The most sought after topic in corporates currently is Employee Engagement and when you talk about employee engagement, rewards and recognition is one of the most important aspects.  The current generation is known for its excellence, passion towards work and extreme levels of orientation towards personal and professional goals. Millennials not only give in their best but also expect the best in return, may it be the monetary benefits they get or the workplace recognition and appreciation. 

In today’s era, work culture is fast evolving. Most of our employees are self-motivated and well sorted when it comes to deciding their personal and professional goals. By saying so, an organization or entity cannot forget the importance of rewards and recognition. A yearly bonus or a monthly gift card does not suffice anymore. Organizations, especially the CHRO’s must constantly look for ways and means to improve the rewards program, which ensures overall employee wellness as well as motivates them to take their passion at work to the next level.

Employee Reward Systems refer to programs set up by a company to recognise and reward individual performance and motivate employees on an individual and/or group levels. They are usually over and above the salary package but may be monetary in nature or otherwise have a cost to the company. While previously it was considered to be forte of the large companies, today even small companies have started using this effective tool to attract and retain talent. 

The new wages code makes it compulsory for organisations to make sure that 50 percent of employees’ CTC is basic pay, while the remaining 50 per cent comprises other employee allowances, including house rent, overtime, etc. If the company pays any additional exemptions or allowances that exceed 50 per cent of the CTC, the same will be treated as remuneration to be added to the wages. This means that Non-Monetary allowances like employee rewards will become critical for all organisations. 

Why Rewards and Recognition?

This has always been a long-lasting debate, as to whether the rewards and recognition system is necessary. A few years ago, organizations emphasized on providing employees with good salaries and other benefits and very little efforts were taken to provide them with non-monetary or monetary rewards. A reward would mean a showpiece or customized water bottle once in a year. Though this was acceptable back then, today the millennials are looking for an experience rather than just a showpiece or a household article as a reward, simply because they can afford it whenever and however, they want. 

According to a research conducted by the O.C Tanner Institute, it was seen that in Indian organizations employees showed more productivity and involvement where the rewards and recognition system was stronger and well executed when compared to those organizations where the rewards and recognition program was unplanned and not sorted.

Employees are definitely paid for the job, but salary is definitely not a substitute for good appreciation in the long run. The O.C Tanner research institute has found the impact of recognition in 4 major areas: 

  1. Increases Engagement- Employees who are well recognized and rewarded stay connected to the company and also exhibit their expertise and strive for the overall betterment of the organization.
  2. Impacts Innovation- The research also concluded that, the employees who receive good recognition are more innovative and dynamic at the workplace as against those employees who work in organizations which do not have a good rewards and recognition program.
  3. Improves relationships- Good rewards and recognition programs help to improve the relationship between the manager and subordinates. There is better trust and a confidence that the good work is recognized and rightly appraised.
  4. Retaining and attracting talent- A good reward system ensures the overall wellness of employees, thereby retaining the resource and also attracting good candidates to the organization.

Innovation in Rewards and Recognition

Organizations are definitely stressing on rewards and recognition systems, but most of them still follow the concept of “One Size fits all” or “Monetary reward is the best reward”. It’s the time now to shift paradigms and focus on a personalized gifting concept rather than one gift for all ideas.

Maybe we can illustrate this more with an example. Say for example there is employee A and employee B, who are employed in an organization of repute. Due to their excellence of work, they have been rewarded 10,000 points and asked to redeem it in an online store, which comprises gadgets and kitchen appliances. Employee A is happy since he wanted to buy a Bluetooth headset, which he knew was available in the online store. But for employee B, this reward points were a pain, since he had all the gadgets and was in no way interested to buy any appliances. Without a go, he spends the points to buy some appliances and ends up giving it to his family. Unfortunately, the reward points did not give him the required satisfaction.

Today employees are looking not just for external gratification but for the internal motivation. That’s where we would wish to talk about our Rewards and Recognition platform “EngageLoop”. EngageLoop is a unique Rewards and Recognition platform. By subscribing to EngageLoop, you get access to a specially curated store for Reward Points redemption with various fulfilling and enriching experiences. This enables employers to keep their diverse workforce engaged and in sync with the goals of the organization.

EngagePlus is an extensively curated point-based platform for recognition, rewards redemption and experiences that the employee and the employer have access to. This platform benefits each one by presenting an extensive range of unique options to choose from. The employer, peer, manager and reportee can award badges, certificates, or experiences to anyone in the company as part of internal employee recognition enabling a meaningful rewards redemption and incentive program. Employees can engage in fun, learning or service using points allotted and redeem them for a life changing experience that will enhance their satisfaction at work and personality through this 360-Degree Rewards and Recognition Platform.

EngageLoop involves an e-commerce platform through which employees can directly redeem their points for rewards of their choice without having to go through the trouble of getting normal redemption platforms.

Let’s quote the same example from above, again, if employee A and B are given 10,000 points then through the EngageLoop platform, employee A can still avail his Bluetooth headset with our exciting gift voucher whereas employee B can avail a guitar class and reignite his old passions.

Why offer services to employees rather than products as rewards?

“Because our environment has changed, so definitely should the way in which we reward and recognize our employees diversify too. We will need to go beyond company swag and shout outs during in person meetings and find ways to help improve their personal lives where they need it the most. This could be offering flexible scheduling or providing employees with free tutoring for students or yoga classes to help eliminate and reduce stress.”
–Jessica Miller-Merrell, SHRM-SCP, SPHR, Chief Innovation Officer at Workology.

The current covid crisis has forced the global workforce to work within the 4 boundaries of their respective homes. There is very little time for socialising or hanging out with friends and thereby leaving a void and emptiness. At this juncture the organizations are struggling to motivate their employees with just reward points. The concept of offering services for the workforce to redeem their reward points, can become a means of encouraging the hidden talents within each individual and giving them a platform to ignite their hidden desires, thereby ensuring their overall wellness. EngageLoop offers a wide range of services, all under one platform. One can find different hobby classes, painting, music, fitness, mental wellness, all available online under the same roof. 

Teams today can’t function if the people are not taken care of. The HR leaders must plan the reward catalogues in a way that it not only satisfies monetarily but also has a positive impact on employee wellness. The more flexible the reward catalogue, the more attractive and appealing it is to the employees. Recognizing an employee is a sign of respect, and is a very important part of keeping a team engaged. And using a specially-designed unique employee engagement platform like EngageLoop can be an effective way for teams to feel valued, perform better, stay engaged, and more. 

Reward Employees. Engage Teams. Build High Performance Human Capital

Sonal Lobo | HR Manager

BluElement Technologies