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  • Accumulate:
    Best Practices for Recognising and Rewarding Employees


    Alan Heyward from Accumulate, a sponsor company at the marcus evans HR Summit 2011, discusses the most effective employee recognition and reward strategies.

    Interview with: Alan Heyward, Sales & Client Service Director, Accumulate


    Alan Heyward, Sales & Client Service Director at Accumulate, a sponsor company attending the marcus evans HR Summit 2011, in the Gold Coast, Australia, 6 - 8 March, shares his views on the employee recognition and reward strategies in successful organisations, and why they are even more important during challenging economic times.

    Why is it critical to recognise and reward employees in an uncertain economic environment?

    Alan Heyward: When coupled with an organisation’s everyday Human Resources challenges, an uncertain economic outlook can make it extremely tough for companies to maintain a stable, engaged and productive workforce. Staff recognition, perhaps more than rewards, can be a valuable retention and change management tool to help manage these challenges.

    Interestingly, we have found that during market downturns in recent years, several companies actually increased their investment in rewarding and recognising people, in a bid to boost employee performance. Redundancies, salary freezes and cost-cutting come with all downturns, so a structured programme of recognition can help reduce job uncertainty, drive loyalty, and in many cases actually improve performance. People are also more likely to remain with such employers when conditions improve.

    What are the most effective reward and recognition strategies for boosting performance?

    Alan Heyward: There is certainly no one-size-fits-all approach, but there are some principles observed in companies that have been successful in this area.

    Firstly, it is critical to have a consistent enterprise-wide approach to recognising and rewarding employees. Larger organisations often have separate programs or activities for different business lines or teams, however, if such activities are not integrated, it can end up being a costly, administrative headache, and make it difficult to align staff performance and behaviours to a common set of organisational values and objectives.

    Secondly, it is important to recognise behaviour as well as performance. Hitting targets is one thing, but reinforcing the underlying behaviours contributing to those outcomes is more likely to create the desired cultural change and sustained performance improvement. My third point would be on frequency and timing. If you want to embed a particular set of values, behaviours and performance within the organisation, reinforce them often and as close to the event as possible.

    And lastly, provide a wide range of recognition and reward options, as different people are motivated by different things. It comes down to understanding your workforce – whether it is a simple “Thank you”, a peer nomination or a high-profile awards ceremony, understand what works for your people.

    Should the strategy for engaging top performers differ?

    Alan Heyward: It is easy to fall into the mindset that the top 10 to 20 per cent of your performers do not need any additional recognition or motivation, but that is often not the case. For top performers, you often need to appeal to their career ambitions and competitive instincts via avenues such as public recognition by the CEO, exclusive, high-value rewards, and career development opportunities. Nevertheless, it is obviously important to retain focus on the middle 60 to 70 per cent of employees, as there is naturally far more potential upside from that group.

    Any final thoughts?

    Alan Heyward: Everyone should have access to the programme – not just the high achievers. Recognition can be highly subjective, so the right technology helps put in place the right checks and balances to manage the potential administrative nightmare relating to cost centres, role changes, reporting, nomination approvals and history, workflow and comments.

    Sarin Kouyoumdjian-Gurunlian
    Press Manager
    marcus evans, Summits Division
    Tel: + 357 22 849 313

    About the HR Summit 2011

    This unique forum will take place at the RACV Royal Pines Resort, Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia,
    6 - 8 March 2011. Offering much more than any conference, exhibition or trade show, this exclusive meeting will bring together esteemed industry thought leaders and solution providers to a highly focused and interactive networking event. The summit includes presentations on accelerating organisational transformation, igniting passion-induced productivity and retention strategies in an economic upswing.

    For more information please send an email to or visit the event website at

    marcus evans group - hr sector portal

    Please note that the summit is a closed business event and the number of participants strictly limited.

    About marcus evans Summits

    marcus evans Summits are high level business forums for the world’s leading decision-makers to meet, learn and discuss strategies and solutions. Held at exclusive locations around the world, these events provide attendees with a unique opportunity to individually tailor their schedules of keynote presentations, think tanks, seminars and one-to-one business meetings. For more information, please visit

    About Accumulate

    As leading specialists in recognition, reward and incentive programmes, Accumulate helps many well-known Australian organisations get to the heart of what really makes their employees tick. We design, build and manage original solutions that engage and educate staff, change their behaviour, improve their performance and ultimately, help create a more successful culture.

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