5 Steps to Start Building Your Employee Reward Program

Of course today’s employee still expects to be fairly compensated, but they also expect recognition rewards beyond just money. Quality of life is now top of mind for many workers, which means they’re also looking for an employee reward program that will help them live healthier and happier lives.

The benefits of an employee reward program that is linked to health and wellness

HR leaders know that rethinking rewards is essential to attract and retain top talent. It also delivers a powerful ROI. As the Society for Human Resource Management points out, an effective reward and recognition program has many financial benefits, including sustained profitability and reduced turnover costs.

Additionally, getting rewards right gives you a competitive edge by boosting positive engagement, especially if those rewards focus on health and wellness. Studies by Gallup show that 87% of employees feel rewards and recognition positively impact work performance.

How to design a best-in-class employee reward program

For your rewards program to be best-in-class, it has to be flexible, personalized, and responsive to the evolving needs of a multi-generational workforce.

If you’re ready to make a change, there are ten easy steps you can take to start designing a reward program that will garner stellar results. Here are the first five:

1. Assess your current reward landscape

Start by answering the following questions with your benefits team: What opportunities exist to improve our current program and engage employees more? Is there a way we can begin consolidating the components of our reward program?

Employee surveys and focus groups are also an effective way to assess what’s working and what’s not.

2. Design a reward program for the needs of a multi-generation workforce

There are five generations in the workplace today, so you’ll need to choose reward options that resonate with the specific needs of your employees. While each generation has their own unique expectations in terms of when and how they want to be rewarded, they all place a high-value on:

  • Rewards that emphasize healthy living
  • Diverse and personalized options that fit their life stage
  • The ability to easily access and use rewards without a burdensome process

3. Make your rewards program digital wherever possible

Creating a seamless, end-to-end experience for employees is critical to your reward program’s success. An on-demand reward program that’s digitally accessible ensures employees use benefits anytime, anywhere, which provides much-needed cohesion as more employees work remotely and across different geographic regions.

Innovative digital platforms also make rollout logistics a snap. Remember, employees expect to be able to access everything on their phone. Make that level of accessibility one of your goals.

4. Align your reward program with health and wellness

Gift cards and monetary rewards might seem like an easy solution, but they can actually make it difficult to track the effectiveness of your rewards program. That’s why you should consider more innovative options, such as lifestyle spending accounts (LSAs).

Through LSAs, you can provide digital rewards that are personalized and easy for employees to use. These include creative, attractive rewards, such as gym memberships, athletic gear, food delivery, and holistic health services like meditation and mindfulness.

Employees can even access personal development rewards like continuing education courses through an LSA. The best part? You can easily track and distribute reward dollars to your staff.

5. Determine the KPIs for your reward program ahead of time

Start by determining your overarching reward strategy and how your program will align with corporate goals. Think about ways that you can incorporate rewards throughout the employee lifecycle, starting with recruitment. You’ll also want to decide on the frequency you will deliver rewards and determine how employees can earn them.

When it comes to designing your strategy, it’s often easier to begin with the end goal in mind. Consider how you’ll measure success and keep senior management informed by providing relevant data. Then as you improve your program you can take advantage of real-time reporting to power your strategy and adjust as needed.

Ready to create your best-in-class employee reward program?

You can continue on with the next five steps of creating your own rewards program by downloading our free Ultimate Guide to Employee Rewards & Recognition.

In the guide you’ll learn how to:

  • Gain support from management and create program champions
  • Align rewards with achievement for optimal results
  • Determine criteria to make your reward program a success
  • Create a dynamic communications plan

If you’re determined to drive change this year, you’ll also enjoy watching our webinar on creating a culture of health and well-being.

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