Recognition and Rewards in the Future of Work

Recognition and Rewards in the Future of Work

It’s a fresh, spanking new decade; how is your company showing appreciation for teammates?

We, too, have barely corked our champagne bottles, and yet already we’re not only thinking about the next reason to celebrate—but how it ought to be acknowledged. While many trends lay on the horizon for human resources pros, rewards and recognition are among the mainstays.

Or so it seems.

The ‘old school’ recognition systems that have bestowed classic rewards like employee bonuses, luxury vacations or big-ticket electronics, for example, certainly still exist. Naturally, these tangible items continue to be crowd-pleasers.

“I don’t really need that [extra few grand/beach getaway/Rolex watch]” …said no one ever.

Yet there is room for a different kind of system. One that is encouraged by a collective mindset geared more toward ongoing, meaningful motivation and employee happiness with less emphasis on once-a-year-or-career blowout gifts.

Growing in popularity are technologies enabling what could comparatively be considered ‘bite-size’ displays of gratitude. One very interesting shift: they’re eschewing traditional organizational hierarchies, moving away from top-down acknowledgment toward peer-to-peer and even nods from employees toward supervisors.

Created largely by startups entering the HR space, these technologies are poised to (gasp) potentially disrupt rewards and recognition as we know them. Or at least, they may very well turn what used to be an awkward managerial high five into a collective fist bump of egalitarian experience.

Not Your Dad’s Rewards and Recognition Program

10 whole years toiling on the job. And that commemorative engraved mantel clock? It just ticked away the minutes and hours until retirement.

Today’s shiny new HR tech instead promises to make each day a happier experience.

How are leaders like you harnessing emerging programs to create a culture that recognizes a job well done? Moreover, in what ways are employees being empowered to take on more active roles in showing appreciation to peers?

Glad you asked.

Bonusly The Look of Love

Attention company culture vultures: Bonusly wants your employees to love their work. Not just in the ‘my mug says so’ kind of way. And (newsflash!) so do you. Bonusly’s platform enables everyone in your organization to  publicly recognize others in real-time, and they do it by offering small bonuses that add up to ‘meaningful rewards.’ Promoting your mission, building stronger teams and boosting engagement are all within reach—and much more visible than that mantel clock ever would’ve been, even in our Insta-friendly era. You can even incorporate GIFs, images, links and emojis to make your digital nod more memorable

Gifted Here’s Your Virtual Cape

Gifted invites you to be your Office Hero. (Really, who doesn’t want that?) Their employee recognition program acknowledges just about every personal and professional milestone there is, from newborns to holidays to sales incentives and graduation perks. An appreciation dashboard enables seamless budget management, tracking and an array of options to support your congratulatory endeavors. The only question is why you haven’t tried them out, since (as of this writing) Gifted appears to have a freemium model.

Motivosity A Dashboard of Gratitude

Motivosity addresses what they call the three drivers of employee motivation: recognition, community and feedback. A handy dashboard with an integrated messaging component offers you the option to appreciate someone or share a highlight with your team. You can see who you’ve thanked recently, along with a leaderboard (hello, gamification!) displaying those who have been the most active on the platform. A milestones tab means you’ll never forget someone’s birthday or work-aversary, and money given on the platform can be redeemed for 100 different gift cards, charitable giving, or corporate swag.

Kudos Show Up for Others and Show Off Your Appreciation

No need to use those sad-looking Microsoft Word templates anymore; Kudos has upped the non-monetary recognition ante to include custom digital badging and certificates. Video recognition is another component of their offering, as are peer-to-peer custom rewards like branded merchandise, local gift cards and non-monetary, experiential gifts like vouchers for employees’ favorite local coffee shop, coupons for a treat, time off to volunteer or help a charity, a team event, or (yes) even one of the most coveted awards for onsite workers: VIP parking.

Fond Recognition, Frequent-Flyer Style

Fond is in the points business. Building affinity is their game, and the force is strong with this one. Using their software, employees can send points to each other and up the organization chain, too, offering recognition for hard work, major accomplishments, etc. These points can be tracked and redeemed for a variety of rewards and corporate perks on the Fond platform. Unlike your favorite airline, however, their points never expire, and unused points are returned to your company, even if an employee leaves or is dismissed. (A real-time social feed ensures that no good deed goes unnoticed.)

Those ‘Warm and Fuzzy’ Feelings Boost Company Goals, Too

Any culture-focused leader knows that employees’ sense of appreciation should rank highly. It can build greater affinity toward their role, their team, and ultimately, create a dedicated community across the organization. Click To Tweet

If you can demonstrate measurable progress in easy-to-use, intuitive platforms, your next executive presentation just got a whole lot easier.

The bottom line of this reward and recognition trends does indeed involve your company’s proverbial bottom line: boosting employee satisfaction, retention, and connection can lead to less turnover, as well as stronger internal talent pipelines, fewer mental health days taken and more engagement at work. While introducing yet another platform into your team’s lives might feel headache-inducing, can you think of anything more worth it than that?

Tell us: Have you had success implementing an alternative rewards or recognition program? What roadblocks, if any, have you run into? What unexpected (and happy) surprises arose? Do you have any feedback for creators of existing tech?  

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