Alternative Rewards To Headline 2016

Checking out what reward specialists are seeing in our future

What is one projected trend for rewards and recognition in 2016?

A recently released Korn Ferry Hay Group survey on alternative employee rewards found career development programs and training would likely expand over the next year across all employee levels.

Close behind career development or training was the need for spot cash bonus recognition programs.

More than 8 out of 10 organizations surveyed indicated alternative rewards are key to being considered an employer of choice (89%), remaining competitive in the marketplace (87%), and for engaging their employees (81%).

What is interesting, and certainly not unexpected, is how these top two reward offerings segment out across the three employee groups surveyed.

Two-thirds (66%) of managers and professionals prefer more career development or training programs, while 64% of employees (clerical, technical and skilled trade) opted for this. While lower in preference (57%), executives still rated this as a high alternative reward.

Leadership development is almost at a critical need level for the skills and competencies needed by executives especially with poor succession planning in many organizations. Managers and employees meanwhile also need to develop operational and people skills to succeed those who will soon be leaving or retiring from the company.

Comparing career development with spot cash awards we find employees, slightly ahead of everyone, at 48% wanting bonus recognition programs, while managers are right behind at 46%, and executives trailing at 34%.

Korn Ferry Hay Group suggest spot cash bonus programs have increased in number because companies want to better align recognition with their strategic business objectives.

Along typical total reward structure for compensation and benefits, executives really want more of the “other” benefits and perquisites along with enhanced capital accumulation and retirement programs. Spot cash awards are expected to be more top down than middle or bottom up.

Other alternative reward options for company employees to select from were:

  • Other benefits and perquisites programs
  • Health and benefits programs
  • Gift/ merchandise programs
  • Enhanced capital accumulation and retirement programs
  • Additional paid time off programs
  • Community impact programs (CSR)

The company providing this survey are certainly more “total rewards” focused than emphasizing recognition, due to the nature of their work. They tend to lump recognition and rewards together as one and the same thing. The survey did not provide for non-monetary recognition options within the survey question responses.

Question: What recognition or reward trends do you see happening for the balance of 2016?

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