The future of reward and recognition

Savvy employers focus on multilayer and frequency in acknowledging employee achievements – big and small

The future of reward and recognition

This article was produced in partnership with Achievers.

When it comes to recognition, the future mirrors the past in that all employees prefer multilayer recognition of their achievements – from peers to various levels of management says Jeff Cates, CEO of Achievers, a leading employee engagement and solution provider.

“Research from our 2022 Recognition report shows although the number one person to recognise good behaviour is the frontline manager, peer to peer recognition is almost as important when it comes to feeling a sense of belonging within an organisation,” he says.

And whether your workforce is blue or white collar, Cates tells HRD Australia a multi-pronged approach is again best practice, as is ensuring you show your appreciation in the spaces they’ll be heard.

“Think about how they operate, how they engage with management and peers, and then adapt that to your methods of recognising their achievements,” Cates tells  HRD Australia. 

For example, if your employees are using a communication channel like Teams or Slack, inject into that, or find other ways – from posters in the lunchroom or handing something out with a QR code.

It’s the little things

Interestingly, Cates says it’s the things that no one really sees; for example, fielding difficult customer calls, or long hours that employees want to be recognised for but often aren't.

It’s an area often ignored due to cost, Cates saying budget constraints on rewards can become a ‘limiter’ on how often you recognise achievements – those gift cards or company sponsored morning teas can add up if handed out for every little thing. This is where having a system that's recognition rather than reward based becomes critical.

“Using a platform where all staff can see a stream of recognition not only allows staff to feel appreciated and their achievement acknowledged in front of the whole team but allows staff to see what is recognised by the organisation as values alignment or good behaviour. It also becomes a virtuous circle where the more you do that, more leadership engages, the more peers engage, and in turn, their peers engage.”

It also enables recognition in the moment as you don’t have to wait for the next time you see somebody, which Cates says is incredibly powerful and genuine at the same time.

Read more: A review about Achievers --an employee rewards and engagement platform

Alongside recognition for achievements, Cates says their research shows when somebody gets recognition in their first week of joining an organisation, they're more likely to stay within the organisation and feel good about their manager.

“They also have a significantly higher sense of belonging which carries forward in terms of their longevity with the business.” 

Professional Development development 2.0

Organisations who frequently provide digital recognition are now starting to utilise it for other HR functions, including performance management reviews.

“For example, on our platform, an employee could highlight favourite recognitions they received, and push that through to a workday performance management module so that when they’re having that discussion with a manager in a one on one, an employee can highlight the achievements they’re really proud of,” says Cates.  

And while we expect to see more organisations start to scale back on their hiring practices, Cates says there will still be aggressive growth goals or projects that they're trying to achieve, putting even more pressure and stress on the people still in place.

“This is a great opportunity for companies to really think about how they create great relationships, and great manager to employee relationships and the role technology can play.”

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