If you’re in the process of choosing an employee recognition solution provider, you may feel a little bit like a 90s kid in Sweets from Heaven at the moment.
There is a lot of awesome HR tech being rolled out these days, which is fantastic, but that also means that things can get muddled if you don’t know how to separate the proverbial gumballs from the M&Ms (you can decide for yourself which is the good one in this instance ;).
Fortunately, we know how you can winnow down your options. As with all good things in our field, it’s based on data. If you are going to compare candied apples with candied apples, you have to ask the same questions of each of the employee recognition solution providers you are considering. This way, you can measure their responses and base your decision on a clear-cut comparison.
Check out our YouTube channel for awesome videos on everything from the science of employee recognition to creating an internal communications strategy for enhanced engagement.
Here are 12 questions we believe you should be asking before you take the plunge and sign on the dotted line:
1. Are the results of the program visible?
When you invest in an employee recognition platform, you want results that you can see - improved engagement, productivity, sales, loyalty, innovation and customer satisfaction. Your provider should be confident that they can deliver this kind of business results by focusing your employees' productivity on organisational goals and values.
2. Has the platform been designed with UX in mind?
The true cost of running programs on outdated legacy systems that aren't designed with UX in mind is that user adoption and overall usage rates drop, along with employee motivation and engagement. Employees expect workplace tech to be on par with consumer tech. Ignoring this reality puts your organisation at risk of disengaging employees instead of the other way around.
3. How does it drive behavioural change?
Most companies capture only a fraction of the potential value from their people data and analytics. Choose a program of which the design is driven by a powerful blend of data, behavioural science and technology to effect large-scale behavioural change.
4. How long will it take for my employees to understand and use the system?
What you're looking for is fast, friction-free onboarding. Your goal should be to provide your team with a high-impact digital experience. First-time users should be steered through the features and functions quickly, and allowed to set up their profiles in minutes so they are ready to engage, recognise and reward their colleagues without missing a beat.
5. Is the program self-managing and self-sustaining?
Choose a solution that offers in-platform training so different user groups can gain the skills they need to use the platform to maximum effect. With the ability to self-manage, you'll need less reliance on the platform's client service team, which means you'll achieve results – and cost efficiencies – faster.
6. Does it include a communication stack?
Connecting your people to your company’s purpose, mission and values requires communication that reaches the right people at the right time with the right message. As such, it's a great bonus if your employee recognition platform includes communication tools like a company newsfeed, direct chat, interactive profiles and personal dashboards.
7. Will we benefit from program updates and innovations?
The best platforms will feature seamless, frequent and automatic updates. If this is not the case, move along.
8. Is the platform fully responsive?
Being fully responsive is a major benefit for administrative users of an employee recognition solution, since it means that they can use the platform’s design console to push tactical campaigns and strategic initiatives. If this is the case, 'sprint’ campaigns can be deployed in minutes, giving organisations a responsive edge in times of crisis, and a competitive edge to achieve short-term business goals and objectives.
9. Does the program provide actionable insights?
Managers and administrators of the platform should be able to analyse, track and report on performance recognition and engagement data, ideally using tools such as interactive dashboard visualisations. Analytics are a source of competitive advantage and can be used to improve people management and performance, so be sure that your platform will provide you with this benefit.
10. Is the program scalable?
Look out for a provider who will put you in a position to scale better, faster and cheaper. You want the freedom to configure the platform around the feature sets that best fit your objectives, by easily adding or subtracting users in response to organisational growth or downsizing.
11. What type of rewards does it host?
Reinforcing the behaviours that drive organisational success requires access to reward experiences that are meaningful, memorable and personal. As such, you should be looking for a platform that hosts a comprehensive selection of employee-centric awards that are enticing and (most importantly!) easy to redeem without bending over backwards.
12. Does it allow me to measure the success of our recognition initiatives?
The ideal platform will combine in-depth program knowledge with a data-driven approach to prove the connection between behaviour and business performance. Choose a platform that draws on a large variety of individual user data points, to generate easy-to-interpret people analytics and talent data, that can be displayed in dashboard visualisations that help to enhance program effectiveness. Bonus points if these value-adding insights are available in real-time, 24/7.
There you have it - 12 questions you should be asking your prospective employee recognition solution provider. Check back soon for more insider insights on streamlining your operations for optimal employee engagement.
In the meantime, hop on over to our YouTube channel. We’ve added a few brand-new videos recently, plus you can rest assured that all of our AV offerings are quick and to the point, because we know you’ve got things to do and places to be, yo!