When I ventured into business I understood that human resource is a key pillar to growth and profitability.
My mother who has been a consultant and lecturer in entrepreneurship for many years gave me invaluable advice and that was, “reward your loyal employees.”
There are many benefits of rewarding staff who are loyal, as not only does it motivate them but it is also a good strategy to retain them and it also feels good to have your staff motivated and happy. It has the effect of motivating you too.
I want to highlight some of the reward tools you can employ in your business . The law however, does not make it compulsory for you to reward your staff unless the employment contract stipulates so.
It is prudent to contain some reward tools in your human resources policy so that your staff understand what is in store for them if they remain loyal to you.
However it is not always good to legislate the type of rewards you would give staff….pleasant surprises are very motivating.
I believe before you consider the type of reward it is good to understand your staff, such that the effort placed by a sick member of staff and one who is in good health should not be measured equally.
It is important to understand their needs based on a number of factors; otherwise your reward would not be relevant.
When I was younger, I was not motivated much by salary increments as I was by being allowed to have flexible working hours.
If it were up to me, I would forego a slight salary increase, for flexible working hours. Studies show young people are motivated by flexible hours as it gives them room to pursue multiple interests.
Promotions are also motivational and that is, promoting staff to a higher grade that bears more responsibility and reward. For some a titular promotion as opposed to a monetary or responsibility promotion is enough (having an important title and being addressed as sir/madam!).
I have found that allowing your staff to participate in strategic decisions of your firm and even in implementing gives them a drive (at least for those who are driven by decision making).
Therefore delegating some operations and decisions gives a sense of belonging to your staff. Training opportunities are also important. When I was in employment I was highly motivated by being allowed to go for training and improving my skills.
However despite all these nothing says “you are appreciated,” more than allowing your staff to own a piece of the pie. A lot of businesses are allowing their staff members to own a certain percentage of the business.
However this should be done with caution as you would not want a situation where you are kicked out of the business you started by your own “loyal staff.” Employee share ownership plans ensure loyalty and retention.