Employee Reward System

These days, several companies are being plagued by low level of employee engagement. With rapidly changing global markets, technological advances, and companies doing cost reductions, job security has become a major concern for the employees. The stress levels have increased, affecting their loyalty towards the company. As a result, HR professionals are being challenged with negative attitudes, low productivity, reduced employee retention rates and increased absenteeism from the workplace.

To deal with these challenges, every organisation requires a strategic employee reward system that can address compensation, recognition, benefits and appreciation. In most of the rewards systems existing in business world these days, one or more of these elements are missing, and even when these elements are addressed, they are not aligned with other corporate strategies and core values. Employees need to know, and must be informed if they are doing bad, good, or excellent. Recognising their value, offering benefits, and providing a good life/work balance are quite effective employee motivator.

Researches indicate that less than half of the organisations have reward programs. Research also indicates that the employers that do have formal employee reward system see tangible benefits such as improved employee engagement and productivity, and improved financial performance for their organisation. Business owners often think of compensation as the top reward, however the reward system needs to be based on compensating someone for the contributions being made that are important for the organisation. These could be thinking out of box, outstanding innovator, outstanding philanthropist, the risk taker, multitasker, most Resilient, or for enhancing customer relations. A recent survey by McKinsey indicated that the three most effective motivators than highest-rated financial incentives included praise from immediate managers, leadership attention and chance to lead task forces or projects.2Employee reward system should be based on the values, vision and goals of the organisation, and modifications must be done to make the entire process special and rejuvenating for the employees. A well-balanced reward system must recognize the performance and behaviour of the employees. As performance is directly linked with the final outcomes, it is easier to address. Appreciation and Recognition are the most underrated rewards, and are ignored by most businesses. These are high-return and low-cash ingredients, and must be an integral part of a well-balanced reward system. The simple act of expressing gratitude and acknowledge the performance can have positive impact on the employees, increasing their morale, and improving their performance.

Several Fortune 500 companies have been using some fantastic ideas to reward and retain their employees. Some of the key trends of the employee reward programs include:

1. Google offers free food, outdoor sports facilities, indoor games etc. to its employees Additionally, irrespective of the tenure with the company, if the U.S employee passes away while working with the company, the partner or spouse get 50% of the salary every year for the next ten year.
2. Developer of people-management software, Ultimate Software gives free vacation to the workers every two years.
3. NetApp Vice-Chairman Tom Mendoz calls 10-20 employees every day to give them special recognition, and thanks them personally for doing something extraordinary.
4. Chesapeake Energy paid bonus of more than $8 million to around 6000 employees for following safe work practices.
5. Caliper, a talent management firm gives employees paid time-off in the form of vacation
6. Checkers and Tokyo Joe’s give their outstanding employees an all-expense paid off week-long vacation
7. Employee incentive platform Snowfly gives its employees game tokens to promote productive behaviour, and points earned in the games can be converted to cash
8. To help employees deal with the work related anxieties, employees at Mayo clinic get massages in their stress-free zone.
9. Intel offers eight-week paid sabbatical and $50,000 for tuition reimbursement to its employees, Aflac hosts annual appreciation week, GoDaddy takes employees off-site during paid work hours for different fun activities, Producers Assistance Corporation offers reloadable gift cards, and Zappo has “Monthly Hero” program.

Organisations are also using more innovative methods such as recognition and reward using the social media, early recognition to improve employee retention, creating a culture of rewards and recognition with a clear tie to the core values of the company, investment in staff engagement campaigns spanning the entire business, rewarding longest-serving employees to make them feel valued and encouraging other staff members to be loyal, extending the reward to employee’s spouses and families etc.
Looking at these incentive programs, it can be deduced that employees want to look beyond the pay check, and expect rewards with diverse blend of incentives, business practices and benefits that help them stay loyal and motivated. A well-balanced reward system can benefit both employees and the organisations, creating a competitive advantage for the companies.

• Developers, engineers, and managers from companies of all sizes
• Technical executives looking out for the bottom line
• CTOs and CIOs seeking to streamline operations
• Technology evangelists and entrepreneurs pushing enterprise boundaries
• Researchers and academics
• Companies and professionals engaged in the mobile development and performance ecosystem

Driving Innovation with DevOps – Idexcel DevOps Roundup

1. Driving Innovation with DevOps

DevOps isn’t just about working faster, more effectively, and at a lower cost. A big part DevOps is also about driving business innovation. Sure, DevOps correctly applied is known to cut costs and reduce downtime, but as this Rackspace 2014 survey found, DevOps is also, across many organizations, increasing sales as well as employee and customer engagement.

