8 Things Every Employee Rewards Program Should Include

8 Things Every Employee Rewards Program Should Include

From gender-neutral paid parental leave to aligning rewards with company culture, eight industry leaders, including CEOs and managing directors, share their indispensable elements for an employee rewards program. Discover the eight key features that can make or break the success of your company’s reward strategy. These insights provide a roadmap for crafting a program that resonates with your team and bolsters your organizational goals.

  • Gender-Neutral Paid Parental Leave
  • Year-Round Gratitude Culture
  • Transparent Reward Distribution
  • Variety of Reward Choices
  • Analytics in Reward Platforms
  • Personalized Rewards
  • Learning as a Reward
  • Aligned Rewards with Company Culture

Gender-Neutral Paid Parental Leave

Offering a strong parental leave policy as an employee reward is a powerful tool for building loyal employees. It demonstrates an organization’s commitment to fostering a supportive and inclusive work environment for all team members, ensuring they can balance work and family responsibilities effectively.

Instituting at least a 12-week paid parental leave policy that’s gender-neutral is recommended. Having only maternity leave—or having maternity leave that is longer—reinforces the problematic idea that women are inherently the primary caregivers and, on a global scale, negatively impacts women’s earnings. It also excludes many in the LGBTQ+ community.

Providing paid parental leave for all employees during the crucial initial months of parenthood is a reward that is becoming increasingly important in the competition for top talent.

Amber MadisonAmber Madison

Year-Round Gratitude Culture

Something that is vastly overlooked is a space where employers can acknowledge and thank individual staff for their contributions. Often, reward programs focus on issuing one-off “bonuses” at Christmas time, not considering how this can come across as tokenistic when not accompanied by a culture of gratitude throughout the year.

Making sure you regularly sing the praises of those who are supporting the company’s goal is a surefire way to build a positive working environment and make the one-off monetary rewards seem authentic.

In the days of hybrid and remote working, it can be difficult for companies to do this effectively, which is why I think every company should invest in an online recognition platform. These platforms serve as an accessible, private online space where employers and employees can issue praise and rewards to one another.

Wojciech DochanWojciech Dochan
Managing Director, Bravo Benefits

Transparent Reward Distribution

An employee rewards program must include a clear and consistent process for distributing rewards. Does your company have a clear reason why someone receives a 3% raise versus a 2% raise? Are rewards tied to clear performance standards, or do managers make subjective decisions?

Often, company leaders focus on piling on the rewards but forget that clear standards for distributing rewards are equally important.

Danielle LittleDanielle Little
Director, Process Change, Peoplism Peoplism

Variety of Reward Choices

Think about rewards as a magazine display. Not too crowded to cause fatigue, but not so limited that it fails to cover all love languages.

It’s not only entertaining and exciting for them, but it’s also revealing for you. Based on what they choose, you’ll gain valuable insights into what makes them feel loved and what type of compensation they are looking for.

For example, if one employee feels “loved,” meaning appreciated, when receiving appraisals, you should have diplomas, a hall of fame, or public recognition as options.

Similarly, with gifts, you should have gift cards, baskets, and personalized items.

We are all the same and unique at the same time. Give some meaningful choices to your employees, and they will enjoy working for you. Joy and well-being equal productivity, a win-win situation.

Cristina ImreCristina Imre
Holistic Executive Coach and Business Strategist for Tech Founders, CEOs and Entrepreneurs, Quantum Wins

Analytics in Reward Platforms

At EchoGlobal, we embed dynamic analytics into all our rewards platforms. It empowers people to monitor stuff like client referral hires that fill critical skill gaps or recruiting velocity gains attributable to their accounts. When they see how their talents directly accelerate strategic growth, it mobilizes them to achieve more.

For me, this degree of visibility and two-way conversation is a must-have. It’s the only way to incentivize your best players while future-proofing the human capital that drives this industry. When people see their impact on the success story, you fuel the personalized growth and development needed to retain top talent.

Lou ReverchukLou Reverchuk
Co-Founder and CEO, EchoGlobal

Personalized Rewards

As a Managing Director of an executive recruiting firm, negotiating offers and rewards packages daily, I’ve seen firsthand the power of rewards programs that can be tailored to the individual. It’s more than a perk for current employees; it’s a magnet for top talent. Candidates today look for companies that customize rewards to individual needs and career goals.

A well-designed, personalized rewards package shows a company’s commitment to meeting individual needs and career aspirations, setting it apart in a competitive job market. It’s a strategic advantage in negotiations, often tipping the scales in favor of companies that understand and implement this approach effectively.

Michael MorganMichael Morgan
Managing Director, Medallion Partners

Learning as a Reward

A great employee rewards program absolutely needs learning and development rewards. It’s pure gold: Employees get to grow their skills, and they feel super motivated. Offering stuff like seminars, leadership programs, or letting them pick an online course can make a world of difference. It shows them you’re not just investing in their work but in their future too.

These learning opportunities aren’t just about keeping your team happy. They’re about prepping them for bigger things within your company. You’re essentially crafting a more skilled, confident team. Investing in their growth today sets up both your employees and your business for success down the road.

Amar GhoseAmar Ghose
CEO, ZenMaid

Aligned Rewards with Company Culture

The cornerstone of an effective employee rewards program lies in its personalization and alignment with the company’s culture and values. Creating a program that speaks directly to the diverse needs and preferences of employees, offering them choices that resonate on a personal level, is crucial.

Whether it’s through wellness benefits, learning opportunities, or just simple gestures of recognition, the rewards should reflect your employees’ unique contributions and lifestyles. By doing so, engagement and satisfaction are boosted, and the core values that define your company’s ethos are reinforced. Transparency in communication about the program and ensuring fairness in its implementation are equally crucial, as these foster a sense of trust and inclusivity within the team.

At Compt, we believe in offering an experience that not only appreciates each person’s hard work but also aligns seamlessly with their personal and professional aspirations.

Amy SpurlingAmy Spurling
CEO/Founder, Compt

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