Using Non-Monetary Rewards to Retain Top Talent Part 1

As a recruiter for almost thirty years, I have interviewed and spoken with thousands of candidates.  More often than not, compensation isn't the reason we are able to get them interested in a new opportunity. Most of the time compensation is a secondary concern. In fact, both myself and my partner, Barry Deutsch, have a long standing policy that if compensation is the issue, we will not work with them.

With our candidates, their primary concern is focused on non-monetary issues. Most of the time it evolves around their boss or the company. This is not to say compensation isn't important to them, but it isn't the primary motivator to listen to a recruiter.

The reverse is also true. When potential candidates decide not to listen to a potential opportunity, it usually isn't because they feel they are overpaid and that no other company will pay them as much. Rather it is generally that they have a great relationship with their boss and love working at the company.

After listening to so many potential candidates turn us down because they were so happy working where they are, we have come up with 7 things  these companies consistently do to create a culture that retains their talent. You don't have to do all of these, but if you aren't doing any of them you might want to reconsider.

1) Verbal Praise – These companies give what we call, “Standing Ovations” for outstanding performance. They take the time to recognize when someone goes above and beyond the call of duty. They also give praise  or even a simple thanks when someone does a good job. This is sincere praise and thanks, not just given as a matter of fact.  The contrast is a culture in which the employee's performance  is viewed as, “just doing their job” or “isn't that what we pay them to do.”

2) Achievement Awards – Another form of praise. These achievement awards are earned. It is not about sooner or later everyone will get one, so everybody feels good. That loses all of their meaning and significance. These awards take different forms in different companies. Some examples include a reserved parking space, employee of the month, a trophy prominently displayed in the person's office, certificates, mention in the company newsletter, a pin handed out by the CEO, lunch with the CEO and executive team, take a break and cake on Friday afternoon, etc.  The important point is that the employees appreciate the recognition and don't take it for granted.

3)  Learning and Development – Top performers want to continue to learn and develop their skills. Does your company encourage on-going learning for your employees? This might include giving them some time off to attend classes, bringing a topic expert in to speak to a group, allowing them to attend a workshop, have an on-line training program they can complete, or encouraging involvement in professional association and trade associations. These types of programs generally don't take a lot of time or can be performed outside of working hours and the ROI to the company can be huge.

4) Fun and Recreational Events – My daughter works for a private university. They recognize that they don't pay at the industry level. They overcome this in many ways, but one way is that either her department or the administrative team will do some fun thing that takes an hour or two. Some examples include, a putting contest in the office, a picnic at the park for lunch,one time her department took off an hour early to go see the filming of the Tonight Show, they went bowling during lunch time, they will take a few minutes late in the day and play a game of charades or Pictionary, etc. These are just fun things that make it a great place to work. To the workers this is worth making a few dollars less because they enjoy the people and their efforts are recognized.

Part 2 will cover the final three non-monetary rewards you can do to retain your best talent.

Join the other 10,000 CEOs, key executives and HR professionals and download a FREE copy of our best-selling book, “You’re NOT The Person I Hired.”  Just CLICK HERE  and under the FREE Hiring Resources section you can download our free eBook.

Retaining your best talent is always the best thing any company can do. Download our FREE  Non-Monetary Rewards and Recognitions Matrix. It will help you retain your best people without additional compensation. CLICK HERE to download under the Free Resources section.

I welcome your thoughts and comments.

Brad Remillard


About the Author

Brad Remillard is a founding Partner of IMPACT Hiring Solutions, co-author of "You're NOT the Person I Hired", and "This is NOT the Position I Accepted". Brad is an award-winning international speaker, retained executive recruiter, and expert on hiring and retaining top talent, and executive job search.

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