Reward strategies have always been a great way to keep staff engaged and loyal. But in a global business, it can be tough to keep every employee motivated, so there are no guarantees…
In fact, a reward programme can be a total flop unless the company is aware of some important factors.
You may think that a global business would provide the same rewards across every office, but this shouldn’t always be the case. With teams based from Scotland to Saudi Arabia, having a programme that takes different cultures into account is essential. This personalized approach will not only make the business truly ‘global’, but will also mean that the company can offer incentives that super-charge productivity.
For example, team socials are a common reward, but employees in different regions may want different things when it comes to socializing, and the options on offer will vary too. Do you know the alcohol policy in the region? Will international workers be able to have any cuisine of their choice? Is the atmosphere of the restaurant appropriate? Everything needs to be tailored to suit one particular location. It’s here that head office needs to adapt the reward to have the maximum impact on the engagement and loyalty of the local team.
Financial rewards may seem like an easy way to reward employees fairly – after all, £1000 is always £1000, right? But £1,000 can get you a lot more in some countries than it can in others. For example, employees where the exchange rate works against them could really lose out. It may be a better idea to consider ‘experiential rewards’ instead, as these can take the cost comparison out of the rewards and instead allow different teams to have the same experience – and the same happy memories too.
Making sure that rewards are fair and respectful is important – but communications matter too. A successful rewards scheme requires more than just sending a company-wide, generic email. You need to make each individual feel a part of the whole organisation.
For this reason, it’s vital to use imagery and content that is suitable for all cultures and team members. If possible, you should also try to send slightly different communications to each jurisdiction, so that the pictures and language can be edited easily. This will allow you to recognise teams individually, which will improve sentiment towards the business and really boost staff engagement.
Everyone needs to join in as well. If regional heads are not fully on board, staff will follow suit. So make sure to get employees in different regions actively involved so that they can help create a strategy that everybody can get behind. This will allow the regional managers to be more engaged, which will ultimately make staff more motivated.
Investing time and resources in a global reward strategy can be difficult, but the results are totally worth it. Keeping staff engaged with the business will strengthen their loyalty to the company and really boost their job satisfaction. This in turn will improve productivity, lower staff turnover and reduce the cost of replacing departing employees, resulting in a happier, more productive organisation. What more do you need to know?
Iain Thomson is the director of incentive and recognition at Sodexo
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