Strategic reward and recognition programmes engage and motivate employees

Workforce rewards are part of the talent strategy framework supporting your business goals. But ‘rewards’ means different things to different people and having a counterbalancing organisational perspective is equally important. And so, it’s crucial to design your employee reward programme specifically for your people.

Standard employee reward and recognition programmes are ineffective

To truly motivate your people to perform and engage them in the values of your culture, having the right employee reward programmes is critical. But in this era of the individual, ‘rewards’ means different things to different people at different times in their lives.

In order to fully leverage the potential of rewards as an employee engagement and talent attraction tool, organisations now need to go beyond the traditional contractual rewards of pay and broad-brush benefits plus ad hoc components.

To tailor their value proposition, companies have begun using ‘personas’ to identify what matters most to target populations and to operationalise their employee rewards programme for distinct groups.

Innovative rewards programmes effectively address an individual's preferences – enabling them to feel healthy, supported and energised, personally as well as professionally – while staying within organisational and cost realities. A balance can be achieved with the right reward and recognition strategy.

Effective workforce rewards strategy design now requires: 

  • Embracing the differentiated needs of a diverse, multigenerational workforce, and using the relevant employee engagement mechanisms for each
  • Understanding individual employee experiences and categorising those experiences into personas
  • Having mechanisms in place to enable individuals to voice their preferences 
  • Holistically addressing employee needs with a more nuanced and flexible approach
  • Considering all perspectives: personas, organisational needs, industry standards, regulatory landscape, competitor offerings, cost, and societal values
  • Formulating a rewards programme that harmonises with your other employee value proposition (EVP) offerings, and 
  • Assimilating the latest compensation data, employee research and workplace insights so you can build what works.
This new world order – one that is more nuanced and personalised – requires new organisational skills of listening, learning and adapting to identify and address unmet needs.
Ilya Bonic

President, Head of Strategy and Career, Mercer


Data, tech and advisory solutions that help you build reward and recognition programmes

  • Compensation data, insights, and research

    Mercer has the world's largest and most comprehensive workforce rewards data, insights and research – so you can always be sure you are making the right remuneration decisions.
  • EVP and total rewards

    Employees’ core expectations about work are changing. Many are now searching for a caring corporate culture that prioritises their mental and physical health while providing work-life balance and career paths – sustainably.

    To attract and retain talent, it is critical to ensure your EVP reflects our changing world.

  • Pay equity

    Pay transparency and equity are becoming the ‘normal’ in modern businesses.

    A culture of transparency drives better workforce outcomes.

    Pay transparency is also now a legal compliance issue in an increasing number of places.

  • Talent All Access Portal

    A suite of proprietary data, technology, and insights to help you make better HR decisions, quicker.
  • Employee rewards

    Insights and solutions that help you build employee rewards that motivate and help avoid burnout.
Nearly all executives (96%) say we are in an employee-centric labour market and 70% of HR professionals are predicting higher than normal turnover this year.
Mercer Global Talent Trends 2022

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