Engaged WorkforcePerformance Management & Rewards

Getting In Line With Online Recognition

There are operational as well as human dimension benefits to using technology-driven recognition programs.

by Roy Saunderson

If you have successfully tried line dancing, you know the end result is synchronized poetry in motion. When drawing on outsourced providers for online administration and management of recognition programs, you synchronize your operational resources with the ability to consistently recognize your people. The byproduct of using external technology-driven recognition programs from vendors is immense when you add up the real operational costs and functional staff used to administer recognition in-house.

Look at the costs associated with staffing alone. A well-functioning service awards program is going to require a good personnel database. This draws on HR and IT people to develop or procure software to access and notify each employee’s correct years of service associated with full- and part-time hours of employment. Ongoing maintenance and updates along with any technology issues will always be required.

Vendor-driven online recognition programs reduce these costs significantly by providing ready-made technology integrated with your internal HR database with a complete electronic notification system, freeing up your staff.

The creation of a recognition program with awards and gift options for incremental years of service requires a good marketing team and communications staff.

The goal is designing a branded program often with a heritage image associated specifically to your organization’s purpose and culture that is also meaningful to employees. Again, IT is necessary to set up electronic notification to both employees and managers of upcoming anniversaries and allow for timely gift selection and preparation for the presentation of the award.

Most vendors have a full design team with graphics, marketing, and communications people who can assist in creating the right branded image and program name that fits your organization. They save you grief by providing expert advice on what works and why, so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Finally, they can share a wealth of examples from other clients to help you benchmark against similar companies. This is a lifesaver of information that is hard to replicate.

Procurement services always require several staff members to make sure gifts selected by employees are purchased to meet deadlines. In addition, the required formal award or certificate must be ordered and prepared correctly and expedited to arrive on time for any formal presentation.

External online recognition services allow you to easily access online inventory of items available as well as examine or print reports on shipping status.

Problems? Providers offer easy, online access or a toll-free number for customer support. This helps, for example, when an item is broken in transit or needs to be returned for any other reason. You’ll have no-hassle guarantees and warrantees. A quick and simple notice or call arranges for immediate correction and satisfaction. This makes you look good and your employee grateful.

When you use recognition to achieve specific performance objectives and behaviors, the online processes that external providers deliver show an even greater benefit for aligning recognition to reach your business strategies and goals.

First, you have instant or on-the-spot awards that can be given by all levels of employees to one another within the company for performance or behaviors consistent with stated expectations or targets. Secondly, you can obtain quantifiable information instantly at your fingertips. You can evaluate individual performance over time, gain access to online tools for use by managers and employees for giving and receiving recognition, and have an ability to link improved business results with the use of your online recognition program.

You will even save on additional HR or training costs. The majority of online providers have a ready resource of effective tips and ideas along with options for web-based training by e-mail or linked seamlessly behind your company Web site to show immediate supervisors and managers how to give the award, recognition, or gift in a meaningful and personal manner.

Add up the annual costs for salary and benefits of all staff involved in your in-house recognition programs and it’s a bundle. By outsourcing and automating your recognition programs, you will save money and make more time for face-to-face recognition as well.

Tags: Engaged Workforce, Performance Management & Rewards

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