Taking the hassle out of reward: convenience is key for driving performance in a diverse workforce

Today’s time-poor, digital society is breeding a new wave of demands from an increasingly diverse workforce. The millennial generation are constantly looking for ways to make their lives easier. And if employers want to get the most out of their future leaders, then they need to make sure that they’re factoring in convenience into the ways that they interact with, reward and manage their people.

As part of my day job, I'm lucky enough to spend some time with some of the larger and more complex employers discussing the future of work, reward and retirement and the role that convenience plays in their plans.  

To stay at the top of their game, most of these employers are telling me that they recognise that their current employment deal needs modernising to reflect, and take advantage of, the increasing diversity among their workforce, including the more frequent unpredictability of career journeys. Many (but not all) workers of tomorrow want the chance to be agile and to have exposure to a variety of opportunities, rather than value certainty and rigidity. That's good, because one of the things that most employers aspire to is becoming a more agile organisation.

Part of the challenge posed by having an increasingly diverse workforce (in terms of personal, family and financial circumstances, needs and wants, career paths, meaning and nature of retirement, etc) is coming up with solutions that suit everyone you want to motivate. As part of this, employers realise they need to introduce greater flexibility into the ways their people receive and use their reward and other forms of recognition, including long-term savings.  

And, as I speak to more and more talented workers across the world, I hear that most (but not all!) want to be treated as individuals rather than part of a crowd. They value or demand flexibility to meet their needs and aspirations. But this flexibility without convenience is a wasted opportunity. Where employers can and are prepared to offer flexibility in how people receive and use their reward, there's no point making the process too onerous for employees. Just as we hear from customers across all industries and businesses, convenience is coming across loud and clear as what many employees need and value. It keeps them focused on delivering business success.

So, in the same way that you would inspire customers to choose your product or service over the competition, the challenge and opportunity for employers in inspiring a motivated workforce that produces superior business results is to:

  • find ways to reward individual employees in a flexible way so that they each feel truly valued, recognising their own particular circumstances, and
  • enable employees to deploy the choices and empowerment they are being offered (around how they receive and use their reward and recognition) in a convenient (process- and time-light) way.

If you want to talk about how you could make this happen, please share your views below or give me a call.

Marc Hommel | HR Consulting Partner and Global Network Leader for Reward and Pensions
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