Rewarding an International Market

As the barriers to international trade lower, the number of companies choosing to go global is rising. International regulations have improved, making overseas trading less of a risk, and thanks to the internet, communication is also greatly improved. Countries such as Brazil, Russia, India and China have seen huge economic success in recent years, generating new opportunities for companies to capitalise on a far wider audience.
And as the number of companies going international increases, so does the demand for international reward and recognition programmes. Success in a global market will require a force of motivated employees. According to Employee Benefit News 67% of companies surveyed who do not currently have a global reward and recognition programme would consider putting one in place in 2011.
A centralised reward and recognition programme can prove highly beneficial for your company. It will reinforce your corporate brand internationally, and help keep that image consistent. It will also foster a team culture and a feeling of unity through shared reward and recognition.

It is well worth considering a centralised programme if you are, or are planning to go, global – but a centralised system does bring various challenges:

1. Culture – different cultures will be motivated by different rewards. This can be overcome through undertaking surveys to establish reward preferences and developing an appropriate reward catalogue.
2. Currency – a reward value in one country could equate to a completely different amount in another, and ever changing exchange rates also need to be considered. Consider setting the reward value as a percentage of the participant’s salary as opposed to a fixed value across countries.
3. Language barriers – translation of languages is seen as the most valuable programme feature. Ensure your programme has been (accurately!) translated into the relevant languages. This will also ensure higher user uptake.
4. Time zones and geographical distance – this can affect communication, as companies will be open and operating during different hours of the day. However, the internet can be used to get around this, and an online programme allows for 24 hour access.

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