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Companies look beyond money to retain employees

Friday, 3 January 2014 - 2:17pm IST | Place: Bangalore | Agency: DNA
HR teams are increasingly looking at intangible rewarding systems.

Though 2014 is expected to be much better in terms of salary hikes and job opportunities, companies are not taking it easy. With the market opening up for jobs, HR heads of various companies are coming up with ways to attract and retain talent in their respective organisations.

With most companies looking to reward staff as part of employee engagement programmes through salary raises and monetary incentives, HR teams are increasingly looking at intangible rewarding systems for a reason – once-a-year appraisals do not make the cut anymore and employees are more motivated by year-round intangible recognition.

“For many youngsters, recognition matters more than money. Monetary benefits are taken for granted. An organisation needs to have a holistic approach to keep employees motivated and upbeat through the year,” says Gurleen Bhalla, director(HR) with The Ritz Carlton.

Bhalla argues that outstanding employees in her organisation get to experience the brand and the product along with their family members. In fact, the employee of the year gets to stay in any Marriott property across the globe together with family. “We realised, employees value these things more than money. In fact, such intangible rewards costs us more than monetary benefits, but in the end we are able to retain talent and keep their mood upbeat,” she says.

Recognition of performance, workplace environment, employee-of-the-month awards are some of the intangible rewards being implemented by companies. At Thomas Cook India,  individual businesses and team leaders reward their team members through gestures such as gift/dining vouchers and top performers are sent on an all-expense paid holiday.

In fact, HR heads are nowadays working closely with managers and team leaders to encourage and build in the culture of recognition in their company. At Infotech, there is an appreciation tree kept to encourage colleagues, managers can stick “leaf” containing details of the associate being appreciated. The same is then pinned on a “tree”.

Organisations differentiate themselves through employee-friendly policies and not by how much they pay. “The best organisations in the world are known for their good work culture and their power to recognise talent. In today’s competitive world, giving just monetary benefits does not help in the long run,” admits Vanish Laikar, an independent HR consultant.

“Employee satisfaction goes beyond money, and this has always been the case. Employees need to feel connected to the organisation. For this, we need to keep them motivated round the year through rewards and recognition,” says Rahul Rana, chief operating officer, PAYBACK India.


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