How to reward brave hearts

Financial rewards are an easy way out, but what more can be offered to brave heart employees such as Indian Railways pointsman Mayur Shelke

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Indian Railways pointsman Mayur Shelke needs no introduction, today. The video of the brave heart, risking his own life to save the life of a child against a moving express train is all over.

Post that incident, Shelke was honoured for his brave deed, and his employer Indian Railways rewarded him with 50,000 rupees in cash.

That’s the usual practice. Whenever an employee goes beyond the call of duty, he/she is gratified with a financial reward. In fact, it’s the easiest and simplest way to show appreciation without putting too much thought.

“These people bring to the table many lessons, and represent what or who leaders should actually be. Given a choice, I would readily welcome him to join Indigo, irrespective of how his interview goes. These are the right ways to show gratitude to such brave hearts”

Raj Raghavan, senior VP & head – HR, IndiGo

It’s time to ponder. Is that the right way to felicitate and reward brave acts.

Raj Raghavan, senior VP & head – HR, IndiGo, says, “These people bring to the table many lessons, and represent what or who leaders should actually be. Just a cash reward is nothing but an acknowledgement. Though it is important to acknowledge, some other acts of professional or social aid are appreciable. Given a choice, I would readily welcome him to join Indigo, irrespective of how his interview goes. These are the right ways to show gratitude to such brave hearts”

Raghavan mentions, how people unafraid of risks can make it to the leadership level some day. The competency and sense of judgment of a person is reflected in such acts, which cannot be evaluated with money. These are situations where the individual has to choose between ignoring something or acting on it. The one who opts to face the situation exhibits leadership qualities.

“A promotion or a better social contract containing some extra social aid, such as sponsorship of children’s education would be ideal. If the individual is about to retire, then a job offer to his children would be a great way to express gratitude.”

P Dwarakanath, senior HR leader & non-executive chairman, GSK

Another senior HR leader, P Dwarakanath, non-executive chairman, GSK, is also of the opinion that such acts by employees, that involve them not just going out of the way but also beyond any explanation, deserve much more than just a monetary incentive.

Depending on the socio-economic background of such employees, the employer may offer certain life-altering rewards.

Highlighting such examples, Dwarakanath, “People going beyond the call of duty deserve to be rewarded in terms of engagement, which may be helpful for them in the long run. A promotion or a better social contract containing some extra social aid, such as sponsorship of children’s education would be ideal. If the individual is about to retire, then a job offer to his children would be a great way to express gratitude.”

When employees go out of the way in performing their duties/service, irrespective of the sector, the employers are also expected to go out of the way in rewarding them for their act. People would want to remember such acts, and therefore, recognition is a must too.

“Financial aid is definitely a great way to support and keep such people motivated, but public recognition is a must. Such acts deserve respect more than monetary aid. His life is, after all, not a scripted action film. The action he took was for real.”

Avadhesh Dixit, CHRO, Acuity Knowledge Partners

Proper recognition doesn’t only uplift the spirit of the person being recognised, but also motivates others to follow a similar path of selflessness. At a time when we are surrounded by negativity, such stories keep hope alive, and prove that humanity still exists.

Commenting on the need for recognition, Avadhesh Dixit, CHRO, Acuity Knowledge Partners, says, “Financial aid is definitely a great way to support and keep such people motivated, but public recognition is a must. These people should be brought into the limelight and their stories should be told and shared widely. Such acts deserve respect more than monetary aid. His life is, after all, not a scripted action film. The action he took was for real.”

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