What Will Change About Recognition and Reward Post Pandemic?

July 24th 2020 | Posted by phil scott

What Will Change About Recognition and Reward Post Pandemic?

What Will Change About Recognition and Reward Post Pandemic?

The COVID-19 pandemic has had markedly different effects on businesses. Some have thrived due to increased demand whereas others have suffered a significant drop in revenue and are facing potential job losses and even closure.

For those businesses that are struggling financially, rewarding staff post-pandemic may look significantly different. There will certainly be less opportunity to provide financial recognition. This means that HR professionals will need to think creatively about other methods of recognition that could be appropriate.  This situation could continue for years to come, given the predictions around the financial crisis that has been created by the pandemic.

The reality of the financial crisis

You only need to take a look at recent reports in the news to see that the country is facing a very difficult financial situation. The Bank of England has estimated that the GDP of the UK could contract by 14% in 2020.

Although many people hope for a more rapid rebound than was originally predicted, it’s still likely that many businesses will face a serious struggle to survive. This means that the future for pay and financial reward looks bleak, in many sectors.

The challenge of reward and recognition

Given such a stark financial landscape, there are certainly challenges around the whole area of reward and recognition. The most important thing that HR professionals need to lead on is communicating these difficulties to employees. Good communication is always vital in a business. Right now, it is more essential than ever.

People are more likely to accept a difficult situation if the business is transparent about all issues. It’s also important for employees to be engaged when discussions about incentives, reward and recognition are taking place. This engagement makes it more likely that people will happily accept decisions that are made. With this in mind, what type of recognition and reward ideas are businesses likely to adopt or utilise more widely?

Rewards that can also benefit the business

It’s important that the way businesses recognise the contribution of people post-pandemic is beneficial to the business and its employees. These are some of the recommendations that HR professionals are likely to be making to senior management.

Flexible working 

Flexible working has become the norm during the pandemic and a large number of people are still working from home. Businesses have the opportunity to embrace flexible working as a way of cutting costs such as business travel and office space rental.

Employees will see this as recognition of their work as they are able to have more say about where and when they work. This helps them to get a better work/life balance.

Reward with responsibility

As businesses are forced to streamline operations, giving people more responsibility could play a vital role. This needs to be done in the right way in order to be seen as a reward rather than an imposition. Employees need to be supported in making decisions and implementing new practices.

If this is done in the right way, employees see that their knowledge and experience is being recognised. They are motivated by the opportunity to have a say, take more responsibility and make a difference.

Provide education opportunities

Providing an employee with an education opportunity does not need to involve paying out for an expensive college course. It can be something as simple as allowing them to attend free webinars after which they can feed back their knowledge to others. The knowledge that can be acquired in this way can be extremely valuable to a business.

From an employee point of view, getting this type of education helps to develop confidence. It can also open up new career opportunities.

There is no doubt that many businesses will have to revise their reward and recognition programmes in the wake of the pandemic. HR professionals need to make sure that employees are engaged in the change process and that the changes themselves are as beneficial as possible, to all parties.

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