When you ask people to participate in or influence your work, you should acknowledge their value, and it's good practice to offer payment where possible. If your organisation has a payment policy, remember to read it so you know what you can offer. If it doesn't have a policy, talk to managers or senior staff about developing one. It's important to have a consistent, organisation-wide approach to remuneration and payment.
Payment is not the only way to demonstrate to people how valuable their input and commitment are. If there's no budget to pay people you could offer other incentives or rewards, such as a reference, training, or further opportunities to work with you or your organisation. It's easy to assume that people will only want to participate if you can recompense them financially. However, some people prefer not to be paid, choose for payment to go directly to someone or somewhere else, or are happy to be involved simply to share their knowledge and experience.
If you are offering payment, check how much is available in your budget, when payment will be made and the processes in place to enable it to happen. For example, will people need to complete an expenses form or submit an invoice, and if so, does your team have templates to help people to do this?
Remember, when payment is made people's benefits or income tax payments may be affected. Remind them to contact the DWP or Citizens Advice to ask for specific and personal information about accepting payment, this is different for everyone so it's very important for them to ask!
You can show how much you appreciate people and value their input in others ways. Think about what would make you feel valued. When holding meetings in person we would suggest providing refreshments for everyone including hot and cold drinks, biscuits and a reasonable lunch if they are staying all day, using an accessible comfortable venue, pre-booking travel and accommodation where possible.
You may also want to think about what else you could do to help people feel valued and appreciated, suggestions from national Mind staff include:
Will has taken part in a variety of Mind's influencing activities, in this film he talks about the benefits he experienced including how taking part helped his self-confidence.
"The whole feeling of feeling valued, feeling like I was worth something and it made me confident to apply for jobs to apply for work to start doing similar projects with other organisations."
"Trainers are offered a fee. If trainers are in receipt of benefits, we maximise the payment they can receive in accordance with any restrictions. In some cases, trainers set up individual 'learning accounts', which enable them to attend training courses offered by other organisations. Some trainers elect to have their fee paid to other organisations they are involved with."