How can you improve your reward and recognition program?

Employers should be 'continuously measuring and tweaking these programs,' says expert

How can you improve your reward and recognition program?

When it comes to reward and recognition programs, employers should be focusing more on the recognition aspects, says one expert.

“The rewards part has been working pretty well out of it… having a global catalog… As a company, buying stuff and distributing it out to employees,” says Partha Neog, CEO and co-founder of Vantage Circle, in talking with HRD Asia.

But with recognition, “the focus was not there.”

One organisation that’s not afraid to share when it feels a member of its team or part of its business is doing well is PDS Ltd, a global fashion business that includes manufacturing.

Why is recognition of employees important?

And workers demand they be recognized for their work, even for small things, says the Vantage Circle CEO.

“People just don't want to stop at 20 or 30 people [being recognised] in a company of 1000 people. People want more people to be recognized because there are lots of small, small things [that should be appreciated],” says Neog.

“I can't give you an annual award for helping me out on the weekend, but I can at least give you a small appreciation, a small recognition… Recognition is becoming more and more important.”

Employee recognition is also an unlimited resource, he says.

“Rewards are limited by budgets; rewards are limited to certain people. But recognition can be universal in your company — anyone can be recognized.”

Previously, in an interview with HRDTV, executives from Cadillac Fairview discussed how their organisation has transformed recognition into a central pillar of its company culture.

How does technology help reward and recognition?

Now, companies are focusing on recognition “because of the kind of tools which are coming in,” says Neog.

“Technology can play an important part in this whole rewards and recognition [thing] to accentuate the entire impact of the recognition programs, and to measure and tweak the programs accordingly.”

This is specifically important with workers working remotely, and people “looking for instantaneous rewards or recognition,” he says.

Neog also explains that with the right type of technology, employers will surely see employee recognition maximised. However, the technology should be user-friendly and not discourage workers from using it.

“In reward and recognition, if [have a] tool that’s not user-friendly and intuitive for user experience, it’s not good. People are not going to use that thing.”

“You might have the best of programs, you might have the best of tools. But if it doesn't come in [the] normal flow of the work, people forget it.”

In a free whitepaper published by HRD in partnership with Achievers, one organisation used technology to create a real culture of recognition within their organisation.

How do I build a successful employee recognition program?

So how can employers build a successful employee recognition program? First, they must understand that “it’s a journey,” says Neog.

“You are not going to be at the perfect level on day one. You need to say, ‘This is the expectation’ and you should keep your expectations [reasonable] so that, over time, you get to that goal. State where you ideally want to be – it's a journey.”

Employers should also focus more on managing the recognition program, says the Vantage Circle CEO.

“It’s not ‘one shoe fits all’. If you have factory workers, it's a different program compared to if you have desk workers.”

Employers should also focus on “measuring and continuously measuring and tweaking these programs,” he says.

“Earlier, the impact was not measured.”

If companies have a recognition program, employers should answer the following questions, he says: “What is its impact? Does it reduce attrition? Does it increase employee engagement? Does it increase productivity?”

“Now, that measurement is slightly easier [with the available tools]. There's still a long way to go, but at least it is moving in that direction.”

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