Category All, Best Practices What is Employee Recognition Software and How to Choose the Best Solution Learn what are employee recognition software’s most important features and how to find the right solution for your company and employees. January 26, 2021 By Sara Ana Cemazar Finding the right employee recognition software seems like a simple task. There are plenty options on the market. However, as many HR Professionals know, it is crucial to find the one that works for you – your goals, your company, and your employees. Since implementing and using the right employee recognition software can make a lot of difference in several areas, this article is here to help you learn what features to look for, how to choose the best employee recognition software for you and what changes you can expect from using the right solution. 📒 Before we start, find out employee recognition is crucial for company’s success. What is Employee Recognition Software Simply put, an employee recognition software or an employee recognition platform is a solution that allows companies to recognize and reward employees in a systematic way. The employee recognition app itself is designed to send and receive messages of appreciation and/or monetary rewards for employees’ accomplishments or good performance. Depending on the complexity of app, there are more functionalities to it, like social wall, ability to have multiple types of recognition programs with different audiences, and more. In the next section, you will find out what features you should look for in a software you expect to bring the biggest ROI. Employee Recognition Software Features to Look for Every employee recognition software provider will have some functionalities that others don’t. During your buying process, it is important to not get lost in details and to put emphasis on what really matters – features that will increase your employees’ participation rate and justify your investment. Here are some of the most important features of an employee recognition software. Ease of access and use An effective employee recognition software ensures that it is being used by all employees. You are looking for intuitive solution that is easy to use and access. Moreover, it is important to check if the platform could be accessed via mobile phone. Millennials are becoming a dominant age group in the world workforce, and technology is embedded in their lives. Therefore, make sure that your employee recognition software is user-friendly to increase participation rate in your employee recognition programs and initiatives. Configurability It is important to have a possibility of configuring out various aspects of the employee recognition software at hand. On one hand, your new solution must fit in with your existing system and brand. On the other hand, you know your employees best – so you need to have the option to increase participation rate of your employee recognition programs by customizing them. Security An employee recognition software uses employee data, which need to be protected. Look for solutions with maximum data security and compliance protocols like GDPR if you need them. Ask your colleagues from IT and legal departments to assist you in this area. Integrations Your employees are accustomed to certain workplace apps, so you should make sure that your employee recognition software can integrate with those. Look to integrate with your communication apps like Slack or MS Teams. Moreover, see if the solution you are considering integrates with LinkedIn so your employees can share their recognition certificates publicly. 📒 Find out what other integrations of employee recognition software you could use to increase its popularity and increase your ROI. Flexibility of recognition programs This is another very important feature of employee recognition software to look for. Based on your business goals, core company values, locations of your subsidiaries and other, you will want to create different employee recognition programs. Moreover, consider functionalities such as peer-to-peer recognition and both monetary and non-monetary recognition. Get best practices and guidelines on implementing and maintaining employee recognition programs in our Employee Recognition Playbook. Social recognition Social recognition feature in form of social wall ensures that your employees are aware of recognition taking place. It is directly related to company culture and is especially important if some of your employees work remote. Integration with HRIS Apart from the regular integrations, you should look for an employee recognition software that can smoothly integrate with your existing HRIS. This is crucial so all the employee data you need is accurate – your employees’ anniversaries, birthdays, learning outcomes and more. Rewards features If you are planning to use your employee recognition solution to offer monetary rewards to employees, you should carefully investigate rewards features. First of all, 88% of Millennials say that prepaid cards are their favorite type of monetary reward. Therefore, make sure to include this option for redeeming rewards. Second, you can also consider an employee gifts catalogue and think of what it should include. Finally, check if your future employee recognition app will have a built-in purchasing power index if your company operates in more countries – to ensure fairness. Also, see if there are any markups or transitional costs on redemption of merchandise. Strategic support Strategic support is not an exact feature you can pinpoint, but it is important to find out how the employee recognition software you are considering has changed from its initial version and how it grows according to industry trends. In a sense, you are looking for the support in best practices and updates of certain features, as well as development of new ones. Moreover, strategic support will help you tie your recognition programs and criteria to your business goals on both daily and long-term basis, which is one of prerequisites for running a successful employee recognition program. Why Having the Right Employee Recognition Software Matters? As one of the staples of Total Rewards Strategy, employee recognition needs to be approached as a long-term project. Making your employees feel valued calls for organized effort that should be maintained and updated. In that sense, it is important to find an employee recognition software that will keep up with your company’s needs as it changes and grows. Here is why it’s important to have the right employee recognition software. Improving employee engagement Employee engagement is a very popular HR metric. It indicates how engaged or disengaged employees are in their work, and it signals the overall employee satisfaction, productivity and retention. Therefore, it is important to keep it optimal throughout the employee journey. 58% of employees say that their leaders could engage them better by recognizing them. However, this is not easy with an unsuitable employee recognition platform, or with the one that is rarely used among your employees. If the employee recognition software is not user-friendly or is just not that popular, recognition will either take place in person – and you nor others will not be aware of it – or it will not happen at all. 📒 Learn more about newest trends on employee engagement. Increasing employee retention Many companies are struggling with retaining highly skilled employees in their rows. There are many opportunities for sought-after professionals on the job market, and they are leaving their employers not only for better pay but for lack of recognition. Namely, 76% of employees who do not feel valued look for other job opportunities. Employee turnover varies across industries, but it always represents a significant cost. Since employee recognition software helps employers to appreciate their employees’ contributions, it pays off to invest in the solution that will help them prevent attrition. Enhancing employee experience Employee experience is one of HR’ leaders top priorities for 2021, with 28% seeing it as an important thing to focus on. Employee experience includes all aspects of workplace and accounts for all experiences employees have with a certain employer. As such, employee recognition adds to cumulative employee experience index. However, as having access and using to up-to-date technology is increasingly important to Millennials and Gen Z, having the right employee recognition solution becomes more essential than ever. Boosting employee productivity There is a lot of influences on employee productivity: disturbances, organizational capability, stress… However, one is especially important: employee motivation. Luckily, employees say that being appreciated motivates them at their job. Employee productivity worldwide has been challenged by pandemic, but research did not find any significant drops in productivity since remote work policy was implemented. This is because many companies have already been switched to online platforms in many employee experience areas like communication, employee feedback and recognition. Supporting employee development Employee development is important for any company’s growth. Some would say, more important than ever, since building critical skills and competencies is HR leaders’ top priority for 2021. Therefore, it is important not only to plan and offer learning and development opportunities at your company, but also to encourage and support it. The right employee recognition software can help you tie your recognition program to learning and development outcomes. 📒 Learn more about how employee recognition drives learning and development. Creating positive company culture A vibrant, positive and productive company culture is not easy to create and maintain. This task is even more difficult if the company at hand is a large enterprise. In such environment, one must have smart solutions to improve work atmosphere at scale, for all employees across departments and locations. How to Choose the Right Employee Recognition Software The process of buying an employee recognition software should be organized and include multiple personas inside the company. Moreover, there are many other features and functionalities of employee recognition software to be mindful of. The buying process can stretch and also include a pilot, and implementation of your new solution can take longer. So how can you ensure you are not missing any points and how can you ensure you are making the right decision for your company and your employees? Get our employee recognition and rewards solution buyer’s guide to get a comprehensive overview of how to choose your employee recognition software.