The First important lesson about Employee relationship
An HR manager who was working for a multi-national Canadian company was based in London. The moment came when she travelled to the company’s branch office in Milan, Italy and made an extraordinarily generous offer for the two top rated employees in the Italian branch office. She stated that the two lucky winners would be eligible for a year of private health insurance for them and their families at a hospital and health complex that was part of the network that the company had signed up with.
One of the employees in the Milan branch asked exactly where this health facility was located, the eager-to-please HR manager replied “Rome!” She was surprised to see the heads of her previously interested audience drop as they shook their heads at her lack of understanding.
Due to the lack of effective research, she had carried out and also the fault of her support team, she had found a health facility 587km away from their Milan office. In a debriefing with the branch manager, an expat Australian with Italian family roots, he asked “Why did you not consult me first about this “benefit”? You are disappointed, my team is deluded, because if this is what head office has to offer, you clearly do not understand my team and what they are looking for.”
Employee rewards are a great idea and allow you to reward performance that goes beyond the normal service that you would expect from your workforce. Employee rewards should encourage the team to work a bit harder to achieve a target for the individual or the team in which they work. However if you do not do your homework and actually ask what would stimulate the employees to go the extra mile, you could spend a lot of time, effort and money for an incentive that the intended recipients do not understand, don’t think has any value and worse does not respond to their needs.
Back to the drawing board
Alright, look at it like this. You intend to incentivize your team and make them go that bit further to excel at achieving their goals and therefore help the company goals. How are you going to do this? Well you could call each individual into the meeting room, sit them down and explain that you are giving away Ferraris or luxury speed boats if they:
• Slash production costs in half
• Or triple sales
• Reduce the debtors ledger from 70 to two days
• Release 5 new products a quarter when the company R&D rate is currently one
These targets are most likely to annoy your staff and cause them to disconnect with the company practically immediately, with the mutter “They must be nuts!”
Look, achievable goals that must be your target. Decide on your target group and prepare incentives that actually talk to them. Make them achievable, on a rising scale. Why this is important, is that when somebody wins even the smallest incentive prize they will do the clenched fist dance and their co-workers, who are not too envious, will congratulate them.
Start at a modest level and build up
This is the most important objective as it will get more stakeholder buy ins right from the start. Next you need to consider each individual, what they want and how you can attract them to help the team. Let’s look at an example that is, on reflection really stupid. The company CEO based in San Francisco tells all staff worldwide that they will receive a bonus if the company’s sales double in the coming fiscal year. The company does 85% of its business in the United States, so the team in Australia are really thinking “we can double the company’s business!” nope most go back to gaming on line, grabbing a coffee and reading the daily news.
What do you really, really want?
You might be afraid to ask, as you think the staff members only want private planes, helicopters and luxury cruises, but the truth could not be farther away. Employees care far more about the company than you may think. Just walk round the offices after office hours, there are many staff still working to get their job done before they head home. They are paid a fixed rate and no overtime, now how could you reward them?
In each case you have to check the rules and regulations of each country that they work in, but the best incentive rewards are tax exempt benefits that allow the cost of living to be reduced a little, making each day that much more rewarding. It could be a subscription to a local gym, food vouchers that could also be used by the holder in their local mini market or a subscription to a crèche or nursery. And sometimes, it can be as simple as corporate awards that recognize their work. Ask the staff what they would like to make them work harder and you will get many useful replies immediately. Think about it, you know it makes sense!