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Editor’s Note: Share the Love

Editor’s Note: Share the Love

By Debbie Bolla

There are few things more satisfying at work than when someone tells you that you’ve done a great job. A manager, a peer—whomever it comes from, it can often make your day. We recently conducted a readers’ survey—thanks to all who participated—and I was pleased to see that percent of our readership finds the publication well-written. That type of feedback, especially coming from our readers, was powerful for me. A little recognition goes a long way.

Recognition programs continue to be a mainstay at the majority of U.S. organizations, with 90 percent of companies having one in place. But what continues to impress us about these programs is how they evolve to suit the needs of the changing workforce. Millennials already make up 30 percent of the workforce, and that number will grow to more than 50 percent in just four years. So how can you grab the attention of your younger workers through recognition and rewards? Perhaps it’s time to incorporate a mobile strategy. Mobile has been a strong growth area for many areas of outsourcing in recent years, and rewards is no different. Why? Employees are addicted to their smartphones and sharing accomplishments through apps is a quick, easy, and fun way to do it in real time.

“By having recognition on a mobile device you can actually nominate someone when you think about it or when you see good work happening. The fact that you’ve got a notification on your mobile phone, just like a notification that you’ve got a new tweet, or an email, makes recognition just as easy as replying back to somebody or checking on an update on Instagram,” says Charlie Ungashick, chief marketing officer for Globoforce.

Mobile also has some interesting native capabilities like voice recognition and GPS navigation. But any new approach should be explored with caution, and our roundup of experts provides advice as well as best practices. Learn more in Real-Time Rewards by Associate Editor Audrey Roth on page 12.

Another innovative technology increasing employee engagement is wearable devices. Organizations are beginning to leverage wearable health trackers—like Fitbit or Jawbone—as drivers of preventive care and wellness programs. Nate Walkingshaw, vice president of Tanner Labs (a part of O.C. Tanner), explains that wellness programs involving the use of wearable technology have led to happier, healthier workplaces where employees are motivated to be more productive and engaged.

And the proof is in the pudding. A three-year analysis by The Vitality Group found that participants of the study who were both previously active and inactive reduced their health risk factors by 22 and 13 percent respectively. The program encouraged participation by distributing points to employees for hitting goals. Employees could then redeem said points for items in an online marketplace. Combining wellness, wearables, and rewards—now that’s cutting-edge HR. See Wearing Wellness on page 32.

Of course our ode to recognition would not be complete without our annual 2014 Baker’s Dozen Customer Satisfaction Rankings for Recognition. See which organizations top this year’s list on page 16.

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