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3 Ways to Reward Your Employees (And I'm Not Talking Money!)

Posted by Megan Plis on 12/8/16 9:18 AM
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Money isn't everything! Yeah, it's important, but it's not all that matters to employees -- and upping the pay scale isn't always possible. When a raise isn't an option, consider these three alternatives to reward your high-achieving employees.

Creating a Modern Human Resources Strategy

If HR is a key initiative in your bank's strategic plan, you're not alone!

And honestly, it should probably be a permanent fixture in your strategic plan since it's quite literally impossible to execute 100% correctly. Human resources is one of the most difficult areas of management because it's all about people -- and people are complicated! Thankfully, today's workforce has certain interests in common.

Think about incorporating these 3 things into your modern human resources strategy.

3 Ways to Reward Your Employees (And I'm Not Talking Money!)

1. Better Title

Did you know?: 1 in 5 employees prefers a better title to more money. Let me say that again. 1 in 5 employees actually prefers a fancier title next to their name than more money! So, if you're putting off rewarding your employees because there's no financial flexibility, think outside of the budget. 

Remember -- this doesn't mean you can just add more job responsibility for free! That tends to breed animosity and create a frustrating work environment. Instead, invite the employee to an informal meeting, maybe even a lunch outside the office, and commend them on a job well done, ending with the ramped-up title.

For bonus points, make the title portion a discussion. What words would help them the most in their desired career path?


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2. Flextime & Work From Home

It's not just millennials that crave a more flexible schedule. Now more than ever, companies are embracing flextime and work from home policies as a way of increasing employee positivity and engagement. What does that mean? It means these policies are a sweet reward for both the employees and the company! Having happier employees generally means more productivity, which boils down to the bottom line. It makes dollars and cents/sense!

Remember -- it doesn't have to be a ton of time. And, of course, it has to make sense with their job responsibilities. Maybe you start with letting employees work one day from home every other week. Then, if it works well with no issues, try one day every week. Or, maybe employees would prefer to have flex-time and work their 8 hours at slightly different times of the day. If it's possible and sounds logical, why not give it a try?

For bonus points, experiment with letting employees work from home when they're not feeling well instead of using valuable vacation time. Doing this allows for a couple things: fewer sick people in the office, and employees to use their vacation time for its true purpose.


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3. Designated Project Time

Have you ever had a passion for something just outside of your current job responsibilities? Chances are, you have. Pet projects are seen as a time-waster by some companies. But if designated hours for these projects is good enough for the likes of Google, maybe you should reconsider your position. For example, maybe Laura, one of your bank's most talented CSRs, is a great writer. If you let her work on company blogs and other projects she chooses, you could get a ton of valuable content you wouldn't have gotten otherwise!

Remember -- Allowing employees to engage in personal development activities is good for everyone. If Laura, currently a CSR, is truly the stellar employee she appears to be, she likely has lofty career goals! She will either discover her path within your bank, or will be forced to leave and follow it elsewhere. Give her the foundation and support she needs to stay with your bank if you value her long-term contribution. Just make sure you give employees enough set time in their work schedule to accomplish real results.

For bonus points, encourage and sponsor personal development classes. Allow employees to attend online or in-person training that will benefit them and your organization. Not only will you be rewarding employees with intrinsic benefits like self esteem, you will get a more well-rounded, knowledgeable employee. And, what if you're missing a certain skill-set like social media at your bank? Have Tim, the personable tech whiz in personal banking, take that online course he's been looking at but hasn't committed to!

Final thoughts: These rewards are no substitute for paying employees what they're worth. Instead, consider these 3 non-monetary incentives during times between reviews, like mid-year, after an employee finishes a spectacular, impactful project, or completes a higher education degree.

Remember -- There are also no substitutes for frequent feedback. That's a reward in itself!

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Topics: social media for community banks, community bank budget, social media, modern human resources strategy for banks

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