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Technology has totally transformed the face of HR over the past few years, to the point where many businesses rely more heavily on HR software than staff. The way that we work has changed too, with tech increasingly taking centre stage, meaning that processes that were previously done manually are going through a digital revolution.
This includes employee reward and recognition – something that is frequently overlooked, but essential for engaging and retaining employees. In our digital age, we have become so used to real-time interactions and instant gratification that we expect the same when it comes to being rewarded in the workplace. Employee of the month schemes and appraisals just aren’t cutting it any more – we want recognition and we want it now.
Implementing reward and recognition systems can increase job satisfaction, reduce absenteeism and increase productivity, so it’s time to drag it in to the 21st century. One way of doing this is through instant peer recognition, which allows employees to thank or compliment their colleagues for a job well done, perhaps through a company intranet system or social tools that allow them to show instant appreciation.
A collaborative tool such as a company blog can be a good way for employees to interact with each other – with many workers feeling disengaged and unappreciated by their management, a simple comment or like by their boss can go a long way.
It’s also worth reviewing your offerings in terms of rewards – although no-one would turn down a cash benefit, it’s less likely to stay in an employee’s mind than an all-expenses paid day out with their family.
A more formal recognition programme could be the way forward for some workplaces, focusing on easy-to-measure metrics, such as reaching internal milestones or KPIs, which can then be monitored by the HR department, with the data being used to learn more about what is working for the business. Additionally, hard statistics can identify departments that are enjoying success, as well as individuals. The major downside to this kind of programme is that, although it recognises employees who are hitting targets, it won’t measure who is going above and beyond their day-to-day tasks.
New technology can give a new perspective on how reward and recognition can be used in a business and be a great opportunity to make your HR offerings more efficient and streamlined, especially if the technology can be integrated into your existing platforms. That said, there’s still no replacement for an old-fashioned, face-to-face ‘thank you’, which can never be replicated through any software – take time to let your employees know that are they valued and your business will reap the benefits.