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How to select the right reward and recognition provider

Jamie King | November 14, 2019

The days of seeing reward and recognition schemes as a ‘nice-to-have’ are over. It’s clear that formal recognition programmes have a significant role to play in encouraging greater workplace cohesion and productivity. In our own study, 38% of respondents regarded recognition as the number one factor keeping them loyal to a company.  

The important question is no longer ‘should I invest in reward and recognition?’ but rather ‘how best do I do it?’. Choosing the right reward and recognition provider can help ensure your scheme is a success – from planning all the way through to implementation.

Here we offer six questions to help you find the perfect partner. 

1 – Does your reward and recognition provider understand what you want to achieve?

Reward and recognition is about how your organisation acknowledges exceptional performance and encourages specific values or behaviours that help drive company growth. The exercise should begin with a clear understanding of what these things mean to your organisation. Do you know which values and guiding principles are most important? If not, now’s the time to find out - these will inform and help identify the kind of behaviours you’re looking to shine a light on. The right provider can help you make the link between organisational values and day-to-day recognition of the behaviours that embody them.

2 – Has your reward and recognition provider worked on similar projects for peers or competitors?

There’s an art to implementing the right approach to reward and recognition. It often helps if your provider can point to similar projects they have been working on. Providers who have significant experience in delivering such programmes can guide you through the challenges faced by your peers and the respective solutions. For example:

  • When relaunching your recognition programme how do you actively manage mind-set shifts to ensure usage of the new platform? (Short answer: develop a multi-channel communications plan!)
  • How do you ensure the programme is suitable for your employees? There’s no sense in rewarding high-earning salespeople with low-value vouchers, just as a cash incentive is unlikely to motivate all charity workers.

A good reward and recognition provider will ask you the right questions and help crystallise your thoughts on exactly how the programme should work.  

3 – Can your provider offer the right technology platform?

Reward and recognition used to be managed by a central team, with a spreadsheet of employee referrals and a fistful of vouchers. No longer.  

The best schemes include fully automated, online portals that make it quick and easy to nominate colleagues, celebrate staff achievements and redeem rewards.

If you have a remote or widely distributed workforce there’s no way you can encourage usage of a new scheme unless it’s accessible, convenient and always-on.

Automated portals create operational efficiencies by streamlining the approval process and eliminating the need for paper filing. They’re also highly measurable, capable of capturing insightful data about how employees like to recognise and be recognised.

4 – Can your provider help you scale your reward and recognition scheme across multiple geographies?  

Implementing a coherent reward and recognition program is never easy. When you need to scale it across different offices, countries, time zones and languages it becomes a challenge of literally global proportions. The right provider can help meet this challenge and ensure global coverage of your programme across multiple regions and currencies whilst ensuring consistency.

Of course, you start by delivering the scheme in the local language. Less obvious is the need to develop a currency cost of living index to ensure rewards are consistent across multiple markets and align with both local and global budgets.

Perhaps most essential point is the need to find the right balance between empowering regional managers to localise the scheme while maintaining strategic control from HQ. In practical terms, that might mean working with local suppliers to deliver rewards while asking managers to deliver the same measures of success.

5 – Can your provider offer the right rewards for your workforce?

How do you motivate a high-achieving salesperson beyond financial rewards? High-street discount vouchers for the high street are unlikely to fulfil this objective on their own. In this case it might also be worth offering the gift of time. A concierge service can help make a difference to a busy schedule with a dedicated team on hand for tasks such as booking tables at exclusive restaurants or making travel plans, thereby freeing up employees’ time to focus on more important matters. Providing access to tickets to sold-out events and must-see gigs can also be an effective motivator.

It’s important to remember R&R schemes aren’t just about rewards. It’s vital your provider understands how to facilitate social recognition throughout the organisation with e-cards and thank-you messages since these are important drivers of a cohesive workplace culture.

6 – Can your scheme scale as your organisation grows?

Before you sign a contract make sure you ask your provider a simple question. What happens when your business scales? Can their servers cope? Do they have sufficient customer support resource? Can they introduce the scheme across various locations and around the world at the flick of a (digital) switch? Crucially, reward and recognition providers need to be flexible enough to adapt to your developing needs.  

Employee recognition can help create a vibrant and healthy company culture. Learn how Colt Technology Services implemented a global recognition programme alongside Xexec.

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Topics: Reward and Recognition