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The Together Company

By TLF Research

Ray Robertson’s fundamental premise is that many organisations don’t get the best out of their people because they fail miserably when it comes to reward. They take the easy way out, giving people similar “fair” pay increases. They fail to explain how pay is decided, leaving many employees feeling it’s just based on their manager’s whim rather than their own performance. Many completely miss the massive difference that low cost recognition strategies will make to employees’ motivation.

In a very readable style, the book gives managers a 3 step blueprint for getting reward right.

Reward Essentials

There are some absolute essentials like having a clearly understood pay structure that spells out how pay decisions are made and what employees need to do to get rewarded. They are the practices organisations have to get right before anything else because they underpin how people are rewarded and managed more generally. The practices are rewarding performance, fair performance review, a pay framework, understanding your employment market, and equal pay.

Reward Choices

These are additional ways of making reward and recognition more effective for different types of organisation, made all the more relevant by the author through regular “Is it right for you?” sections, elaborating different scenarios for different types of company. Reward Choices underpin the key practices which support, and sometimes drive, the core business objectives of the together company. The practices are rewarding team excellence, rewarding customer satisfaction, sharing financial success and rewarding business leaders.

Reward Extras

There are many little extras that make people feel valued and build ‘a great place to work’. They help to build and retain a culture where people feel valued and keep them informed about what matters most and what they can receive in return. The practices are customised reward strategies, recognition, a rewarding workplace and reward communications.

The book is full of detailed case studies covering a wide range of organisations, sectors and types of workforce. There are young, vibrant, exciting workplaces like TGI Friday’s, David Lloyd Leisure and Starbucks where reward and recognition strategies are very overt and designed to motivate on a daily basis. By contrast, a more “British” approach can be seen at Royal Bank of Scotland, ABB Engineering Services and Miller Insurance Services. Scottish Water provides a fascinating example of how an organisation can break free of the traditional public sector pay structure straight jacket and introduce a performance-based culture. High performance is no stranger to the culture at Manchester United but the huge diversity of job roles required to run a conference, hospitality, leisure, financial services and merchandising business, not to mention a football team, provides a real reward and recognition challenge. The author also looks at high involvement at John Lewis, executive reward at BAA and communicating reward at Accor Hotels.

Anyone in HR should have this book on their shelf in the space normally reserved for the bible, but if you’re a line manager with any responsibility for appraisals, encouraging teamwork, recognising contribution, in fact, any of the things that good line managers should be doing, this book is a ‘must read’ too.

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