How to link employee recognition to broader motivation goals in the business

You don’t need a psychology degree to understand what motivates employees. Well-planned, well-designed and well-executed recognition programmes provide opportunities for positive feedback and increase motivation to perform well at work.

The key to an effective and successful programme that produces tangible results, however, is to understand the unique challenges of your business and your workforce, and to ensure it is both consistent and meaningful.

Importantly, as demonstrated by recent research published in the Financial Times, there is no “right answer” for recognition and reward. The type of recognition, the type of work, the type of teams and the type of individuals within them all have a role to play.

So how can you ensure that your recognition scheme has the desired impact on employee motivation?

Recognition and motivation

Making your employees feel appreciated increases employee engagement, which is a high priority for many HR directors. Motivated employees are productive employees, and productive employees generally mean reduced absenteeism and a healthier bottom line for the business.

Countless studies continue to support the theory that workers who are satisfied with their benefits and rewards are also satisfied with their jobs. So having a recognition strategy that is linked or aligned to an employee engagement strategy is a no-brainer for employers.

But these days workforces don’t want to have to wait for recognition that may only be offered at an annual all-staff meeting or through an ‘employee of the month’ scheme.

Not only are these practices outdated, but limiting staff appreciation to once, or even 12 times, a year doesn’t allow for immediate displays of gratitude. In fact, they can have a negative impact on staff morale and performance if employees believe their efforts go unnoticed for weeks or months on end.

If this happens, the individual in question may even decide to leave before an achievement is recognised or celebrated, resulting in a loss of talent and a retention problem for the business.

The most successful recognition strategies are ‘evergreen’ year-round schemes. For example, schemes which enable employees to both give recognition and receive recognition as and when it happens to grab the moment of optimum motivation. This could then be supported by monthly, quarterly, or annual ‘best of the best’ type awards.

The age of technology

Technology has to be at the centre of any employee recognition activity. It’s 2018 and everyone is plugged in and switched on 24-7, relying on their devices for all their wants and needs. An increasing number of people now expect workplace initiatives to be communicated and delivered digitally, too.

From an employer’s perspective, online solutions are a win-win because of their potential to save time, reduce administration and drive down costs.

As workplace culture changes to reflect a demand for more flexible and remote working, online reward schemes can change with it in a way that traditional schemes never could, being, as they are, complex, admin-heavy and often a drain on internal resources.

Making recognition social

Giving employees the opportunity to recognise and share in the achievements of their peers by making them online, social and interactive is becoming increasingly important to employees.

The latest recognition technology enables any employee, team leader or manager to log in, write a credit and give recognition to another employee that can be viewed by the wider workforce on a ‘recognition wall’.

This type of technology can easily be configured so that recognition can be from manager down, peer-to-peer or between team members and success can be shared and celebrated in an inclusive, empowering and motivating way.

Advances in admin interfaces means that set up and on-going management of these types of schemes faster, easier and more streamlined. Branding and customisation can be managed on the fly and the reporting dashboards provide intelligent insight into KPIs and engagement scores, ensuring the recognition activity is fully measurable.

As such, an efficiently operated social recognition platform enables businesses of any size to meet a number of strategic objectives; whether reinforcing a culture change programme, encouraging behaviours aligned to company values, bringing disparate recognition schemes together into one integrated approach or increasing the visibility and control of spend.

Most importantly, it can ensure recognition becomes a central strategic tool that HR departments can rely on to implement change and enhance employee motivation and performance.


Andy Philpott is Marketing and Sales Director for Edenred UK

Follow @andy_philpott

Author: Andy Philpott | Category: Blog | 11/06/2018 | 0

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