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07th December 2021

Reward and Benefits for Staff

Money isn’t always everything, so Laura Wood provides tips on how providers can provide rewards and benefits for staff.

Pay and benefits are important in attracting, retaining and engaging employees.

A range of options are available to reward people and recognise their contribution, each with their own opportunities and risks. The most effective reward packages support the business strategy, staff wants, and the organisation’s purpose, culture and performance, in a fair and consistent way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly brought its challenges and the economic restrictions are likely to have had an impact. However, as providers, we need to ask whether staff who have worked tirelessly through the pandemic are rewarded for their hard work. Rewarding doesn’t always mean a monetary value, but can include wider provisions for employees, with the term ‘total reward’ sometimes used to encompass non-pay benefits.

It is useful to take stock and review what we are doing:

  • Are we paying the real living wage as opposed to the National Minimum Wage?
  • How are we ensuring that certain groups of workers, such as female, black or staff with disabilities, aren’t being affected disproportionately?
  • How might the measures used to assess employee performance and bonus, incentives, and pay awards need to adapt?
  • Do our employee absence policies such as for leave, bereavement, self-isolation or illness, need to change?
  • What’s happening to workplace financial wellbeing?
  • Should we invest in the HR technology needed to investigate whether our staff are paid fairly?
  • What can we do to protect staff from financial scams, such as around pensions?
  • If we have to freeze employee pay, can we offer something in return?

The main reason for offering pay and benefits is to influence behaviour, so employees want to join and stay with an employer and to do their best in the job. Traditionally, salaries were used to attract people to an organisation, benefits helped retain them, and bonus and incentive schemes motivated them in their work. However, the thinking about which parts of reward are best suited for recruitment, retention and motivation has changed.

Individuals are attracted, retained and engaged by a whole range of financial and non-financial rewards, which can change over time depending on personal circumstances. In some situations, individuals may not consider the financial elements of a package particularly important. For instance, people at the beginning of their career may be more interested in gaining access to training and career development. Similarly, individuals may be willing to work for lower pay rates (or even volunteer) if they have a strong attachment to an organisation’s mission.

Employers should find out what attracts, keeps and inspires their current and future people, and explore how best they can meet these needs.

Many employers offer a wide range of benefits, from traditional items such as paid leave and occupational pensions, to newer elements such as paid leave to adopt a pet or time off for midlife adventures!

Also, in one of our earlier blogs, we discussed employee benefit schemes which can offer a host of rewards to staff from money off vouchers in high street shops to cycle to work schemes.

The debate on carers pay continues and we await the Government’s view on fair pay for carers which should provide not just a proper wage that people can raise a family on, but dignity, flexibility and security and ultimately a nod to let all carers know how skilled and valued they all are.

Further Information

Employee Assistance Programmes for your Workplace -

Wellbeing Training for Managers -

How to Praise your Employees Effectively-

*All information is correct at the time of publishing. Use of this material is subject to your acceptance of our terms and conditions.

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