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Are you using rewards to fuel your company culture?

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Great company culture isn’t just a ‘nice-to-have’. Today’s workers place culture on the same plane as salary and traditional benefits.

And it’s no coincidence that some of the most successful firms in the world  Google, Facebook, Chevron  are also pioneering innovative, and inclusive company culture experiences.

What that says is that when you and your employees connect to the same values, beliefs, attitudes and shared behaviours, you create a cohesive/progressive working environment. Which leads to better business all round.

The challenge is, your business is a complex ecosystem. An ever-changing social environment with lots of different personality types, needs, values and belief systems. Keeping everyone connected to the same ethos and way of doing things can be quite tricky.

As reward specialists, we can tell you that well-curated, holistic rewards are the fuel that fires your corporate values (not to mention the behaviours that drive ROI). But before you can align rewards to your company culture, you first need to have a clear vision of what you stand for.

Make sure you've defined who you are as a company

What values do you want your staff to uphold? How do you want your company to be perceived? And what behaviours do you deem to be important to your bottom line?

In order to cultivate the kind of shared passion that drives an organisation to success, you need to take a long, hard look and get clear on who you are:

  1. Answer what you do as an organisation and why your company exists. Where you want to go.      How you want to be perceived.
  2. Ask your employees what’s important to them. They will be the stewards of your company              culture.
  3. Research what company culture elements and strategies work for other companies.
  4. Bring in workplace culture experts to identify the kind of culture you aspire to.

The answers to those questions will allow you to explore your company culture. Most important is to keep it simple. Define your identity in an accessible way so that everyone from the CEO to the intern can plug in and make it their own.

The direct line to fueling your company culture

Brian Chesky, Co-Founder and CEO of Airbnb says that; "Culture is simply a shared way of doing something with a passion.”

That’s a little abstract, right? And honestly, most companies have a hard time nailing this part of their strategy down.

That’s because creating a place where people want to work means living out your culture  in every department and on every level of your business. Which can be quite an undertaking if you’re a large organisation, with hundreds of employees.

To simplify the process you can focus on these 7 points:

  1. Recruitment
  2. Employee loyalty
  3. Job satisfaction
  4. Collaboration
  5. Work performance
  6. Employee morale
  7. Less stress

And if you want to simplify things, even more, rewards are your direct line.

They allow you to successfully reach your staff in each of these 7 points (in the micro-moments of their ‘daily-doings’). In the process, creating warm, fuzzy feelings that inspire passion. Which in turn creates loyalty. Which results in an energised workforce ready to crush their work day.

Aligning rewards to company culture

A recent Forbes.com article states that; “Culture is really the small set of values that determine how you do things in your organisation on a daily basis. These values should drive the three main buckets of business behaviour: how you communicate, what you prioritise and what gets rewarded.

Those ‘buckets of business behaviour’ provide an excellent framework for any business wanting to align their rewards with their company culture. To show you why, we’ve found examples that highlight the benefits of focusing on these business behaviours within your own organisation:

1. How you communicate

While it’s important for managers to share business objectives with their team, that is often a one-sided conversation. When you are able to facilitate better channels for communication, you’ll see higher levels of innovation, participation, and creativity.

The idea is to create opportunities for your staff to celebrate each other, and share their opinions and ideas. In the process you empower them to take your values and make them their own. What’s more, when employees feel heard, they know they are valued.

If the idea of managing all those communications and conversations has your head spinning, there are tools available that automate the process. Think CRM for employees.

bountiXP is one such platform that takes employee engagement into the digital realm. Staff and managers can acknowledge and recognise each other, in real-time like Facebook for rewards. And you’re able to program your company values in so that your ethos becomes the pillars for every interaction. Which means your staff are actively involved in developing your company culture – one that is focused on recognising and celebrating positive workplace goals.

2. What you prioritise

Online retailer, Zappos, hires for cultural fit, first and foremost. They even go so far as to offer new staff $3000 to quit if, after their first 2 weeks, they don’t enjoy their job.

Zappos then rewards new employees who decide to stay on, with elaborate graduation ceremonies  on stage, certificates, with cheering family, friends and colleagues to boot.  

The company has made a point of identifying specific, daily actions that reinforce its 10 core values. In the process, creating a fun, albeit slightly weird place to work. It’s not for everyone. But those that do work there are fully immersed and satisfied with this shared identity.

3. What gets rewarded

In 2004 Google decided to offer top performing employees a $1million cash reward. While this idea did boost productivity and innovation, it also resulted in massive amounts of jealousy and resentment, creating a less than ideal working environment. So, Google changed their incentives to experiences rather than cash rewards. The result was a cascade of positive emotional responses in their employees.

Now, it’s important to note that Google sits on top of Fortune 100, Business Insider, and the Comparably 50 lists and is rated one of the best places in the world to work. And the company is renowned for their data-led strategies. So, when they say experiences trump cash incentives, you know it’s the right course of action for your rewards strategy.

Conclusion

It all boils down to how you and your staff do things on a daily basis.

Using well-curated rewards to connect with employees in their micro-moments, fuels a positive company culture. You’ll attract top talent and, garner loyalty. And you’ll be able to foster a collaborative, inclusive work environment.

Just remember, rewards need to be an output of your own solid culture foundation. It’s the people who show up to work every day that truly define your identity and the success of your organisation.

Want to explore a rewards angle that will fuel your company culture? Contact us here.

 

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