Creating a reward offer that is sustainable

NHS organisations need to ensure that their overall reward package is fit for purpose and is sustainable for both the organisation and its employees.

5 April 2023

The NHS reward and benefits package is fundamental to overcoming workforce challenges and increasing organisational performance. Adopting a strategic view to reward can enable employers to offer support to staff in the long term.

With continued pay restraints, and the cost of living rising, it's more important than ever for NHS organisations to ensure that their overall reward package is fit for purpose and is sustainable for both the organisation and its employees.

Targeted interventions such as hardship loans, subsidised meals and free parking are excellent ways to support staff experiencing financial distress as a short-term measure however there are ways in which employers can offer continual reward and recognition initiatives that are financially durable, educational and supportive over a long-term period.

Advice for employers

Use our resources to support you adopt a more strategic and sustainable approach to reward in your organisation.

Reward strategy toolkit

Employers can use the reward strategy toolkit to design and implement a holistic package of reward, recognition, and benefits. Implementing interventions into your long-term strategy ensures they are sustainable and financially achievable.  The toolkit is broken down into three phases:

  • Preparation and planning.
  • Development and design.
  • Implementation and communication.

Each step can be used in sequence or in isolation depending on your current situation.

We have developed a quick guide to lead you through the three phases of the reward strategy toolkit.


The success of your reward strategy relies upon effective communication to ensure staff are fully aware of the support available to them.

You can find out how to communicate with staff in a range of ways by visiting our communicating reward to staff and new employees web section.

Emerging practice and case studies

  • Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust ensures all aspects of NHS terms and conditions of service (TCS) are promoted in its benefits package in addition to its local reward initiatives. The NHS (TCS) are often more appealing than other sectors but are often not communicated as part of a trusts total reward package. The trust ensured that the benefits that form part of NHS terms and conditions are reiterated to staff, these include:

    • annual leave
    • pay enhancements
    • incremental pay progression
    • sick leave
    • maternity leave
    • paternity leave
    • parental leave
    • NHS Pension Scheme.

    The trust also encourages the use of Total Reward Statements (TRS) as a great resource for staff to view their benefits.

  • Support staff to improve their financial wellbeing by including benefits in your reward package to help staff manage their finances.