Quick Wins: 3 tips to ensure your employees feel fairly rewarded

Anne-Paul Nedelca
Quick Wins: 3 tips to ensure your employees feel fairly rewarded

It’s pay day. Is this a cause for celebration or complaint in your organisation? Constant pay queries or a low mood on the day the pay slips come out are a sign that all is not well in the workplace.

We want our efforts to be rewarded – that’s perfectly natural. Without blowing the wages budget, how can we ensure our organisation gets this right?

Make staff feel valued

There must be equilibrium between input (the effort, experience and skills we put in at work) and output (the reward, such as pay and recognition we get back) – just ask Behavioural psychologist John Stacy Adams. If an employee starts to feel this is off-balance, they may either attempt to decrease their input by putting in less effort, or increase their output by asking for a pay rise.

To make sure you’re getting this right, think about gathering frequent, anonymous feedback from your team about their workload, recognition and reward. This information can give you valuable insight into how much they feel their hard work is appreciated.

Adopt a transparent pay scale

If we’ve learned anything from recent gender pay gap revelations, it’s that transparency of pay is incredibly important. Secrecy allows disparity to flourish. At the very least, you leave yourself open to accusations of unequal treatment if you’re not clear about remuneration.

Consider establishing a straightforward and open pay scale, ensuring that you always stick to the equal pay for equal work principle and have clear job descriptions that define what the actual work is.

Some businesses publish their pay scales on the company intranet for all staff to see. At the very least you should have an open policy on how pay rises occur (set targets, annually, or appraisal-based) and communicate it clearly to your team.

Talk about money

Part of an open pay culture is the ability to discuss it. If you’re feeling really bold, hold a monthly pay and benefits clinic. However, as is often the answer, an open-door policy is often the best way to head off problems at the pass. The key is not to let any perceived disparity simmer, but to talk it through before it can boil over. 

Coach your managers in feeling confident to discuss pay and set clear parameters to keep things equal. Some people find it easier to discuss money than others. Even experienced managers can become coy when talking about their pay packet. 

Keep it open, keep it clear and keep it fair. It’s harder for employees to feel dissatisfied about reward if the system is honest and monitored.

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