The bonus is part and parcel of working in the City, and serves as an important function for attracting and retaining the best talent, particularly in such a competitive environment. Yet it’s important for employers to remember that financial reward is not the only way to recognise hard work and certainly not the most effective. So how else should high-flying executives be rewarded?
Distinct from salary and benefits, recognition has an important role to play in motivating and engaging staff. An often-quoted 2009 McKinsey survey found that praise from management, and having the opportunity to lead projects, are more effective incentives than cash, pay rises or stock.
Some of the best rewards don’t cost anything. Whether it’s an extra hour in bed, a day off, or a coveted parking space, rewards should be tailored to the tone and humour of an organisation or team, as well as their salary. A banker earning £300,000 a year may not appreciate a £150 voucher, but would likely value a thank you letter and bottle of champagne from the head of department.
Many banks are realising that if they carve out even a very small portion of their bonus pool for employee recognition, they can make a huge difference in terms of their value proposition. By implementing a formal recognition portal, employers can make it quick and easy for colleagues, managers and even senior executives to recognise and reward positive behaviour in the workplace, nominating colleagues for certain perks and rewards in the process.
Employers are increasingly looking outside the workplace for ways in which they can add value to their employee’s lives. Unsurprisingly, some of the quirkier manifestations of this trend have come from Silicon Valley, with Facebook’s egg-freezing and Netflix’s unlimited paid leave.
But one out-of-office perk that is proving universally popular is concierge services. Employers can make a real difference to their employees’ lives – particularly those high-flying, busy senior executives, struggling to balance the demands of work life with their personal or family lives – by offering a dedicated concierge team to assist them with everything from bespoke holiday planning and theatre bookings to organising a cleaner and gift sourcing.
This growth in lifestyle benefits being offered by employees can also be seen in salary sacrifice and voluntary benefits schemes – discounts and tax incentives geared towards making employees’ lives outside of work more balanced and fulfilled.
Better with tech
Developments in technology mean that benefits schemes have become more user friendly, insightful and, ultimately, better.
Paper-based schemes were the norm five years ago, but are increasingly being replaced by online promotional codes and retail vouchers. For employees this means a smoother, instant delivery of benefits. It also allows for greater personalisation.
Employers can recommend bespoke deals and offers based on individual and company preferences, ensuring that whatever they offer will be popular with their staff. This could range from discounts and offers focused on health and wellbeing, to childcare vouchers.