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5 key considerations when implementing a global Reward and Recognition Scheme

With the surge of multiple technologies making the world smaller than ever before, it’s become easier for businesses to operate on a global level with many of its processes and structures being streamlined. Xexec, being a leader in the Reward and Recognition industry, knows first handed that there’s an increasing number of employers looking to engage and motivate a workforce spread across the globe, not just locally. One common challenge amongst such organisations is the need to implement a coherent reward and recognition programme across different offices, countries, time zones and languages, instead of each region doing their own thing, leaving room for inconsistencies and duplicated work.

Yet, whilst implementing such schemes can be a challenge initially, there are many clear benefits which override. Such an approach fosters better employee recognition, engagement, motivation and wellbeing across the board, ensures consistency across the different regions in which an organisation operates and can maximise efficiencies in terms of administration, human resources and ultimately, cost.

To make a global employee recognition scheme a success across the board, employers need to give local managers the power to localise elements of the strategy whilst at the same time maintain strategic control.

So, what does that mean in practice?
Below are five key points to consider:

1. Implement a fully automated, centrally managed online portal
The most effective employee reward and recognition programmes utilise fully automated, online portals that can be accessed within the workspace as well as remotely via a mobile and tablet. These make it quick and easy to nominate colleagues, publicly celebrate your employees’ achievements and redeem rewards and awards in an instant. By using a centrally managed online portal as the hub for all recognition-focused activity, organisations can make it easy for their teams, no matter which location they’re in, to get and feel involved with nominating and receiving recognition awards wherever they are, whilst at the same time ensuring there is a consistent, overarching strategy.

In addition to this automation and hassle-free recognition, the technical functionality of portal-based programmes allows for greater social recognition, via in-built tools such as winners walls, message panels, likes and colleague notifications. Automating the approval process for granting recognition awards means that you can introduce operational efficiencies on a global scale, whilst also capturing insightful data about how a scheme is operating.

2. Culture and demographic segmentation
In order to make these employee reward and recognition programmes be successful, all local managers in each region should be given the autonomy to make the scheme relevant to their own teams within the same programme formation and guidelines. The starting should be to determine the best fit for the culture and demographic of your workforce, as this will differ from country to country. Managers should / need to localise the recognition awards that are on offer and consider working with local suppliers to deliver local rewards.

Another effective thing to do is to encourage all your local area managers to undertake spontaneous and timely acts of recognition as and when they see fit. Research indicates that many employees prefer receiving rewards spontaneously and for good work, rather than receiving them at events such as Award Ceremonies, End of Year Functions or on their birthday.

3. Currency and cost, language and culture
This is a critical consideration to consider when looking to implement a global programme, as there are so many factors which come into play, and ultimately which impact the bottom line. There will of course be different languages and cultures which will shape the programme, as well as the currency which is used together with exchange rates. It’s also fundamental to note that living costs can differ dramatically from country to country, and what may be a grand reward for one country in terms of value, may not be as impressive in another.

It’s therefore advisable to develop a currency cost of living (parity) index to ensure consistency and price parity across the board, which will be aligned with both local and global budgets. This needs to incorporate elements such as foreign exchange, the process of attainting consumer goods for rewards, administration costs, reward costs and more. Within this, elements such as reward delivery need to be factored in, for example if rewards are done electronically or need a fulfilment agency and more manpower. This will in turn also affect how the programme is built and what specific backend functionalities need to be included.

In addition, when such schemes are delivered locally, it’s also important to take into account the many cultural differences as these vastly vary from country to country. Some countries have different weekend days for example (UAE and Middle East) whereas some may have different attitudes to certain leisure activates. This needs to be taken seriously in order to not waste resource and money when rewards are received.

4. Utilise employee recognition to unify a disparate workforce
With good reason due to the many layers and complexities, organisations often struggle to create a genuine culture and set of values that rings true across the globe. Employee recognition can be used to directly address some of the challenges that arise from having a such a widespread workforce as recognition is indeed a global human need and expression. By being extremely clear about which set of behaviours are being rewarded – the how’s and why’s - employers can clearly reflect the values that really matter to their organisation. By having a personalised set of criteria which home in on the behaviours and attitudes which matter most, can once again bring a sense of unity and simplification to the organisation.

5. Centralised communication strategy
It’s particularly important to have local managers engaged from the outset, so it’s important to clearly communicate the benefits and value of employee recognition and a dedicated platform to them and involve them in the process from the get-go. Once management is on board and have ironed out any issues or queries, it will be more effective to roll it out to the various teams.

It goes without saying that it’s crucial to develop a detailed communications plan around the launch of a reward and recognition scheme, even more so on a global level in order to inform and educate employees across the board. The more communication touchpoints, the better as different types of communications work better for different sets of employees, for example digital versus face-to-face! This should incorporate a range of different channels including posters, presentations, emails, internal intranet platforms, social media platforms, SMS messages, induction sessions, employee handbooks and more.

If you’d like to discover more about global reward and recognition, and gain insight from an exclusive case study from Colt Technologies, download our e-Book here.

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