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Utilizing Reward Programs to Boost Employee Engagement

by Jody Ordioni

Utilizing Reward Programs to Boost Employee Engagement

Employees tend not to prefer a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to any aspect of their professional life, be it work schedules or health benefits. The same attitude applies when it comes to rewarding programs that celebrate their achievements. Through the recognition of their successful endeavors, companies can not only increase the motivation of employees but also boosts engagement within the company.

Another benefit of providing recognition awards to your employees is that it encourages behavior that is aligned with the values and vision of the organization. Rewards, however, should be considerate of the interests of the employees. Here are some points to keep in mind:

Customize Your Rewards

It is always a good idea for employers to ask their employees what rewards they'd prefer. Listening to the requirements of the employees, instead of imposing useless branded stuff on them, will make your reward programs more meaningful. As per the needs of the employees, the rewards program can include coupons for a free lunch or better child-care facilities. Employees want to feel valued in the company. Loyalty also stems from being seen and heard. Employees will not engage with a company if they feel that their needs are not considered important.

Boosting Engagement

By personalizing the recognition process, it has been found that employee engagement and loyalty towards the company have increased. Our study has found that a whopping 70% of employees have felt that recognition is more meaningful if it is personalized according to their requirements.

However, there seems to be a significant gap in what the employees want and what the employers are delivering. Only half of the employees interviewed believe that their employees understand how the former wishes to be recognized. More worryingly, nearly one-third of employees do not feel comfortable with the current system of recognition prevalent in their company. Not every employee would feel comfortable with being recognized too publicly.

An alternative to public recognition can be a one-on-one meeting with the managers or simply being thanked personally. Though employee-desired incentives are often not aligned with the rewards offered by the company, it is a good idea to make concessions wherever possible.

Timing is Important

An efficient reward system is one that also nails down the timing. With the correct timing, the reward system can become a motivating and memorable experience. To positively reinforce the employee behavior, it is imperative to time the reward as close to the celebration of the event as possible. If the reward is delayed for too long, it tends to lose its meaning and does not impact the employee to the same degree as an award received close to the successful completion of the task. As workspaces are digitized, employers should focus on creating incentive programs that are easily deployable and efficient.

Making Use of Digital Platforms

Technology should ease the processes already in place and integrate with the HR systems seamlessly. The analytical data gleaned from digital platforms can rectify and improve the reward systems in place. The platforms should also be user-friendly so that employees are up to date with their awards and know how to redeem them. During the pandemic, companies that have been able to create a flexible reward program that acknowledges the everyday efforts of their employees have witnessed better engagement from their employees. Thus, even during a trying time one can strategize smartly and create positive results.

The Bottom Line

Recognition systems enable a healthy culture in the organization that motivates the employees to put their best foot forward. If employees feel that their efforts are appreciated, they will be more willing to engage with the organization and the work they do.

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