Article: 11 testaments to the power of rewards and recognition by Debra Corey

Benefits & Rewards

11 testaments to the power of rewards and recognition by Debra Corey

In an exclusive LinkedIn Live ahead of People Matters Total Rewards and Wellbeing conference, bestseller author, HR leader and consultant Debra Corey shares insights on the steps to designing the right rewards and recognition programs that culminates into wellbeing.
11 testaments to the power of rewards and recognition by Debra Corey

Imagine a time in your career when you had done something to help a colleague or customer or even your team to come up with a great idea and no one thanked you for it. Did it make you doubt yourself? Did it make you question if someone appreciates your contribution or even values your work? This example perfectly encapsulates the direct correlation of recognition on one’s wellbeing. 

And to help you get it right is Debra Corey, an award-winning HR leader, consultant, speaker, and five-time best-selling author, set to attend People Matters Total Rewards and Wellbeing Conference on November 7 at The Leela Ambience, Gurugram, who will help you follow on ‘See It. Say It. Appreciate It’, which is also the title of her latest book. With over two decades of experience, she is among the top 101 Global Employee Engagement Influencers and HR Most Influential Thinkers, who has been instrumental in inspiring and helping organisations develop and deliver HR strategies that push the boundaries and challenge the status quo. 

Through her interactions with 200 global firms, she has come across debilitating statistics around recognition: 7 out of 10 employees have said no one thanked them in an entire year; 8 out 10 people left their job because no one appreciated or valued them and 9 out 10 employees said that their recognition programs are stale and outdated. 

Ahead of our conference in an exclusive LinkedIn Live, she shared some testaments, advice and nuggets of wisdom around the power of care in rewards, recognition and wellbeing and its impact on employee’s happiness, productivity, engagement. Here are the top 10:

  1. Begin with care for your people by seeing them and what they are going through, the challenges and things organisations can do to support them. Then, move to understanding their diverse needs, and ultimately support them through reward programs. 
  2. Always begin with a strategy for your rewards program, which gives you a target, a bullseye to throw towards. That’s when one can think outside the box, challenging ourselves to think differently. 
  3. Your rewards mix needs to be like a box of chocolates, and you need to have the right things inside the box as well as outside the box that are going to meet the diverse needs of your people. 
  4. A holistic approach to wellbeing is the need of the hour. It might have begun with physical wellbeing, after which financial and mental wellbeing were added as pillars. And now social wellbeing, which has been found to be as important to health as getting enough water and sleep forms the four pillars of wellbeing. 
  5. As rewards leader, if we can’t help our people see the big picture, we might fail to make the intended impact. 
  6. Mangers need to be aware of the small things when looking at recognition and wellbeing of their teams - a regular check-in, constant breaks for employees, support with workload go a long way. Small steps by managers can impact their teams in large ways. 
  7. Rather than leaders probing about, ‘How are you doing’, they can rephrase the sentence to ask, ‘What can I do to help’?
  8. When you are redesigning the reward programs, you need to step out of the office and communicate with your people. If we don’t listen, how are we ever going to know what’s important to our people. We don’t need to do everything they say, but we always need to know. 
  9. We shouldn’t always do what everybody else does. Every company is unique with different cultures, values and people, so find your own way. 
  10. The meaning of a rebel is something different to every organisation so understand that and align it with the reward strategy and why you are doing it. It always helps with the difficult conversations. 
  11. Lastly, take cues from the recognition pyramid model (illustrated in Debra's book) that recognises people for different levels of contribution. The bottom level is Everyday Recognition, middle level is Above and Beyond Recognition, ad on top is the Best of the Best Recognition. You have to follow through from bottom to the top to drive engagement and success. 

As leaders, the most essential thing to do before rolling out a rewards programs is explaining it to the managers so they know what it is and can take it forward to their teams. If you are eager to ask Debra your biggest dilemmas around recognition, rewards and wellbeing, you can always catch up with her at People Matters Total Rewards and Wellbeing Conference. The celebrated HR leader is writing her next book on ‘how to be a great boss’, where she illustrates the 14 building blocks or skills essential to lead with care.  


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Topics: Benefits & Rewards, Corporate Wellness Programs, Leadership, #PMTRWC

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