Digital employee recognition is on every HR professional’s mind these days, and with good reason - employee recognition is a critical driver for employee engagement.In fact, trends reports have cited it as one of the top three opportunities for employee engagement.
Authentic, ongoing employee recognition and rewards are also a critical tool in the talent management game and a precursor for the creation of an empathetic, inclusive and purpose-driven company where employee turnover and absenteeism is placed on the back burner in favour of all-singing, all-dancing productivity.
See, recognition satisfies our innate desire to feel valued and motivates us to repeat a behaviour where acceptance is high. In the workplace, recognition provides employees with the dots to connect their contribution with the company’s vision - the bigger picture.
However, for recognition to work the way we want it to, it has to tick a few vital boxes. It has to be specific, frequent, timely and visible.
This is where the magic of a digital employee recognition platform like bountiXP comes in. Let’s break it down at the hand of a few examples, shall we?
Gift, works as a call centre operator. He is very good at his job and because of his attention to detail he notices that a client is being billed for a service that has not been delivered. He reverses the charges and the client is over the moon, leaving a glowing online review.
Gift's manager uses their digital recognition platform to send him a message saying 'Thank you for picking up on the payment discrepancy and dealing with it so efficiently. Our call centre team is stronger with you as a part of it!'
This is a good example of specific recognition.
It tells Gift exactly what matters to his manager and why this kind of performance is valued. Now that he knows, he is likely to seek opportunities to repeat this type of behaviour in future.
A digital employee recognition platform like bountiXP makes it simple to send this type of message on the fly, and to boost the effect thereof with a recommendation of a reward of the recipient’s choosing.
Arya is a very conscientious accountant who takes pride in meeting deadlines and delivering exceptional work whenever she is assigned a task. As such, she normally scoops up the 'best time-keeping' award at her company's quarterly awards ceremony. Although she appreciates the gesture, it does little to keep her motivated to keep up her winning streak every day.
Why so? Well, she only gets recognised once every now and again, and quite a while after the fact. If Arya's employer had the means to recognise her frequently with spot rewards and real-time recognition for every deadline she met, she would feel far more valued and would be much more likely to keep up the good work.
To help with frequent recognition, many companies today are implementing employee recognition technology, like bountiXP, to make it easier for employees and managers to recognise other employees’ contributions as it happens.
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Liezel works as an administrator for the local government. A large part of her job is orchestrating the process of bringing government to the people, which requires a combination of event planning, transport logistics, and procedural management to ensure that their quarterly forays into rural environments to discuss issues with local inhabitants, who are far removed from urban centres, run smoothly. She often spends weekends at the office and long hours on the phone to keep all the details in check.
Everything goes smoothly at the first quarter's weekend-long event and Liezel is thrilled that her meticulous planning paid off. However, when she arrives back at the office after her time on the road, her harried manager doesn't take the time to thank her properly, instead launching directly into the planning phase of the next road show.
Three months later, at local government's bi-annual award ceremony, Liezel is presented with the 'Best Event' award and although she is very happy to be on the receiving end of the accompanying performance bonus, she wishes her manager would have spared her the months of anguish over not being recognised and the many hours on job portals searching for positions where she would feel more valued for her contribution. Her imminent disengagement has been stopped in its tracks for the time being, but it was a close call!
In this case, the key takeout is that recognition has to be timely to be effective.
Recognition has the most impact by far when it's given in a timeous manner. With each day that passes, employees forget the exact context of the praise, which makes it less meaningful. Delayed recognition also dilutes the understanding of how consequential their actions were, and can lead to full-on disengagement and expensive employee turnover if left too late.
William is a UX designer at an up-and-coming digital agency that values innovation. He comes up with an idea that helps them to cut down on the loading time of e-commerce sites and it is implemented by his boss to great effect. On the day of the roll-out of the new tech, his boss calls an informal, company-wide meeting and publicly thanks William for his contribution to their product offering. The visible recognition places a high premium on William’s idea and inspires him to think even more creatively in future.
This type of visible recognition amplifies the effectiveness thereof and also gives other employees the opportunity to understand what behaviours their employers value, allowing them to engage in the recognition conversation and motivating them to act or behave in the same way in order to receive this recognition for themselves. In big companies, an impromptu meeting of this nature can be difficult to orchestrate, which is why a digital employee recognition platform like bountiXP makes all the difference.
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