Employee Experience

Rewards & Recognition that Fits Philippine Culture

16 August 2023

Rewards & recognition is used by companies mainly to improve the motivation of their employees. Motivated employees demonstrate higher productivity and most likely to leave the company. Let's face the truth, retaining your most talented employees is always a challenge as they have more opportunities outside. Also, it is inefficient to train new staff over and over again.

So how do you motivate your existing employees? 

In the Philippines, competition in getting talents is tougher for specific industries where skill is either rare or in-demand in the market. For instance, in the BPO industry, talent is abundant, but the demand is still growing. For digital marketing, startups and big companies are transitioning to digital but the talent is still scarce presently. 
In order to succeed in your rewards and recognition program, one of the key strategies is to at least consider some cultural factors. 

The Collectivist Approach 

Unlike in western countries such as the United States, the Philippines has this strong collectivistic culture trait wherein there a strong emphasis on the needs of the group rather than as an individual. Being so, giving purely individual rewards and recognition may cause an environment that is not ideal for Filipino employees. 

Use rewards & recognition programs that foster teamwork. This will create an encouraging yet competitive environment at work. 

Make it More Social 

Filipinos are ranked as some of the happiest people in the world, they are highly social and easy to interact with. Even at work, they can easily befriend others and make them feel comfortable. They value relationships at work as they value theirs outside. Showcase that you support social connections within the organization by connecting it to your rewards program. 

Add Personal Touch 

There are tangible and intangible rewards. Don't focus so much on tangible rewards that you forget about the intangibles like taking your team out for lunch. It's important for Filipino employees to let them feel that your company is more than just a place to work. 

The major loophole of focusing on tangible rewards is employees will work hard because of the monetary incentive. The result will be a short-term motivation, and many companies are making this mistake. Don't be one of them. 

Whereas, intangible rewards, on the other hand, tend to have a higher result in the long-term like being more involved and engaged with the company's goals. Employees will work because they believe in your goals or in their managers. 

Aside from team lunch, here are some of the examples of intangible rewards: 

1. Public Acknowledgement  

2. Encouraging Purse Ideas  

3.  Personal Growth Opportunities  

4. Work-life Balance Programs  

Gatherings Rather Than Ceremonies 

Gatherings are an excellent opportunity to reset from a stressful working environment. Instead of a formal town hall ceremony, it will be ideal for Filipino employees to celebrate through gatherings where they can dress up, chill & dine. It is also a good time to bond and strengthen their relationships with one another. 

Sense of Pride 

You might not know, but most likely, some of your employees are very proud that they are part of your company. They want to brag about how big your company, your product or services, or how great your management team is. However, have you thought what if it's the other way around? 

Companies can also share how proud they are with their employees. You may use your owned media channels like your website, blog or social media pages to highlight some of the big achievements of your team. Can you imagine how happy they are when they see this news on your company website or Facebook page? 

Final Thoughts 

Many resources on the internet provide some of the best practices when it comes to recognition and rewards programs around the globe. But it is always important to fit your recognition & rewards program from other factors like culture. You must keep in mind that culture is considered as a way of living, if you can understand the culture and apply for your HR program, your chance of success will be higher. 

Moreover, remember that aside from tangible rewards like cash or gift certificates, intangible rewards also play an important role.