Companies have long been prioritizing and investing in future-proofing operations, from digitizing the hiring and recruiting process (72% of 2019 HR tech investments went to talent seeking tools in 2019), to buying into sleek chat apps used to accelerate and streamline internal communication. The future is digital and now with months of remote work behind the global workforce, assimilating is more important than ever. And digitizing employee recognition is no different.
Employees work smarter, harder, and with more enthusiasm when they are frequently recognized for their contributions. Simple recognition (think: saying thank you more often) is a quick way to establish an improved workplace culture if done consistently and with authenticity. And digital rewards–outside of extra paid time off or even a cash bonus–when tied to organizational values, made public, and baked into company culture are more aligned with things employees seek for themselves. Employees are more likely to attach intrinsic value to items that cater to their interests outside of the workplace. Successful rewards programs blend values, familiar technology, and a variety of merchandise geared toward employee interests to achieve maximum impact.
Recognition and rewards programs are, like most digitized workplace tools, most effective when presented in a format that’s familiar to a majority of employees, easy to use, and consistently represented in day to day operations.
- Familiar to most
The best recognition programs are digital. They are designed to closely align with the tech and apps most employees use in their daily lives during and outside of work. An unexpected message of gratitude received as a notification is less likely to be missed or unread. An employee is more likely to recognize a coworker when they can do it from their mobile device the moment it happens. And a manager is more likely to read, like, and comment on recent recognitions when they are presented in a social feed rather than buried in emails or shuffled in papers.
- Easy to use
While most recognition programs are well intended, many are not backed by technology that is simple to use. Complicated logins, forgotten passwords, and limited platform-wide communication all create a recipe for gathering dust. A program that is as intuitive to employees as placing an order on Amazon prime is sure to get plenty of use.
- Consistently represented in culture
An employee recognition program is only as good as its promotion. When values are reinforced through daily tasks, and bookended by thanks and praise initiated by managers, daily tasks become not only just a little less repetitive for employees, but they are perceived as goal posts and opportunities to earn and achieve. They become more intrinsic to individuals, who are then more likely to find motivation in their work.
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