In an ideal scenario, all your employees would be highly-motivated and hardworking top performers. However, the key struggle for many employers lies in motivating average-performing employees to achieve and perform.
When an employee feels that they do not have the right resources or adequate mentoring to perform and are falling short of their targets, it is likely that they will start looking for a new job. A recent survey released by Randstad Malaysia revealed that 58% of all respondents are actively looking for a new job in the next 12 months.
Randstad’s 2020 Employer Brand Research found that regardless of generation, attractive salary and benefits remain as one of the top motivators for employees. However, with COVID-19, employees are facing the harsh reality of a salary or bonus cut as employers started implementing cost-cutting measures to stay afloat. This was similarly reflected in Randstad’s COVID-19 Labour Pulse Survey. When asked for the reasons why they want to switch employers, 26% said that it is due to having taken a pay cut or a salary freeze either indefinitely or for a temporary period. Another 24% reported general dissatisfaction with their current salary.
With this in mind, many businesses have hence shifted their focus to motivating employees through non-monetary incentives in an attempt to retain their quality talent. Here are some of them.
5 best non-monetary rewards in the workplace
With COVID-19, employees are facing a heightened sense of stress having to manage disruptions and maintain productivity at the same time. This is especially so as more and more companies have publicly announced retrenchment exercises, instilling fear in the current workforce. Being stuck in that position can do more harm than good for the employee’s mental health and sadly, damage their employer brand in the long-run.
1. flexible working arrangements
Even before the pandemic, there have been increasing expectations of employers to provide flexible working arrangements. This type of non-monetary benefits is found to lead to positive outcomes such as an increase in job satisfaction and a reduction in stress experienced.
Employees are attracted to flexible working arrangements for different reasons. For the younger workers, having the control and capability to plan out their day can leave them feeling more satisfied with both their life and work. For the more experienced professionals, having the flexibility to work from home will give them time to look after their children and their parents or spend time on their hobbies. Flexible arrangements may also be attractive to employees who prefer to work when they feel most productive, which could either be during the day or at night.
As the COVID-19 situation begins to improve in Malaysia, many employees are expected to be back in the offices. However, employers should consider continuing to offer flexible working hours to sustain the level of productivity.
This is especially so if the employee is immunocompromised to COVID-19 or is experiencing elevated stress or anxiety from having to take public transportation to work in the CBD area. Employers should be open to offering the option of working from home while the pandemic is still a threat.
It is also not common for employees to speak out about their stress, as it might look like an excuse or a weakness, and which they fear would potentially impact their employability. Managers should be more proactive and check on their employees regularly, taking the chance to remind them to take frequent breaks to prevent burnout. This could be in the form of daily morning check-ins to align on their workload and offering support whenever needed.
2. physical and mental wellness programmes
Having undergone mandatory work from home requirements, employees may be experiencing unanticipated mental health consequences due to isolation, stress and burnout. This is especially prevalent for employees who are accustomed to and are more appreciative of the conventional “office life” and social interactions at the typical workplace.
As such, it is vital for HR professionals to focus on improving the physical and mental health of their employees, especially when they are working from home. This can be in the forms of promoting corporate-level engagement activities, such as beginners yoga or other virtual HIIT workouts.
Employers can also create a safer and healthy workplace environment by offering healthier snacks and drinks rather than sweetened sodas and cookies. Care packages such as masks, hand sanitisers and disinfectant wipes should also be provided to ensure employees feel safe about being back at their offices. Invest in retaining a cleaning crew to thoroughly and regularly disinfect the office, especially high touch points like the washrooms, door handles, desks and meeting rooms.
With voluntary swab tests being offered in the country, employers can opt to cover the charges if and when their employees start to present symptoms associated with COVID-19. By offering this benefit, employers will develop a culture that encourages staff to take charge of their own health, which will improve workplace health and safety and minimise employee anxiety.
3. vacation benefits
Though COVID-19 may have halted travel plans, employees are still looking forward to switching off from work to rest their body and mind. However, employees who are on leave days often feel “guilty” for taking a break and find themselves working even when they are not required to. It’s also much easier to break the “no work” rule when the laptop is just a couple of steps away - under the same roof.
Employers should hence foster a culture of work-life balance in the company to help alleviate some of the stress people tend to deal with while on annual leave. For instance, colleagues should encourage each other not to work while they are on leave. Team delegates should also ensure that they are able to solve problems and deliver work on their own without asking their colleagues who are on leave for help. For those working in smaller offices or who do not have a team, limit the number of work hours when on leave to the minimum.
Employers can also encourage employees to not to read their emails or partake in work-related activities while on leave. Employees can also use their leave days for interstate travel or enjoy a staycation in a fancy hotel during this period to avoid burnout and refresh their minds.
When companies work towards providing policies that allow employees to feel safe, respected and valued, the staff will naturally be more inclined to remain in the organisation.
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