A rewards strategy should have a multi-tiered framework with frequent review mechanisms, benchmarking exercises and a configurable technology to manage it
Rewards & recognition is all set to play the role of a big brother to employee engagement in the near future. With increased emphasis of modern workforces to be recognized socially and instantaneously, there is a desire amongst employees to choose their own rewards and participate actively in the recognition process. We are moving into a phase where more than 50 percent of the workforce will comprise millennials. These are people who are highly influenced by communities, have a deeper intrinsic need for appreciation, like greater levels of empowerment and are more tech & mobile savvy than the previous generations. What this means is that recognition programs will need to promote social appreciation, allow crowdsourcing of feedback and enable peers to recognize each other without hierarchical barriers.
While traditionally, the emphasis has been on push factors such as cash rewards, gifts and experiences, working with large organizations across diverse cultures, we have come to believe that when it comes to engagement, pull factors outshine push factors. Thus, it is important to focus on the design frameworks that would organically interest the employee to perform better. The provision of a set up that is conducive to self-motivate a large percentage of diverse people is critical than extrinsic motivators operating in isolation.
Need of a framework
Reward strategies need to culminate into a framework that has enough fluidity to align with the dynamic business environment we operate in today. This scenario makes it imperative for rewards strategy to have a multi-tiered framework with frequent review mechanisms, benchmarking exercises and a configurable technology to manage it. Most reward frameworks that are not founded on principles derived from the company’s vision, mission and business objectives and are being managed without the use of technology, struggle to adapt to changes. Alternatively, organizations that have the best practices tend to have flexible frameworks that allow personalization, use relevant nomenclature, drive real time insights and are aligned to and integrated with other talent management interventions. In this context, the organizational culture plays a vital role, both in communicating and designing interventions.
Global statistics say that companies spend 1-2 percent of their annual salary bill on Rewards & Recognition programs and another 1-2 percent on allied engagement interventions. Put together, we are talking about a trillion dollar market in global spends. With such magnitude, it is imperative for these frameworks to have measurability and real time insights. At Peoplecart, we have focused on identifying the right metrics at the design stage, aligning the primary metrics with recognizable metrics at various grades of the organizational structure and use technology to display real-time dashboards and intuitive analytics. However, to be effective in these frameworks, structural control mechanisms will need to be built in to mitigate the risks of allowing such an open culture. Successful models use carefully designed rules and highly automated triggers while keeping with game mechanics to ensure only positives prevail.
The use of gamification concepts and technology applications will emerge as a stand out factor in catapulting results for individuals, teams and businesses through the creation of a highly engaged culture. Some of the leading practitioners are commonly adopting elements of gamification to build R&R frameworks that accentuate adoption levels and are driven by the psychology of game mechanics. Gamification uses typical elements of game playing like ‘point scoring’, ‘peer competition’ and ‘rules of playing’ to organizational activities for driving greater adoption and engagement. Using game mechanics and design along with relational nomenclature, Gamification promises to make the harder stuff in life both fun and engaging.
The year 2016 will be the year of employee engagement. Several surveys in the latter half of 2015 have already signaled this trend as organizations warm up to the importance of offering a bouquet of motivational solutions that eventually drive motivation & engagement. This, coupled with the increased impact of mobile technology, social collaboration and the influence of the younger employees on the rest of the segments is sure to make employee engagement, not only a CHRO’s area of focus, but a CEO’s agenda.