Employees today demand an equitable workplace with a host of benefits apart from competitive salary and work-life balance they demand frequent and regular feedback about their work and expect the same to be duly recognized. As the war for talent continues to heat up companies across various industries are looking at ways to continue to attract and retain right talent. One of the area that companies often focus in this journey is creating a comprehensive philosophy and strategy for employee recognition. In this article we focus on some of the key components or best practices that companies world over are adopting in their reward and recognition programs.
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As per Deloitte research conducted in 2012, one of the key components of a successful recognition program is peer to peer recognition. In this research Deloitte found out that while HR believed recognition from leaders mattered employees rated recognition from their peers higher. Peer recognition helps break down the age old notion of top-down recognition only and fosters a spirit of camaraderie and helps build stronger networks across the organizational boundaries and silos. In today’s world where a large part of the organization is comprised of Generation X and Millennial’s keeping recognition current, social and democratic is extremely important for most organizations.
Social, Social and Social
Enough has been said about importance of social media and how people routinely share their success on professional and personal social media platforms. This behaviour has already come inside the organizations and people expect recognition is a social activity done in real time. However this is different than the old practices where once in a month or a quarter all employees gathered together to clap for peers being recognized by leaders, it is more about being able to recognize someone via an internal social network right in the moment; complete with a selfie with the person. This immediacy of recognition helps reinforce the connection between praise and positive behaviours the organization expects to see institutionalized.
Culture is the secret sauce
By simply copying best practices about recognition your organization is not likely to get the benefits from the same; in order to truly impact the business and make a positive difference; your recognition program must be deeply rooted in your organizational culture. A well designed recognition program not only revolves around the culture but also helps make the culture come alive and allows leaders to measure the same via behaviours displayed at the workplace. The recognition program would thus be able to identify critical behaviours experienced and recognized by all employees rather than just a handful of people defining what the culture should be.
If you can measure it, you can improve it
By keeping your recognition program social and peer based, you are able to capture a variety of data about behaviours being recognized across functions and locations in your teams. This data when analysed allows you to look at what is being recognized for different individual, department and location. Comparing this with your espoused behaviours aligned to your culture gives you a very clear picture of where things are falling in place and where they are falling apart. Such data can thus enable leaders to design specific interventions which are aimed at aligning the entire organization to its espoused cultural aspects. A well designed recognition program considers this aspect and ensures that necessary and sufficient data is being collected and analysed periodically to determine specific action/s.
Keeping it alive
A well designed program can still fail to retain its momentum if not nourished continuously; hence you need to continue to make efforts to sustain the momentum. By choosing to brand your program and giving it a personality you can ensure that the program builds aspirational value and is easily recalled and recognized. Building a rhythm around communicating key aspects of the program including top recognized employees and people who are recognizing others will help in these efforts. If you involve employees in your culture building interventions driven based on insights from the program it would build a great level of stickiness with the recognition program and organization.
Reward and recognition sounds like a simple idea; engaged employees perform better and produce greater results. But being able to design and implement an effective and impactful recognition program is a journey. In order to continue to succeed you need to continue to review and adjust aspects of the program while ensuring that you adopt the program framework to changing needs and perceptions of your employees. Today’s fast evolving technology landscape allows companies to quickly and easily design a new approach and implement the same at scale. Use of right technology is fast becoming a fundamental aspect of the design consideration of a successful recognition program in any organization.