But DevOps is also enabling organizations to deploy more capabilities more quickly. As the most recent Puppet Labs DevOps report contends, DevOps organizations are deploying updates 30 times more rapidity and with fewer failures. And they’re recovering 168 times faster from failures and have 60 times fewer failures due to code changes. “What we are seeing is the quality and speed has definitely increased. So people are producing changes that are of higher quality and changes that require fewer rollbacks,” said Nigel Kersten, CIO at Puppet Labs. in this interview with Ericka Chickowski. Continue reading…

2. What does #DevOps mean to the roles of Change & Release managers?

One of our team raised this question in our internal #DevOps Slack channel this week and it sparked off an interesting discussion that we thought was worth sharing with a wider audience.

Firstly, let’s start with one of my favourite definitions of DevOps:

“DevOps is just ITIL with 90% of stuff moved to ‘Standard Change’ because we automated the crap out of it” – TheOpsMgr

Now that’s a bit tongue in cheek, obviously, as the scope of DevOps in a CALMS model world is probably wider than just that but it’s not a bad way to start explaining it to someone from a long-term ITIL background. Continue reading…

3. DevOps Isn’t a Job. But It’s Still Important

TRADITIONALLY, COMPANIES HAVE at least two main technical teams. There are the programmers, who code the software that the company sells, or that its employees use internally. And then there are the information technology operations staff, who handle everything from installing network gear to maintaining the servers that run those programmers’ code. The two teams only communicate when it’s time for the operations team to install a new version of the programmers’ software, or when things go wrong.

That’s the way it was at Munder Capital Management when J. Wolfgang Goerlich joined the Midwestern financial services company in 2005. Continue reading…

4. How devops will change the way that you think and work

Devops is exciting for developers, and can also be scary. It will change what you need to know and the skills you need in order to succeed. Doing devops requires that you learn new tools and embrace deep cultural changes to the way that you think and work. You’ll have to adapt to new processes in the shorter term, while also anticipating long-term organizational changes. Adopting devops means you’ll learn to work differently than you have before, alongside other developers and sysadmins who are also making this big shift. Continue reading…

5. A Sneak Peek of DevOps Enterprise Summit 2015

The DevOps Enterprise Summit (#DOES15) will gather the best practitioners, thinkers, and innovators in the DevOps space. Whether you’re well on your way in your own efforts to adopt DevOps practices, or just beginning to wonder whether DevOps isn’t something you should try, this is the event to accelerate your DevOps journey.

On stage will be leaders from Target, Disney, Nationwide, Nordstrom, Capital One, Raytheon Software, CSG, and many other organizations across a variety of sectors. These are individuals working in large-scale, complex environments who have dealt with the same problems you are struggling with now. Some of them are returning from last year to share their progress. Continue reading…

The Power of Continuous Performance Testing – Idexcel Testing Roundup

1. The Power of Continuous Performance Testing

One of the key tenets of continuous integration is to reduce the time between a change being made and the discovery of defects within that change. “Fail fast” is the mantra we often use to communicate this tenet. This approach provides us with the benefit of allowing our development teams to quickly pinpoint the source of an issue compared to the old method of waiting weeks or months between a development phase and a test phase.

For this approach to work, however, our development and QA teams have to be able to run a consistent suite of automated tests regularly, and these tests must have sufficient coverage to ensure a high likelihood of catching the most critical bugs. If a test suite is too limited in scope, then it misses many important issues; a test suite that takes too long to run will increase the time between the introduction of a defect and our tester raising the issue. This is why we introduce and continue to drive automated testing in our agile environments. Continue reading

2. How to Test an Application without Requirements?

Technically there are no applications without requirements. Imagine software that does nothing specific but is simply line after line of code stretching on. It will be like a stair case leading nowhere.

All software has requirements and is targeted at a particular task; specifically it is a solution to a problem. So requirement-less software isn’t a possibility.

However, software without documented requirements is a reality that unfortunately most of us face more often that we like. The only thing worse could be that, the documentation is insufficient, inaccurate or terribly outdated. Sadly, this happens too. Continue reading

3. Building an Effective Lean Testing Strategy

Organizations are constantly under pressure to streamline their operations and ensure that they are using their assets as effectively as possible. However, this is often easier said than done. For example, if a new vulnerability comes up in an app, more time may be spent fixing the issue than normal due to additional steps required to ensure that the software runs as expected.

To reduce wasted resources, businesses have adopted lean practices that consider the expenditure of assets to be wasteful if they’re used for anything other than creating value for the end customer.

Here are a few strategies quality assurance professionals should concentrate on to implement an effective lean testing strategy. Continue reading

4. Discussion: Taxonomy of Software Testing Terms

If you frequent TEST Huddle, now is the time to provide some feedback. The TEST Huddle team is looking to create a taxonomy of terms which it will use to make resources on the website easily discoverable by relevant subject matter.

“The goal is to create a bank of content that can be efficiently searched by testers trying to solve a particular problem – whether directly related to testing or indirectly e.g. advice from others on managing people; communicating to stakeholders etc.”
Have any terms in mind? Contribute your ideas here!