Rewards and recognition programmes are key drivers of employee engagement. One doesn’t really need data to prove how appreciation uplifts people, shared Partha Neog, CEO & Co-Founder of Vantage Circle as he opened his keynote at People Matters Tech HR Conference 2023 on ‘Comprehensive guide to quantifying R&R programmes for measurable results.’
The good news is that every organisation does indeed have their own recognition programme. However, in-person and instant recognition has to be complemented with digital tools to personalise it and to track and measure its impact.
The current landscape of employee recognition in India
With a shortage of data on recognition programmes in the Indian landscape, Vantage Circle pioneered a benchmarking report that revealed some interesting insights. One which stood out is an increase in the number of organisations that scored high on the AIRe framework. The AIRe framework created by Vantage Circle reviews how recognition programmes are designed and executed from the lens of Appreciation, Incentivisation, Reinforcement, and Emotional Connect (AIRe). From 60% 12-18 months back, today it is at 70%.
Additionally, 50% of companies were reported to have highly effective recognition programmes. However, numbers also show that only less than 20% of employees are recognised every quarter. The challenge here is that increased emphasis on monetary rewards may limit the scale and impact of recognition initiatives. Partha also emphasised the importance of thoughtfully written messages to elevate the impact of recognition, whether it’s at a peer level or at a leadership level.
Getting started on strengthening recognition with AIRe framework
Coming back to the power of the AIRe framework and how organisations can truly design more effective and impactful recognition practices, Partha spoke about the importance of having a solid recognition philosophy. Organisations should have clarity on what they want to achieve, how it maps to their business goals, mission and vision, and also how it aligns with their corporate culture, values and demographics.
He then deep-dived into the four pillars of the framework and highlighted the key drivers of each pillar. For Appreciation, what’s important is to outline who will get covered by employee recognition programmes. Also, recognition must not only be performance-driven but should also be linked to the inherent values exhibited by employees. In the case of Incentivisation, clarity and impetus reign important. For Reinforcement, organisations must know which specific behaviours they want to drive through their recognition initiatives and whether it aligns with the workplace culture. Finally comes Emotional Connect, which rests on personalisation and devising authentic ways to appreciate your people.
These pillars however are only the starting point of strengthening recognition programmes and initiatives. But these are solid points to consider as leaders restructure and reinvent their culture of recognition. With digital tools and the right platform, the journey ahead gets easier but organisations must never lose sight of constantly reviewing and updating their programmes in line with changing employee expectations and business context.