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Reward Management Methods Report (Assessment)

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Updated: May 3rd, 2022


Reward management is one of the most important practices employed in modern organizations to achieve employee commitment and improvement of the overall performance (Armstrong & Cummins, 2011). In the UK, several regional and multinational institutions are actively involving different techniques and approaches to reward their human resources and achieve improved performance. Although these methods are different, it is worth noting that they demonstrate evidence of the principles of rewarding system, presence of equal pay policy as well as fairness and equity in rewarding decisions (Gross & Friedman, 2004). This paper provides an analysis of two case studies in the UK involving two organizations that have applied different but effective reward management methods.

Standard & Poor McGraw Hill

Standard and Poor (S&P) is a division of The McGraw Hill Companies based in the US. The group is the world’s first provider of independent cash ratings, investment research, data, valuations, ratings and risk evaluation among other services. It is an example of organizations in the UK with effective reward systems within their HR management.

Two years ago, the mother company adopted a ‘people strategy’ aimed at enhancing responsibility among its line managers under what is known as “accountability and ownership”. The strategy emphasizes on a system for enforcing practices that to deliver the desired workforce and effective outcomes. Within the strategy, three strands were developed- talent acquisition and development, performance management and rewards.

At S&P, the system was introduced to enhance performance. As indicated above, the three strands are under the HR management system, which is highly enhanced with IT. The rewarding system at the company means more than just providing cash to the employees. In fact, the company has adopted four major classes of behaviors to enhance performance through reward management systems.

Behavior 1: Talent Building and development

The company has employed a method of targeting talented individuals and recruiting them in its workforce. Specifically, it targets talented and knowledgeable young but inexperienced individuals. To employ reward, line managers must be actively involved in managing employees through job placement, rotation as well as design of members within their work teams. Teams and their members are assigned different tasks, which include placing in other European nations apart from the UK. A wide range of training facilities has been developed to build talent in the inexperienced young people. They obtain an opportunity to learn and build their career once recruited. In addition, they increase personal worthiness in the competitive European job market.

Strong alignment between employee interests and corporate strategy (work-life balance)

The company is ensuring that employees are able to achieve a balance between their tasks at the workplace and personal/family roles. For instance, line managers are required to allow their team members a report time off for medical or family purposes. In addition, female employees are given extra time to cater for personal and family affairs.

Decision making teams

The company has developed a practice of allowing team managers/leaders hold annual discussions with their managers. The main issues in these discussions include team members and their roles, behaviors, problems and other issues affecting them. The outcomes of the discussions are used in decision making, which are based mainly on overall performance ratings of the individual team members.

Promotion merit

The company has established a method of promotion employees who show outstanding performance within a given period, usually once in every 18 months. Rather than basing their promotions on availability of vacancies, the company uses merit in performance to promote its employees.

Recognition of exceptional performance and conduct

The company has been awarding employees with £500 to £5,000 as appreciation for their performance or praiseworthy conduct over a period of 18 months. It is the responsibility of line managers to oversee this process. High rewards are given to employees who are rated ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’ and ‘Bronze’.

The system has produced excellent employee performance, which has shown evidence of improved organizational performance at the company. It has also helped in alleviating pressure on salaries and wages that were common prior to the introduction of the method (Manas & Graham, 2002). In addition, talent management has made the company achieve expertise and employee dedication.

John Lewis Partnership

This is one of the best examples of companies with workers’ ownership in the UK, where employees work as “if they own the corporation”. With about 64,000 employees, the company allows its staff to work as partners by sharing their responsibilities in organizational ownership.

Recently, the company has adopted a practice for employee management, which includes reward management to enhance performance, which is known as pay branding.

The pay branding system seeks to replace the older practice, which had a laborious link between pay and performance at the workplace. For instance, it involved surveys that partners were supposed to fill and provide feedback, which were then used to grade employees and reward them accordingly.

The new system links desired behaviors and performance measures with pay through a direct method. It has achieved fairness, clarity, consistency as well as openness in rewarding employees.

A toolkit has been developed to provide new job descriptions and appraisal for competencies and desired behaviors. It includes a folder in which job descriptions, measures for performance and behaviors are integrated. Section and departmental managers are supposed to use these folders to conduct job appraisals, which include annual pay increase and progression. Managers are also highly trained to enhance their ability to carry out fair and consistent job appraisals and pay increment based on these appraisals. In addition, IT-enhanced system has been established to promote fairness, openness and efficiency in payment systems, including rewards and increment. For instance, IT-enhanced system known as ‘PartnerLink’ is used to alert line managers on what they need to do to conduct the appraisal reviews.


Armstrong, M., & Cummins, A. (2011). The reward management toolkit: A step-by-step guide to designing and delivering pay and benefits. London: Kogan Page. Web.

Gross, S. E., & Friedman, H. M. (2004). Creating an Effective Total Reward Strategy: Holistic Approach Better Supports Business Success. Benefits Quarterly, 20(3), 42-46. Web.

Manas, T. M., & Graham, M. D. (2002). Creating a total rewards strategy: A toolkit for designing business-based plans. New York: American Management Association. Web.

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