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Putting your company culture into practice is like solving a jigsaw puzzle. There are a lot of elements that need to fit together — communication, trust, individual objectives, a common goal and much more. But that culture is key to motivating employees, building a strong employer brand, and attracting new talent.

The groundwork lies in aligning employees with your company culture and motivating them to perform highly. To do that effectively requires the right rewards strategy and technology. 

Five Steps to the Right Rewards Strategy

Follow these five steps if you’d like to create a rewards strategy that  motivates performance, strengthens your culture, and builds your employer brand.

1. Be Transparent in Your Communication

Establish a solid foundation of trust with your employees and set a common goal that is communicated consistently across the business. A top-down communication across the organization is key and leads to an improved relationship between local offices, departments, teams and employees. Having some high-performing employees on your team doesn’t necessarily mean that your team is living up to its potential. For your entire team to exceed expectations, you need to start by communicating company goals and then setting team and individual objectives that are aligned with those goals. Stating the goals is not enough, though, leadership needs to consistently reinforce their importance through both words and deeds. A successful rewards program aligned with this strategy can help keep employees motivated and happy over a long period of time.

2. Empathize With Your Employees

Getting your employees on board with your rewards strategy isn’t always easy. Companies are often so engrossed with their top-down communications that they neglect to empathize with their employees. That’s why it’s useful to start by understanding your employees’ personal goals, needs, and interests. Those factors can vary based on role, age group, gender, location, family situation, and other personal characteristics. Only then can you offer each employee a fitting rewards program and motivate them to perform better in line with your company goals.

3. Analyze and Improve Your Rewards Strategy

Once your rewards program is up and running, you need to understand if the strategy and plan you’ve put in place is delivering results. This means using analytics and drilling down into your people data to drive better decision-making. Analyzing your data will help you ensure that the goals you’ve set are being met, eventually resulting in benefits for your business and employees. To find out more about how a data-driven approach can help you, read our post on people analytics.

4. Choose the Right Technology to Support Your Strategy

If you align your company values with the right performance and compensation management solution, you can drive a lot more than just performance. You can drive the happiness of your people. Most HR teams are still striving to find that ‘right technology' piece of the puzzle which enables a rewards strategy that can be tailored to meet employee needs while supporting company goals. Home grown compensation systems or the compensation modules supplied with HR software suites rarely meet the needs of an organization’s complex total rewards processes.

5. One Size Does Not Fit All 

 An article by Dr. Tomas Chamorro in the Harvard Business Review pointed out that “…in the era of personalization, when most things can now be customized to fit our needs — from social media feeds to potential dates, to online shopping displays and playlists —it is somewhat surprising that compensation systems are still based on the premise that what works for some people will also work for everyone else.” Innovative companies today are moving away from a one-size-fits-all approach and adopting more of a one-to-one compensation model.

A total compensation solution can enable HR to align rewards strategy with company values and objectives, and establish a culture that attracts talent in today's competitive marketplace.

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