Book review: HR Fundamentals: Reward Management, by Michael Rose

Reward in the workplace
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Title: HR Fundamentals: Reward Management
Author: Michael Rose
ISBN: 978-0749469801
Reviewer: Nikki McGoohan, HR Manager

Reward Management by Michael Rose provides the reader with a step-by-step guide to understanding the different aspects of Reward Management and how it can be applied in their organisation. 

It emphasises the importance of being clear on what the organisation is trying to achieve, ensuring that any approach is integrated with your HR strategy and aligned with your business strategy. These steps will assist an oganisation to maximise the value of reward programmes.

Having a clear vision of what the successful changes in reward would look like will enable the organisation to ensure that these changes add value to the business rather than trying to make changes where the objective is that they are measurable. 

The author also looks at the practical side of implementing reward programmes through discussing the importance of communicating any strategies and fully understanding the people in your organisation, not taking a “a one size fits all” approach.  The book provides insights into the intrinsic and extrinsic motivators and the relationship between motivation and reward.

The book also takes the reader through the topic of pay grades, how to implement pay structures and also managing your pay data and performance reviews. It looks at not just the short-term view but also the long-term view to ensure that the organisation can continue this journey. 

The author provides an objective view of all aspects of the book, giving suitable pros and cons of every topic and also in-depth case studies to demonstrate how reward programmes work in a variety of organisations.

It is obvious that Michael Rose has a wealth of knowledge in this area given the detail he provides, backing up every section with references.  For a reader who likes to carry out further research, these references are of great benefit. I was also impressed by his use of language such as “I would suggest” and “I believe” rather than pontificating what readers should do.

In my opinion it is very relevant to companies at the beginning of their journey and also for seasoned practitioners to ensure they are following best practice.

I am an avid reader of business books and like all books after the first few pages your interest can fade very quickly but in my opinion Michael Rose has been successful in keeping the readers interest in his clear, concise, step-by-step approach to this topic.  I have found it very difficult to find something negative to write about this book and the only thing I can say is that there is a chapter dedicated to the UK Tax and National Insurance and I live in Ireland.

Even that can have a positive spin on it as it highlights the importance of understanding the implications of taxes on rewards and reward strategy.

I believe that this book is a must read for all aspects of HR Management as the different areas such as motivation, pay reviews, aligning strategy, organisational values are relevant even if you are not implementing a reward management programme.  To borrow a phrase from the author “I would suggest” that this book is definitely one that can be used as a reference guide that you can “dip in and out of” as your organisation looks at implementing or reviewing a reward programme.

I would recommend this book not just for HR practitioners but also for all senior and line managers.

On a personal level I feel that I have read this book at a very pivotal time in our company’s journey; we have grown quite quickly over the last few years and historically salaries would have been reviewed on an individual basis, I would have been of the mindset of having a more structured approach, researching the market place, what the norms are for a particular position etc.

After reading the book I now feel that we can have a mix of the two, once we have a proper structure in place, are clear on what we are trying to achieve and this is communicated to all employees.  I will be attending our next management meeting with a fresh approach to this topic and some new ideas to research.

About Nikki McGoohan

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