Thursday, September 1, 2011

Rewards Aaj Kal

Reward points in today’s scenario gets far more complicated than the good old days, where you would have a son coming home to his parents with a box of sweets, proclaiming his salary hike, followed by the entire khandaan breaking into a song and dance of how their lives have changed for good...

Today’s youth demands are more focused, planned and diverse. A macro point of view for reward schemes seem quite simple and can be generalised, but as you look closer rewards need to be personalised and customised to suit needs and desires.

They don’t call it the “rat race” for nothing.  

The first demand from the race is rank. Followed by fame and publicity and the medal. Then the rest of the incentives, like performing on a bigger level, better trainers, and then record breaking to be the best etc.

With the above metaphor, understanding the scenario gets a little simpler.

Career advancement, ranks first in their minds, and because the new breed of corporate executives don’t come from households that need them to be breadwinners, so base pay is not as important to a huge lot. And even if money is important, there are a dime and a dozen employers ready to pay outrageous packages and perks, just to get them on board.

Most of them have degrees from reputed colleges, and their race begins from college campuses placements with criteria that range from company reputation, designation, package etc. This in turn is publicised by the colleges for their own gain. That’s why we see ridiculous hoardings around the city of rankers and the classes they hail from.

The talkability comes from where he or she is placed to what level they are at rather than the opportunity for growth!

At the cost of sounding orthodox, my personal opinion is that youth should focus on foundation building, because that is the only time when you get to see the real grassroots level of the customers both internal and external. The first few years should be spent getting a real feel of the market. No wonder some of the best family run corporate houses ensure their kin work in the factories, the sales field and some of the bottom ranks of the business. This gives them firmer understanding in the long run and helps them make more informed decisions.

My view is contrary to what happens today where from day 1, where they want to buy designer suits sit in plush cabins, fly first class, and demand designations like AVPs etc, while they are oblivious to the surroundings and market dynamics.

As far as my ratings are concerned...

             An opportunity for strong foundation building  to meet the demands of the next level of their job via rigorous training and mentorship by reputed leaders. This will give them the required skills, knowledge and also give them an opportunity to work with the best minds, which would be a reward that creates a huge aura of satisfaction.

2.      Personalised incentives and not just a generalised laundry list circulated around the office by mail. Demands and needs are diverse, while for someone a pay hike could be vital, for someone a designation could be of more importance. This makes the entire effort more worthwhile. Can be done through a transparent process of goal setting and expectations between the company and the employee.

3.      Sense of ownership. This could be ownership in a project, a business arm etc. It makes any individual feel priceless when he is asked what he or she does. “Im heading the ....” rather than something vague like “Im the AVP...”. It gives them a feeling of power and responsibility which is critical to their egos and pride.

It is very difficult to make people understand that the rat race is not a 100 meter dash, but a long marathon where you don’t need to start strong, but rather you need to last long.

Cliché but true...

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