How to Design an Employee Rewards Program that Actually Makes an Impact

Nov 07, 2018
Google has set a standard for the ideal employee rewards program. With colourful office spaces that look like a playground for adults, leisure-based on-site perks, and a wide variety of benefits, it’s the company that everyone wants to work in. Unfortunately, this also sets a very high nearly unrealistic standards for every other business.

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Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you that you need to follow Google. I’m here to tell you that there are ways you can make an impact for your employees without a Google budget.

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Give purposeful perks.   

When there’s a lot going on outside of work, it can be very difficult to focus on your actual work. Give perks that can help take care of your employees’ stress even before they step into the office.  This includes reimbursing expenses of babysitting for single parents and travel expenses to networking events for career growth. At the same time invest in the right tools and reduce bottlenecks within your organization to increase productivity. These considerations ensure that your employee do what they need to do, and maybe even enjoy their job.

You can always ask.   

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The bigger the company is the more one-sided communication tends to be. Talk to your employees and get feedback. You’ll get an idea of what their needs are, and at the same time eliminate irrelevant perks. More importantly, it creates engagement. No matter what their pay grade is employees want to know that they’re more than just the hours they put in.

Enable autonomy  

There’s one underlying motivation in how Google treats productivity: employees decide when and how they work. Google employees still have clear-defined roles, but they can still set their goals and have control over their job. You don’t need expensive campus-like facilities to do this. Offer flexi-time and work from home options, which comes in very handy considering the country’s unpredictable weather.  As simple as trusting your employees to do their job in their own way can boost morale.

Encourage employees to take ownership

Flat management structures became a trend along with an open office set-up. It’s a cool idea when you’re a start-up, but once your organization scales up lack of accountability and reliability can appear. Let your employees take ownership over projects or tasks. This builds up their skills and confidence. More importantly, this makes them feel that they are a valuable driver of a business not just a piece of functional furniture in an office.   

What makes an employee rewards program impactful is the motivation behind the perks, rather than the perk itself.


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