Rewards Special: Thought Leadership
In the Indian diaspora, the basis of our business model is that we never invented something, which we felt was needed. The clients were in need of a certain solution and we created our models as per their needs. Companies have their rewards and recognition budgets and polices, but what they lack is an institutionalized framework and willingness from the top management. They have the budget but not the right people. They do not have innovative ideas and even if they have the ideas, they are not able to execute them. Even if they are doing something for employees, there is no visibility and their efforts are insignificant in front of the management. When HR tries to induce something, they feel some reverse pressure because business users have their own priority and specific needs. Therefore, there is a clash between business users and HR. The employees should feel that they are getting recognition. Employees crave for recognition and not for coupons and cash rewards.
The entire gamut of challenges companies face apparently, is that though it looks very easy, total rewards is a vast space and needs thought leadership to bring results on the floor. There is no even mechanism to reach out to employees and see if they value the rewards given to them, and there are no measurement mechanisms to correlate rewards and recognition and engagement efforts with productivity and attrition and other parameters. Even though the manager shows on paper or in a presentation that a lot of work on the rewards and recognition space has been done, this is all one person’s perception, on the ground level, nothing seems to have happened. The major challenges therefore for business managers are, that they need flexibility of doing things at their level and control, for HR, it is more strategy and control and for the company it is the ROI.
What we face typically in organizations here is that companies do employee engagement but companies do not know how to track employee behavior within the company. There is no mechanism to collate certain data around employee behavior, which can influence decisions and the relative course of action. Employees are rated by close managers or HR. Gallup (Gallup.com provides data-driven news based on U.S. and world polls, daily tracking and public opinion research) – comes out with lot of employee surveys and researches that they do in UK, Europe, USA and other countries all over the world. They stated that companies lose around 300 billion dollars a year due to productivity loss, which is a result of disengaged people. At any point in time in any company, 60 percent of people are disengaged whereas 15 percent are actively disengaged. The purpose is to convert them into an engaged group. This has to be done in a manner in which the actions and decisions are well informed. Rewards is not something that is a budget given to people, rewards is attached to every activity in the organization, it has to be the culture and recognition is something that everyone aspires for and hence, rewards is not a small activity. We need to see rewards and recognition in a better perspective. Thought leadership has to be there. Some mechanism has to be there. Keeping it as a sustained effort has to be there and of course, technology is again imperative to get all this together.
We are 1.5 years old and our philosophy is the focus on recognition. We do not ask organizations to spend anything extra, but to execute it in a certain way that it brings out the best. We have created a market place and we do not rely on one store. We have given liberty and flexibility to employees to choose their choice of gifts. 2-3 years ago, companies were given e-commerce stores to give discounts to employees, but e-commerce in India is not very stabilized, the discounts were fictitious and there was no freedom for the employees. That model never worked. Our client organizations are huge with a large number of employees; this kind of visibility is something that drives our vendors to give their best to our client organizations.
We do not go with HR shared services. We only have employee engagement programs and rewards and recognition is one part of engagement. TriggerO is integrated on SAP or other HR systems of the organization and the client can start using these services in less than 30 minutes. Apart from rewards and recognition, TriggerO includes other employee engagement and collaboration modules, which provide a 360 degree engagement perspective. TriggerO is based on a social framework - the whole idea is basically to engage employees, reward them and recognize them. It gives flexibility to HR to configure various kinds of rewards possible and caters to all types of industries and their functional requirements. Our system is customized and is configurable at the client’s end as per their departments or geographies. Distributed organizations or each department or function, which we call a unit, can run individual rewards, recognition and engagement programs on the same common platform, which serves the need of business managers. Each unit has its customized widgets. For example - sales people have a widget that shows their sales incentives, it would be different for another department. Localized rewards and recognition and engagement are possible on this platform. It’s a highly configurable system. The system also has workflow where organizational hierarchy can be mapped and it works in an auto-pilot mode. This system has got dashboards, which shows smart analytics through various system generated intelligent reports. TriggerO also has Business Intelligent Reporting through which CXOs can see advance reports correlating engagement metrics with organizational parameters like productivity, attrition, bottom-line, etc. Apart from recognition, collaboration and engagement, we also provide corporate facility of social recruitment and referrals.
With regards to pricing, we have two models. One is our premium model and one is the basic model. The basic model is free for any company to use, we do not charge any license fee, but for products there are charges. In the premium model, we charge roughly around $4-5 dollars per employee per month to companies with at least 200 employees. The price decreases with increase in number of employees.
Our system has got the capability of faster adoption. It is giving everything under one umbrella, our clients like the dashboard, the reports and they like how the system is collecting data of employee behavior. Anytime, any manager or HR can pull this data out and decide on the kind of action they want to take.
As far as trends are concerned, a lot of best practices are coming from western countries and we as a county should imbibe all these practices.