the ‘do this and you’ll get that’ rational of the bonus, managers can overcome the counter-intuitive nature of traditional incentives and creatively reinvent employee recognition.
Demonstrate your commitment to staff investment – go beyond the traditional bonus and reinvent employee appreciation for your business.