How to use reward and recognition to engage employees with the organisation
Organisations are continually trying to find new ways to engage their employees. Whether they’re looking to lower absenteeism, increase benefit take-up or improve productivity – every employer has specific goals when it comes to engagement. Reward and recognition programmes can give you a multi-faceted approach that promotes collaboration, cultivates brand advocacy and encourages wider organisational loyalty.
So, how can employers utilise the power of a sleek reward and recognition scheme to engage their people?
1) Engage internationally
While an international workforce does come with a unique set of challenges, many of these can be alleviated through a well-rounded, streamlined reward and recognition programme.
Instilling a consistent culture that employees will really engage with across multiple regions and countries can be difficult. You want to avoid pushing one region’s cultural norms onto another’s, but you also need a company-wide culture which defies borders. So, how do you do this?
Well, one thing that makes an appearance pretty much everywhere is social media. Chances are, most employees – wherever they are in the world – will be familiar with at least one social media platform. You can harness the power of this widespread influence by channelling your reward strategy through a familiar social media-based platform. In being unified by a single social recognition or reward platform, both remote and international workers – who could otherwise feel isolated – have a continual touchpoint with your organisation and with their peers.
2) Engage across teams
Bringing together a disparate and disconnected workforce is a tough (but not impossible! task. Internet access and mobile technology has been a democratising phenomenon, providing people with new avenues to meet and talk. Whether your employees are in the same room, another office, working from home, offsite or even in a different country – you can use social media-inspired reward and recognition technology to help employees feel more connected to their colleagues and employer.
When employees use a social mobile platform to connect with each other, it really doesn’t matter where in the world they are; the instantaneous nature of the technology enables immediate engagement with each other.
With reward and recognition schemes in place, you’ll see inter-departmental collaboration increase, as well as manager-to-employee relationships. Through social reward platforms, employees are able to see the connections between individuals, wider teams and even the business as a whole – encouraging them to see themselves as part of the wider machine, and engage with their place in the big picture.
3) Engage with the brand
Workplace technology is unique in its ability to enable employers to control internal branding. By integrating branding within the tech your people use every day, messaging and brand awareness can then filter through employees to external messaging. What’s more, reward and recognition delivered through technology allows more options for easy branding – just look at the amount of personalisation social media offers. Within reward initiatives, this can be personalised to represent your business in every aspect of the user experience, and thus wider business interactions.
Through harnessing control of internal branding and messaging, employers can align their brand with the positive effects of recognition. Employees will come to naturally associate recognition with your brand, simply from using the tools alongside your branding each day. This in turn will make your brand synonymous with the characteristics of ease, praise and gratitude that recognition represents; whether it’s when employees talk to each other, customers, friends or potential new hires and clients!
4) Engage culturally
It’s no secret that saying ‘thank you’ makes people feel good. But by introducing new reward and recognition technology, you begin to embed the power of ‘thank you’ into your culture. Whether it’s a quick ‘thanks’ after someone makes you a coffee, a milestone recognition or major reward for work on a tricky project – recognition provides an instant connection between employees, colleagues and the wider organisation. Not to mention, a long-lasting, mood and motivation boost!
Values are also an inherently powerful part of your employer brand and workplace culture, but it’s easy for them to get lost when employees aren’t interacting with them regularly. By including your own company values (including their image and description) within a reward strategy, you enable your people to organically engage with the values through recognising their colleagues against these. This daily presence and interaction with the values remind employees of their importance, and as a result, your people will start to truly live and breathe the company values.
Employee engagement comes in many different forms, so building engagement with your organisation must be multi-dimensional. Reward and recognition is modern, mobile, global, and uses all the psychology of social media to engage your people – with all the benefits of workplace tech!
When your employees have access to this kind of social recognition initiative, the engagement doesn’t end at the office door – it shines through all elements of the business. Your people become brand ambassadors across social media, they advertise your products to friends and family, they sell your organisation’s values along with their services when talking to customers.
So, next time you’re looking to boost take-up, interaction or motivation, look no further than the impact of a tech-powered ‘thank you’.
The author is Michael Tigwell, chief customer officer at Benefex.
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