Article: Social recognition has now come of age

Compensation & Benefits

Social recognition has now come of age

Companies are working to include comprehensive online recognition programs to attract and retain employees
Social recognition has now come of age

Social recognition creates a transparent organisation. One that allows top management to get a sense of how the organisation is working, how people react to situations



One of the most prominent developments in the rewards space this year has been the change in the way companies look at their employees. It is not just enough to know if individuals are performing but the levels of his/her motivation, peer interaction, innovation and engagement with the organization. This key new trend has companies looking at transforming a very mechanical evaluation mechanism into an interactive and real time platform. Unfortunately, even today one still witnesses HR departments working in isolation and their initiatives unable to percolate down to the last man.

HR and corporate heads should take a leaf out of current marketing think tanks’ method: A single window view of customer life cycle. Imagine the huge benefits of a single window view of each and every employee? This holistic reality helps the organization understand what makes individuals tick. A deeper understanding of softer issues that keep people happy can actually assist the organizations in creating tailor-made reward & recognition offerings targeted at deriving better results.

R&R is no longer restricted to tangible gifts and incentives. Social recognition is the order of the day and is rapidly gaining prominence with companies working to include a complete online system. Social recognition creates a transparent organization. One that allows top management to get a sense of how the organization is working, how people react to situations and peer-to-peer collaboration or the lack of it. But most importantly, it helps to create a conducive environment, allowing for both high performers and mediocre to co-exist and operate at their optimum within their comfort zones.

Within Grass Roots itself, we have implemented a global platform called the Bubble for our employees. Being spread across 16 different countries with varied time zones, interaction is difficult yet important. The Bubble acts as an open user blog where conversations can be continued across time zones. It is a great platform for social interaction between people working in offices and increases a sense of camaraderie. We followed it up with Buzz, a global online recognition program. This acts as an instant recognition platform where achievements can be shared on a social recognition platform. This forms a great part of our rewards and recognition program as it acts as a 360 degree spotlight on employee comfort and performance. The system has some built-in rewards that are automatically triggered when an employee reaches a given goal post. But a large percentage of rewards are personally communicated and delivered, while the whole organization is aware of what is happening, almost real time.

Future trends

The future is heading for a revolution in the work environment. The focus on a conducive work climate will actually become the central focus and an extremely important differentiator; what with the pay package wars reaching fever pitch and the constantly climbing attrition rates. Employers will fight pitch battles to attract and retain better talent. Hence, the struggle to keep the young and restless happy and content, with one eye on the equally important experienced and older generation will become one of the prime KPIs for HR. While IT and such will be the first movers, the manufacturing and other core sectors that will decipher the writing on the wall. Remember in such sectors, work defines the environment. A loosening up of controlled and rigid reporting lines will blur as individual responsibility increases manifold. With the onus now on individual, rather than solely on ‘the manager’ or ‘department head’, it will be more about correct alignment of person with job profile. To be able to extract greater value, the spotlight will be on freedom in the work place and in certain job profiles freedom of work location.

We now have three generations of people working together. It is a nightmare to contend with three different sets of aspirations, goals and objectives. This will force a change in the outlook from minute to minute reporting to an output point of view, without ignoring processes. It will have to change: high lighting individual contribution and celebrating team efforts. The expectations for the outcome of a task will differ from team member to team member but the unity of team work will not be dismantled. It’s going to be a tough ride for head honchos and HR alike; as the human touch will have to travel all the way to the last man/woman down the line.

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Topics: Compensation & Benefits, #TotalRewards, #ChangeManagement

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