All-Access Recognition

Sophisticated recognition programs are no longer just for the big boys.

by John Mills

New Web-based programs now make it simple for any organization to offer the best in rewards, regardless of size.

 

Recognizing and rewarding employees is an important way to reduce employee disengagement and turnover. Indeed, employee recognition and reward programs have become an increasingly strategic element for many major corporations.

 

Whether you have 50 employees or 50,000, the rationale behind a meaningful recognition program is clear. Study after study has shown that satisfied employees tend to be more productive and less likely to leave their jobs for other opportunities. Which begs the question, What keeps employees satisfied with their jobs? Equitable wages and a complete benefits package are certainly important factors. But employees also have consistently ranked receiving recognition for their work as one of the top reasons for staying in their present job.

 

From a company perspective, establishing a good recognition program can go a long way to improving employee morale and performance, which most often leads to improved productivity and improved profits.

 

Small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large organizations alike understand that establishing and maintaining a good recognition and reward strategy takes a lot of planning and implementation. The proper infrastructure to support ongoing recognition programs can be complex and expensive.

 

But while most large organizations have already established formal recognition programs, SMEs have tended to shy away from the practice. It is simply too costly in terms of infrastructure and manpower to set up and maintain a program with a dedicated staff. Moreover, SMEs simply arent large enough to be cost-effectively served by the leading outsourced recognition providers. With the introduction of Web-based solutions, everything has changed.

 

The latest trend in the recognition industry is the move towards easy-to-use, self-managed Web-based recognition and reward programs that are enabling large and small organizations alike to optimize their recognition investment simply by connecting their existing infrastructure (such as employee databases) to an online recognition solution provider. By outsourcing to an online recognition solution provider, it is now surprisingly inexpensive to develop and run a highly effective recognition and reward strategy. Thanks to the advances in Web programming and technology, its also conceivable for an SME to have their recognition program, including a customized Web page, up and running within an hour.

 

When a state-of-the-art Web interface enables you to develop a customized recognition program and Web page (complete with your corporate branding) within a matter of minutes, it is easy to see how online solutions are taking all the grunt work out of the process while providing a host of other benefits.

 

A clear benefit of the outsourced recognition solution is that one individual within an organization, rather than a dedicated team, can administer the process. But the benefits dont stop there. An integrated Web-based solution can be linked to existing employee data in your organizations database, or in the databases of your payroll provider. By linking the employees hiring date to the recognition program, organizations can ensure that employees are automatically acknowledged for their service. And if your organization also allows managers to reward deserving employees for achievements on a regular basis, a points-based system can be established that will allow employees to accumulate points to purchase the gift items they really want, rather than something their managers have chosen for them.

 

Another key benefit of an outsourced solution is access to a much wider range of employee rewards. Items ranging from e-cards to golf clubs can be grouped into categories, which enables an organization to control material expenditures while still providing managers and employees latitude in selecting an appropriate reward. And since an external provider runs the program, you avoid the hassle of maintaining an inventory of reward items. Often, items can be shipped within hours of placing the order, making the ordering process painless for both the employee and the administrator.

 

With any outsourced project, the litmus test in measuring success is how much value it brings to the organization. Outsourced recognition clearly delivers value in terms of maximizing a recognition strategy at minimum cost. In the end, however, the greatest benefit to your organization will be a happy, productive, and loyal workforce that is willing to go the extra mile to support your business.  

Posted January 10, 2005 in Engaged Workforce

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