Are you satisfied at work? Employee satisfaction is one of the more difficult phenomena to quantify. From a human resources point of view, companies should seek to build effective reward systems into the work life of employees.

You can do this by addressing four key areas: consideration or pay, benefits (the luxuries!), recognition (blow your trumpet!) and appreciation (respect and admiration for the work you have done).

However, problems start to creep into the work place when it comes to reward systems, as not all employees are motivated by the same things and may be at different stages of life, which in turn affects their satisfaction. Have you ever worked really hard but yet didn’t feel appreciated or valued for your effort?

The dilemma. What do you reward?

Companies should reward and recognise two factors related to employees — performance and behaviour. Performance tends to be the easier one to manage, as it is measurable. A plus B equals C! What behaviours do you reward in your company?

Rewarding the social scene

  • Outdoor team based days – Football, orienteering, canoeing etc

  • Problem-solving days – Solving challenges as a team, e.g. solve a crime scene, build something etc

  • Sports days – Running, swimming, cycling, rafting e.g. relay race events with multiple team members

Shiny objects!

Financial rewards, annual leave or discounted travel etc can be motivating to some people but not all employees may be motivated by these things.

Like in the examples above, winning a trophy, a plaque or some personalised medals for your team could be just what you need to keep yourself or your team going through the hard times!

Giving people some physical shiny object which they can bring home and put on the shelf or keep by their laptop screen at work helps with satisfaction. This can add some fun among work teams who might want to grab the winner’s trophy or medal at the next work team building day!

Shiny objects can go down well for corporate goals and achievements too! Isn’t it nice to have that trophy you won for “Employee of the Year” sitting beside your family photo at your desk or even hanging that gold medal you got for gaining your “100th Customer” at your cubicle. It will remind you of the effort you put in, your value to your company and hopefully the respect and admiration of your fellow work mates.

Learn what makes them tick!

If you’re a manager or head of sales for example, what are you compensating employees for?

Traditionally, those who never missed a days work or never clocked in late were recognised, but as we learn more about work through technology and innovations in work systems in a lean way, the nature of work and what should be rewarded to keep employees satisfied is definitely shifting.

It might be wise to look at your own company’s reward systems in place. Are they on track with the rest of your company strategies? More importantly, are these rewards driving the desired behaviours in your employees so you all reach the company’s performance goals?

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