23 August, 2021

How to Use a Total Rewards Program to Increase Brand Loyalty

The demise of the traditional concept of loyalty has been in discussion ever since the CEO of Salesforce declared in 2017 that ‘loyalty is dead’. This popular refrain comes to mind yet again when one analyzes the increasing levels of employee dissatisfaction and attrition in the wake of the imminent ‘great resignation’ in the corporate world. Apparently, as the grip of the pandemic is beginning to ease, employees are willing to switch their job if it means enjoying a better work-life balance, benefits, career growth and overall wellness. The fatigue of the collective human tragedy and isolation seems to have taken its toll and top talent is no longer willing to compromise just to remain loyal to their employers.

HR has used multiple strategies to retain employees in the past, including monetary compensation and other benefits like healthcare reimbursement and travel allowance. While they have been and still are useful, they’re no longer enough to support a robust employee value proposition. What counts today is the overall experience of an organization- right from onboarding to off-boarding, everything speaks about an employer brand. In this way, employee retention is quite like customer retention, in that customers no longer purely rely on monetary points for loyalty but look at the overall experience with a brand.

Total rewards are a powerful way in which organizations can redefine loyalty and engage today’s hybrid workforce. While many organizations are declaring benefits like work-from-home or flexible working hours, we need to remember that a single employee benefit doesn’t make up for the whole employee experience. Cultural leaders and talent magnets need to ensure that the basics are taken care of. Trust, transparency, consistency and accountability- these are the factors that result in loyalty among stakeholders, be it customers or employees. In today’s workplaces, delivering a consistent employee experience can only be done using technology. Digitalization of total rewards is no longer an option if an organization hopes to overcome the barriers of distance and increase employee connect. Moreover, employee engagement software can also help contextualize company culture and create a tailored experience for a diverse workforce with varying needs. Below are some steps any organization can immediately take to increase their brand loyalty without burning their pockets:

  • Stay on top of engagement trends

 Whether you have focused discussions in person, on video or use an AI-based assessment tool to understand what employees want, it’s essential to view your brand experience from the employee lens. It’s easy to track dissatisfaction and get alerted for possible attrition through sources like performance data survey results and 360 feedback- all it takes is for organizations to gather scientific data rather than relying on guesswork

  • Rework the retention strategy

As many studies have already shown, there is a significant time lapse between the time an employee becomes disgruntled and when s/he actually resigns. While not all churn is bad- sometimes the employee is not a good fit or the organization can benefit from fresh talent and capabilities- the churn rate needs to be managed well so as to not toxify the company culture. A meaningful pat on the back, a surprise reward for learning a new skill or even a manager/team greeting on birthdays, work anniversaries, weddings, childbirths and other personal milestones are examples of creating ‘micro-moments of retention’.

  • Build as you go

Many organizations make the mistake of investing a sizable amount into rewards budgets without streamlining the process due to ensure fairness and maximum ROI. What can work better is to bring a technology solution onboard in the early stages, so that a vendor can offer best practices in the industry, flexible frameworks and minimize time spent on data aggregation.

At the end of the day, one can only feel loyal to an organization when the organization stays loyal to their own professional and personal growth journeys. A rewards and engagement platform is a simple tool to display your loyalty to an individual by appreciating their commitment on a regular basis and reminding them of their importance to your success.