Employee reward in a borderless working world
Here at Perkbox, we’ve just launched our new Global Reward tool — the first of its kind. It enables employers to build a simple and hassle-free reward strategy. One that gives people the power of choice and unlocks peer-to-peer recognition anywhere in the world, whether in-an office, on a site or fully remote.
As the world of work becomes more dispersed, it’s never been more important for businesses to adapt their people strategy. It’s time to think bigger and broader, and this is especially the case with reward and recognition.
A common HR headache today is around building a culture of appreciation. Every business knows how important this is — it drives motivation, productivity and engagement. But how can you do this properly when your team members are in different places?
The old working world solutions
Previously a manager may have thanked employees by taking them out for an impromptu lunch. This isn’t an option for those that have global teams.
They could send out individual gifts to people, but the delivery alone may blow their budget. And even when that’s not an issue — what do you send someone in a different country? What works in one country won’t necessarily work in another. You could try and work with local suppliers in each country but the admin and bureaucracy could be a minefield.
Something fit for the modern employee
The days of one-size-fits-all are long gone. Every individual has their own needs, wants and lifestyles. Many businesses have potentially four generations of workers (sidenote: check out our recent research of Gen Z workers) — so even on this level, it should be clear that your employee offering needs to be as diverse as your workforce.
That’s why we launched our Global Reward tool. It’s a currency agnostic, fully borderless, points-based reward system. Employers can simply allocate reward points to employees in an instant. Employees then choose how to spend these points – opting for anything from a meal delivery service to an exercise class. It doesn't matter where in the world they’re actually based, as they can each pick something that’s meaningful to them. This feeling of fairness across locations is a key driver of a strong culture, and a more engaged workforce.
Put simply, it’s no longer a case of giving people a reward — it’s about empowering them to choose what works best for them.
Tech as an EVP accelerator
Previously, offering employees this level of choice meant more work for HR. But as in all walks of life, good quality tech is changing the game. It’s well understood that investing in the right digital tools is a non-negotiable for any business. This isn’t just about productivity apps like Slack and Zoom though. Tech can be used to turbocharge every aspect of your business, especially your Employee Value Proposition (EVP).
Online recognition platforms, such as Perkbox’s Celebration hub, allow good work to be recognised instantly — whether people are in an office, on a site, or on the go. You can marry new tech with old fashioned praise as well. A nice way is to set up an end of week slot where people get together on a video call and read out the recognitions they’ve given. This can be by team or department, with perhaps a company-wide one every quarter.
But while instant recognition has started to take off, instant reward still isn’t as common. It’s something that’s come up in many discussions we’ve had with customers. Take Fanuc, an automation products and services company with employees in the UK, Ireland and Japan. They were one of our customers that got to trial Global Rewards over the last couple of months. Their Head of HR Kerry Booth said:
Before this innovation there was no way of offering a reward instantly in recognition of great work; we would often have to wait for a one-to-one meeting to thank employees. Rewards are integral to our people strategy and motivating our people — Perkbox is now a central part of us recognising and celebrating our teams.
Global Reward doesn’t just offer employees choice. It also brings multiple benefits from an employer’s point of view.
- HR teams can simplify the process of planning and allocating their reward budget, across all of their global teams. It means every part of the business gets a consistent reward experience, without endless manual work for HR.
- Managers have a hassle-free way to reward their teams in real-time, wherever they are. Global Reward also removes the confusion around what value a reward has in different markets, making the process quick and seamless.
- Finance teams find it much easier to drive budget decisions and activities. Everybody is getting the same experience, and there’s no need to calculate currency exchange rates.
Like in any growing business, going global means it’s important to look for efficiencies and harmonise what you do. Being able to reward everyone fairly, without creating more work for yourself, is a HR gamechanger.
The key takeaway
If you’re not already aware of borderless working and culture, you will soon. It’s becoming increasingly prevalent and will shape the way HR teams around the world operate.
A powerful reward system is one of the building blocks of any good people strategy, but the traditional methods are fast disappearing. Something like Global Reward — that creates equity for employees across all locations — is just the beginning.