Category All, Best Practices How to Create a Connected Recognition Experience One of the chief goals of dedicated EX-centered companies is to provide its employees with a connected recognition experience to deliver a full cultural impact. March 21, 2023 By Ivo Jurcic Over the years, employee recognition has been recognized as a central pillar of a healthy company culture. When employees are recognized, they feel like valuable members of the organization and support their organization with their best performance. This sentiment is reflected in the evolution of HR, which went from being an administrative-centered department in the past to a people-centered body focused on developing its talented employees. Enterprises are challenging their HR practices and investing in EX tech to create a more resilient, engaged workforce. In today’s post, you’ll learn what is a connected recognition experience and how to achieve it for your organization. Let’s begin, shall we? What is a connected Recognition Experience? A connected recognition experience is a systematic approach to delivering recognition at the workplace. Connected recognition is designed specifically to align the recognition and appreciation practices with the cultural goals of the company, and to streamline the process so that it feels natural and instinctive. Therefore, a connected recognition experience is holistic first, meaning that it works out what multiple touchpoints an employee goes through every time they recognize a colleague, and creates a seamless and integrated experience. As you can imagine, technology has a tremendous impact on the success of recognition practices in a company. Connected recognition is supported by recognition technology that enables stakeholders to manage, track and analyze employee and manager recognition efforts and provide more opportunities for cultural initiatives. This creates a cohesive framework to connect recognition from the simple act of giving kudos to your colleagues, to measuring the bottom-line impact of recognition and appreciation in the workplace. Naturally, the companies that have a connected recognition experience will be at a competitive advantage compared to their counterparts. The difference in cultural impact will be shown in how employees see their organization. Source: MIT Management Sloan During the Great Resignation phenomenon, toxic corporate culture was the largest predictor of employee attrition. It’s interesting to observe that employees were more likely to leave due to the failure to recognize employee performance than their company’s poor response to the Covid pandemic. Let’s kick the ball on the other side of the court and have a look at disconnected recognition experiences. Disconnected recognition experiences fail to create a meaningful impression when an employee gets recognized, either by their manager or their peers. We’re talking about experiences where recognition feels stale, impersonal, or lackluster. A prime example of disconnected recognition is a generic acknowledgment message to employees that went above and beyond to complete a task. We’ve all been there. And we all remember how disappointing it felt. In fact, hollow recognition experiences fail to connect employees, motivate them to try hard next time, and create a sense of community. This is why having a connected recognition experience is a cultural imperative. How to Create a Connected Recognition Experience The goal of a connected recognition experience is to create and continually support a culture of recognition, where employees are appreciated and encouraged to give their best effort. This requires an analytical approach where all the touchpoints are connected and aligned toward the goal of increasing employee engagement, retention, and the overall success of the workforce as a whole. With that in mind, here is how to create a connected recognition experience. Create Recognition Programs Tailored to Specific Cultural Needs While most recognition programs are similar in their goals, i.e. to achieve more employee engagement and positive cultural immersion, the way they connect with employees may differ vastly. It goes without saying that workforces are different, meaning they have specific cultural needs and values that recognition programs have to connect with. In order to have a connected recognition experience, companies need to have recognition programs that acknowledge the values that have to be promoted in the workspace. For example, these values can be compassion, empathy, willingness to go above the line of duty, wellbeing, or teamwork. All of these are equally important, but not necessarily promoted the same way. According to data from HR Dive, 62% of people surveyed said they wish to strengthen workplace relationships. Employees want to feel connected to each other and they need the means to foster those relationships. This is a cultural necessity that has to be supported by technology. Additionally, a study by the Myers-Briggs company finds that relationships with coworkers are a top wellbeing factor. Knowing the cultural needs of your workforce is critical to creating tailored recognition programs. For instance, when giving personalized, descriptive recognition, you’re referencing the values specific to behaviors you want to promote. The receiver has a clear understanding of why their actions are being acknowledged and gains a sense of effort put behind every recognition. Another scientific report published in the Journal of Business and Economics confirmed that specifying recognition reinforces successful behaviors and encourages repetition. When designing tailored recognition programs the stakeholders need vision into the cultural objectives of the workforce and then devise a program that supports those objectives. For example, if internal surveys consistently suggest the lack of peer recognition in the workplace, companies would be wise to design peer-to-peer recognition programs that encourage employees to notice the efforts of their peers and commend them. Encourage Consistent Use of Recognition Practices Employee recognition has to be consistent if it is to make a cultural impact. If a healthy practice is not repeated constantly, it’s not as likely to become an everyday occurrence. According to data from Quantum Workplace, organizations with standardized recognition programs have 31% less turnover than their counterparts. However, it can be difficult to introduce a new practice, especially if it involves adopting a technology to do it. It may very well be the case that coworkers are used to giving each other praise every day, but not virtually. This is a missed opportunity. In fact, when adopting a new solution or a practice, consistency of use is an adoption driver. If there is no active attempt from HR or leadership to go through change management and embrace the new practice, the employee recognition experience will remain disconnected. Remember, connected recognition has to be systematic; meaning that all the touchpoints of the recognition process have to connect and contribute to a bigger cultural picture. If employees are not sending or receiving virtual recognition, the HR department is missing out on critical cultural data that are necessary for improvement. In addition, in-person recognition, as important as it is, happens as an isolated experience. However, when employees send virtual recognition frequently, they connect with each other and change the culture. As you can imagine, recognition technology plays an immense role here. According to a study from McKinsey and Company, companies are struggling with the adoption of digital tools. For traditional industries, such as oil, gas, infrastructure, automotive, and