In today’s day and age with its speedy email exchanges and instant answers, it is more important than ever for employers to be on top of their game when it comes to employee recognition schemes. If you haven’t reviewed the way you show employees appreciation for their efforts in the last few years, here are six reasons to look in more depth at a possible update.
1. It’s Not Built for the Digital Age
For an employee recognition scheme to be successful it must engage everyone in your workforce, from the Admin Assistant to the CEO. However if the platform or process of giving thanks is outdated and stuck in the past, the chances are it will not appeal to the generations that have grown up with digital expectations.
Use the latest technology (platforms, social and communication techniques) to your advantage and this will help you not only communicate the basics of your employee recognition scheme but it allows you to promote it regularly as well. In order to reach all of your employees you will need a multi-pronged communication plan. This could include communication online via personal emails, text, social media and video presentations as well as in person via workshops.
2. Your Employees Have Stopped Talking About It
One of the main reasons employee recognition schemes fail is because they simply don’t engage employees. If employees have stopped talking about giving recognition, this is a crucial sign that it is slowly but surely gathering dust and soon it will be forgotten about altogether.
There are plenty of reasons why this could be the case. Perhaps your employee rewards don’t appeal to the majority of your workforce or maybe the same old presentation format that you repeat each month doesn’t generate the same excitement it once did.
Conduct research to find out what employees want from the rewards on offer, how they prefer to interact and what their preferred methods on communication are, then use this information to create an updated plan.
3. There are Too Many Rules and Barriers to Regular Employee Recognition
A successful centralised scheme should be very specific about how employees can achieve reward and recognition. It should be linked to organisational values and simple to understand.
Often companies place too many barriers in front of giving and receiving recognition. There are too many hoops to jump through in order to be rewarded, with nomination panels adjudicating and deliberating on a monthly or bi-monthly basis. It is important to maintain control over spend, but if your employees have too many rules or hurdles to overcome it will soon become the topic of negative conversations and it certainly won’t encourage participation. If you aren’t receiving a great response, it could be that your employees feel that the effort needed to give praise or to gain a reward isn’t reflected in the prize itself.
4. Recognition is Not Personalised
Studies show that when communication is personal, employees find it more engaging as a whole. If you want to create a culture of appreciation then the actions that led to the recognition should be clearly spelled out to the recipient and their colleagues. It should be relevant to each employee’s individual contributions, rather than just a simple ‘thanks for being great’. Be specific and others will follow by example.
5. It Doesn’t Have the Wow Factor
If you want your employees to sit up and take notice, every aspect of your scheme needs to catch their attention and continue to draw them in even after the buzz of the launch has died down. Your recognition scheme needs to offer ease of use, choice and flexibility of reward options but it also needs to look the part and communicate in a conversational tone in order to break down management-employee barriers.
6. It’s Return is Immeasurable
Recognition typically costs an organisation 1-2% of its payroll budget, so can deliver a highly cost-effective return on investment, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t closely monitor the effectiveness of your investment. Modern systems offer valuable management information that may not be available on older systems. By centralising recognition efforts into a system with intelligence reporting built in organisations can closely monitor uptake by department and take action throughout the year to re-engage if need be.
With more and more brands updating their employee recognition efforts, an appreciative working culture is fast becoming an expectation of new recruits. Competition in the recruitment arena is fierce and there is a great deal of publicity of best company’s reward and benefits practices. So there is no better time to take another look at the way you ask employees to thank one another.
However, you plan to update or relaunch, make sure that each and every employee understands the changes you have made as communication is the key. The worst thing a company can do is introduce an updated means of giving and receiving thanks and then never mention it again.