Leadership in the digital age: Navigating tech-enabled employee rewards and recognition

By Smiti Bhatt Deorah, C0-founder & COO, Advantage Club

A well-acknowledged employee is not only a motivated one but is also a loyalist to the organisation. With the ever-increasing competition in the job market, it is becoming imperative for organisations to keep their workforce content and one of the ways to achieve that is by implementing an effective rewards and recognition program. Modern-day companies are replacing the traditional rewards and recognition process, earlier marked with infrequencies and biases, with tech-enabled programs that are tailored, precise and have adequate efficacy.

Technology has revolutionised the rewards and recognition approach to make it more dynamic, enabling organisations to be very impartial and scientific in rewarding employees. The success of any Employee
Rewards and Recognition (R&R) program depends on two important factors-timeliness and personalisation. When employees receive a timely and personalised acknowledgment, they get motivated to perform better at the work front and also have significantly higher job satisfaction.

Personalisation is extremely critical for today’s workforce, where one size does not fit all and different
individuals have different needs. Tech-enabled R&R programs are helping companies achieve far more
efficacy on both timeliness as well as personalisation fronts. According to a Gartner report, organisations that use tech-enabled R&R processes have up to 60% higher levels of engagement.

Digital methodology
The tech-assisted R&R programs make use of digital methodologies that are data-driven. This improves the process of identifying and praising employees for their efforts, output, and accomplishments. The new-age R&R processes that are driven by technology can streamline the entire task of identifying good performers and also cater to their individual preferences and choices while rewarding them. The process is not only more enriching for the employees but also weeds out biases that may creep into manual or traditional R&R programs. As per a Deloitte report, 87% of the organisations that have introduced tech-driven R&R have experienced a favorable impact on workforce performance.

The tech-driven R&R programs involve digital platforms that gamify rewards and recognition processes. The gamification aspect of modern R&R programs opens new avenues for companies by offering several choices and solutions. They are truly versatile and can be integrated in various ways like leaderboards, badges and points, team-based appreciation, quests and challenges, contests, competitions, raffles, social appreciation and progress monitoring.

Higher engagement and Inclusivity
The tech-enabled R&R approach also involves using mechanisms like audio/video recordings while giving
our citations to create a more engaged and inclusive environment. Open sharing on social media platforms makes it even more engaging and drives higher visibility across platforms which are used daily by people. This can be integrated in various innovative ways like Apps for rewards and recognition, personalised thank-you notes, online award ceremonies and even public compliments.

The automation involved in the technology-led R&R initiatives has been able to reduce the number of
processes, improve personalisation and also help develop a rich and efficient culture that recognises the efforts and accomplishments of the staff members. Many organisations are introducing automation
through a variety of means like automated nomination and voting, automated incentives and rewarding and automated tracking and reporting.

Positive behavioural impact
The technological intervention in the conventional R&R efforts of the HR departments is paving the way
for reinforcing excellent behaviors and encouraging employees to perform at their best by enabling quick and real-time recognition and making instant appreciation possible. The modern tech-driven the approach consists of the collection of data on individual employees, enabling individualised and personalised experiences through which organisations develop a more meaningful connection with their staff. The new approach is more inclusive and is even accessible to all employees. It encourages peer-to- peer recognition as well, creating a more fulfilling work environment.

The rewards process becomes a continual practice in tech-enabled R&R systems which also promote a
culture of growth. It lets employees earn digital badges, points and other awards to felicitate various
milestones of the staff members. Technology also helps in effectively identifying areas that require
additional resources or attention with the help of insightful data on performance trends. In addition to
enhancing performance, the R&R programs are also quite appealing to the employees as technology has
included several engaging and interesting components like gamification.

Technology is bringing about a transformative change in the rewards program of organisations, making the whole process more effective. Tech-driven R&R systems are being increasingly adopted by companies to have better employee retention. This new approach is proving to be a lot more interactive, seamless, and dynamic. They are being implemented by various companies to drive more contentment among employees while making them a lot more exciting for them than the traditional processes. There is genuine appreciation for the employees with a higher level of personalisation and the outcomes are also more meaningful for them.

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