others, the adoption success rate is somewhere between 4-11%. Best-of-breed employee recognition tools have built-in adoption support features that make the transition to virtual recognition easy. The best example is the rise of outstanding nudging technology. Nudging technology relies on subtle, low-cost interventions that can influence an individual’s behavior, achieve predictable outcomes, and eventually lead to a big impact on overall behavior. For recognition tech users, nudges appear as pop-up messages when they haven’t used the recognition solution recently. In addition, employee recognition solutions should have SMS recognition enabled to reach all employees, especially frontline and deskless workers. Ensure Seamless Recognition Delivery As we said before, the recognition experience has to be culturally and technologically connected. The latter implies that every phase of sending and receiving recognition is seamless and pain-free. A common challenge for organizations with large global workforces is to include all workers under one R&R platform, irrespective of their geographical location or the specifics of their work environment. In order to have a connected recognition experience, every employee needs equal access, as it enables them to receive recognition, send it, and participate in celebrating their co-workers’ success on the platform’s social board. According to landmark research by Bersin & Associates, organizations with mobile employee recognition programs had 28.6% lower voluntary turnover rates compared to their counterparts. Another separate study from SHRM found that employee recognition programs that are accessible via mobile devices are 2.4 times more likely to be rated “excellent” compared to programs that are not accessible via mobile. Organizations need recognition tech that is mobile-friendly and that it operates with zero loss of functionality for the mobile experience, so there are no barriers impeding seamless recognition. R&R point solution providers have a pivotal role to play, as their recognition solutions have to be integrated into their client’s HCM system, so they can access their recognitions via a mobile app and on all main communication platforms, such as Outlook or Microsoft Teams. Track and Process Culture Analytics Companies can’t have a connected recognition without being able to evaluate the state of company culture on an individual and department-wide level. Thanks to culture analytics organizations can track how their recognition programs are performing and understand the impact they have on the bottom line. The influx of cultural data informs HR and leadership which programs employees use the most and, most importantly, how to improve recognition experiences and connect them. In fact, it’s impossible to do so without analytics. While companies can have different cultural KPIs, analytics provide clarity and vision into the inner workings of all virtual recognition practices. Here are a number of examples of how cultural analytics help connect recognition experiences: Culture analytics identify the most prominent values that employees are being recognized for. For instance, these can be passion, selflessness, commitment, agility, excellence, etc. Understanding which values are prominent, and which need encouragement, gives line managers the means to nurture key values and strengthen values that need more presence. Since we practice the ideas we preach on this blog, here’s an example of tracking trending values in our very own workforce: Culture analytics identify patterns of recognition behavior. It’s not enough to track the number of recognitions, but rather, understand how every recognition ties into a greater picture of the recognition culture. A practical example would be to understand employees’ patterns of behavior when receiving recognition and seeing how it impacts their further actions, such as replying to recognition, sharing recognition on their socials, or recognizing somebody else. Culture analytics also reveal areas that need to be improved. Knowing where are the recognition bottlenecks, i.e. which actions stop or disrupt recognition practices, are instrumental for improving the process and connecting the recognition experience. How Our Solution Makes a Difference Exceptional recognition experiences are always powered by exceptional recognition solutions. In this case, we’re talking about JobPts, the best-of-breed Recognition and Rewards platform that provides organizations with everything they need to create the perfect recognition experience for their employees. JobPts empowers HR and line managers to transform their culture and bring forth people-centered practices that deliver a high impact on employee engagement through appreciation. Using JobPts, organizations can deploy monetary and non-monetary recognition programs that reach every employee, and are made specifically according to their cultural needs. JobPts is built natively on top SAP technology, meaning that it can be flawlessly integrated within SuccessFactors and expand on its capabilities. It looks and feels familiar so that its users are not adopting a new tool in their HR stack but rather getting more out of what they already have. Our solution is packed with adoption support features, including nudges, that help the workforce embrace the new solution and use it to recognize their peers long after the integration and onboarding. Nudges contribute to increased engagement levels in every recognition program with regular automated or manual reminders that can be set up for individuals or groups of employees. JobPts has a powerful Culture Profiles feature that provides aggregated reports on employee’s cultural engagement with their organization on 3 levels: Company-wide; reports on which values are trending on a company macro-scale Department-wide; compare the cultural standings of different departments in the company. Team-wide; reports on values that power teams of employees. In addition, JobPts admins can quickly create departments and dynamic teams to include them in cultural initiatives alongside the rest of the workforce. The solution has a proven track record of raising employee engagement, improving Glassdoor employer reviews, and reducing costs of recognition budgets for companies. No-markup reward catalogs ensure employees get the most out of their reward-redeeming experience and effectively save dozens of thousands of dollars for employee monetary reward programs. Here, employees can pick rewards that cover the entire product catalog from the largest online sellers such as Amazon, alongside many different redeem options including donations or experiential rewards. JobPts creates a connected recognition experience where employees can send and receive recognition, become the stewards of company culture, and redeem their rewards. Conclusion When it comes to shaping company culture, a connected recognition experience makes a world of difference. There is already a staffing crisis, with many enterprises struggling to attract professionals and achieve workforce growth. Employee experience is everything nowadays. According to research from Glassdoor, 86% of job seekers wouldn’t accept a job offer if the potential company has a bad reputation on their site. Companies with connected recognition experience enjoy an engaged, motivated workforce where every employee contributes to the big picture, both in terms of productivity and company culture. It’s not enough to unload new recognition and reward programs and expect the culture to flourish overnight. When the experience of being recognized by your coworkers or manager feels exceptional, you know the company has a special culture in its hands.