Rewarding In A Global Business

How to avoid the pitfalls


Global businesses are like any other; they look to reward their staff for the hard work they do. However, as the organization isn’t based in a single office or city, there’s a whole bunch of factors they need to consider when rewarding staff.

Valuing the reward

It can be hard for a company to standardize gifts to staff that are spread across the world. Financial rewards can be especially tough to implement due to currency differences. A £100 bonus in one location can be a hefty reward, but it becomes quite small elsewhere.

To be fair, global businesses should consider material rewards instead. Experiences can be massively successful as they are easier to compare between locations. A free trip to the cinema, for example, is a great reward whether the employee is based in the UK, Australia, or Timbuctoo.

Communicating over continents

Once the type of reward has been decided, an international business needs to think how they speak to staff. It’s important for head office to recognize the cultural differences of the regions they operate in before they send out any internal comms, otherwise they may unknowingly upset staff.

If stock imagery is used in emails, newsletters or other collateral, thinking about how it will impact with the local office is vital. If these images include people, they should represent all the demographics of staff that work for the business. This can also go a long way to making the regional offices feel like part of a global business.

The reward and its delivery also need to reflect the social norms of where the office is based. A drinks trolley is a standard treat in many places, but it can be downright illegal in other locations. Being aware of these social differences can avoid many problems when rolling out a global reward programme without unknowingly offending some staff.

However, it’s just as important to make the whole team feel included. At any given point, a regional office may contain local staff, expat workers, and even people on work exchange programs. A business needs to balance its offering to include these international employees while also respecting the social norms of the location.

Giving from the top

At the end of the day, these rewards need to come from the top and be carried out across every team in every location. Head office needs to encourage regional managers to buy into the scheme and make sure rewards are available to every member of staff. This is a major step to building rewards that are part of a global policy, rather than a region-specific benefit.

It can be a challenge to fairly reward staff who are spread across the world. Global companies need to think about what these rewards are, make sure they respect the cultural differences of each location and introduce the rewards as part of a company-wide programme. In doing so, staff will be engaged,g the business will flourish and the rewards package will be a success. 


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