Pop over and read Laura’s full post. She offers five solid tips for moving towards tailored rewards. It’s her last statement of the post that got me laughing, however:
“I also don’t recommend tie pins.”
I laugh because I’ve heard that more than a few times from companies we consult with: “But we’ve ALWAYS given tie/lapel pins. It’s a critical part of our program!” As I’ve written about before, ask just about any employee who ever received one, and they’ll fumble to remember which junk drawer the pin ended up in.
But the important lesson here is that any discussion of total rewards is irrelevant if you don't also discuss the meaningfulness of those rewards. "The way we've always done it" may mean something to the 30-year employee in Marketing, but absolutely nothing to the 1-year GenY rockstar in R&D. And vice versa. BOTH perspectives are equally important, and even that is vastly simplifying -- it's not easy to juggle the "perceived motivators" of a 10 person small business, much less in a 30,000 employee multi-national corporation.
And that's why the discussion must come down to (and thanks to Dan Pink and others is beginning to) true motivators of autonomy, mastery and purpose. Every employee is motivated by managers who remove obstacles from their paths at work, who listen to them, and help them achieve what is meaningful for them in the workplace.
One final thought. When I made similar comments to Laura’s original post, she asked, “What if these three simple criteria were added to or even replaced the manager evaluation form at every company?”
What if, indeed.