Creating a sustainable reward structure

According to Charles Cotton, Reward Adviser to the CIPD, most organisations still adopt an approach to reward that is “knee-jerk, short-term, reactive rather than actually going out there and saying … what as an organisation do we need or want to be successful?”.

So how can you establish reward practices that will work for your organisation both now and in the future?

Whether you’re updating an existing reward structure or putting one in place for the first time, sustainability is the key to success. In practice, that means having a structure that will go the distance: one that won’t put you in the position of having to cut salaries and benefits later on or leave you open to equal pay challenges further down the line

Sustainability also involves making sure your reward structure is manageable. Resist the temptation to over-complicate things. A structure that is hard to understand will be difficult to implement – and therefore less likely to work. Far better to start with a simple structure that you can adapt over time.

Consider as well how staff will perceive your proposed structure. Is it fair – and will it come across that way too? It’s not just a matter of paying more than your competitors. Surveys show that what matters most to staff is comparability of pay levels within the organisation they work for.

Last, but not least, a sustainable reward structure should be relevant to your organisation. Where pay and benefits are concerned, it’s definitely not a case of ‘one size fits all’. An ideal scheme is one that rewards and motivates your existing staff and attracts the kind of talent your organisation needs in order to secure its future.

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