7 Practical Ways Companies Can Benefit From a Digital Recognition Program
Recognizing your employees' hard work is vital in a competitive business environment. It's human nature to feel motivated and inspired to give your best to a role if your company fosters a culture of appreciation.
Having a recognition program in place to reward, engage, and boost staff retention and loyalty is nothing new. But traditionally, managers have done this manually, relying on their internal systems of feedback, appraisals, and targets. The game changer in recognition programs is the move to digital.
In terms of recognizing and rewarding staff, companies can benefit from a digital recognition program in various ways. Let's look at seven of the most significant.
A recognition program's benefits are engaging staff and keeping them motivated and loyal to the company. But digitizing the reward system in a workplace can boost staff engagement even more.
The ease and visibility of a digital recognition program mean that rather than a secretive process discussed between managers, team members can see nominations, points awarded, and positive praise online. This gives them a clear picture of why individuals are being recognized and which achievements have led to their success.
The form the award takes could be time off, discounts, bonuses, or employee appreciation gifts, but the effect will be the same; encouragement to work together for the company's good.
Rewarding staff is a selective process; an award only has meaning if individuals are specifically marked out to be praised or given a prize. If every staff member is recognized, it's simply a company-wide bonus or thank you.
The drawback of singling staff members out is that it creates inequality and resentment. It can feel unfair if you hear of a colleague being recognized but aren't yourself.
The way to prevent resentment is to make the recognition process transparent. Digitizing can help; if the process is available for all staff members to see and track online, it shows that it's transparent and fair.
The knock-on effect aids motivation because employees can see how and why a colleague is being rewarded and can focus their efforts accordingly.
A digital program is also faster, benefitting the company and the employee. Waiting for praise or an award can take the energy away from the achievement. There's nothing so powerful as seeing the rewards of your hard work immediately.
With a digital system, much of the recognition can be automated. As soon as the team member hits that target or completes their first year, fifth year, and so on, rewards for their loyalty can be sent at the right time without manager intervention.
This is useful with a younger workforce, used to instant updates and information in their daily lives. Waiting for meetings to sign off on an award is old-fashioned for someone born in the digital age. But a digital program will also appeal to older workers, who, although born in pre-touch-screen times, are used to fitness apps and online banking and appreciate getting information on time.
In a remote working culture, another advantage of a digital recognition program is that it's democratic; it's as visible and accessible to those working from home as office-based. Having recognition managed digitally ensures that thank you messages and awards are as easy to dispense to remote workers as passing praise to the person sitting next to you.
This is important, as a lack of connection is one of the most negative aspects of remote working. A digital recognition program can motivate and involve remote teams and give them tangible proof of their value to your company.
A recognition program takes time to manage and implement. Manually, it involves meetings, conversations, and reviewing nominations and staff members' records. Award ceremonies and certificate giving also take up time.
Digitizing this process takes the heavy lifting away from managers. A good boss wants to save staff time without diminishing the quality of work; templates and automatic processes, such as a bookkeeping proposal letter, are usually much appreciated, as they are practical tools to make life easier for your team.
A digital program can expand the kind of rewards a business gives its employees. E-tickets and discount codes given as rewards are easier to send digitally.
If tracked and logged over time, your employees' endeavors produce mountains of data. Keeping track of this manually by accessing and comparing records is unwieldy and can lead to mistakes and oversights.
A digital program helps simplify the process, automatically flagging targets and milestones and highlighting outstanding work.
It's easier to see progress if records can be looked at and compared with previous months and years. It's a way of seeing the workforce as a whole, as a complete picture, while simultaneously being alerted to those who stand out and deserve recognition.
Operational costs are an important factor in any business. Compared with essential expenses such as DocuSign costs, recognition programs are not strictly essential. A good recognition program, however, can be made cost-effective by going digital.
The facility to send codes and certificates digitally certainly saves on postage. But given that time is also money, having a program that's easier and quicker to run will save money.
The loss in productivity and revenue is certainly something to consider. Replacing a manual recognition system that takes up valuable managerial time with a digital version is an investment that will pay dividends.
The Power of Praise
Appreciating and rewarding employees is not only a motivational tool but is also expected in today's workplace. Workers have more options for moving companies regularly than ever before. But feeling that their hard work is recognized is certainly a factor in whether they see their future with a business.
A fully digitized recognition program that's visible, transparent, and engages workers in-house and at home is an incredibly valuable tool for staff retention. Done digitally rather than manually, it also lifts a burden from managers and HR and helps them send recognition fairly, quicker, and with less admin.