Organizations where managers recognize and praise employee performance not only see a boost in individual employee engagement but according to Gallup, also benefit from an increase in productivity and loyalty to the company, leading to higher retention. The impact of employee recognition on an organization is undeniable.
Many companies have one or more initiatives for recognizing or rewarding employees which are typically manual and focus on length-of-service, nominations, and spot awards. These traditional methods are time-consuming for HR, lack impact and reach, and do not translate well into the post-COVID-19 remote world of work. Traditional rewards and recognition programs also suffer from not being cost-effective, nor scalable. By far, the largest issue with these antiquated programs is that they do not offer any true insights or ways to measure employee engagement in real-time. Based on these shortcomings, you may want to consider investing in a modern employee recognition software system.
Given the many software options, you might be wondering how best to choose the right program and partner for your company. Here are the top factors you should consider when choosing your next employee recognition program:
1. Consider Your Company Objectives and Goals
Our guess is, the number one thing your organization wants is to drive performance by aligning your teams’ efforts to the organization’s goals. That’s often closely followed by a need to reinforce the company mission, vision, and values at every opportunity to amplify your organization’s key differentiators. This can only be accomplished by reaching all your people with frequent positive feedback that celebrates them for the individual contributions and efforts. People working in your organization have different skills and habits. If you want to have an effective employee recognition program, you'll have to understand all these differences and ways you can recognize your team for their contributions.
Your employee recognition software should emphasize and inspire behavior associated with your company's core values, mission, and vision. It should further meet your employees' needs by considering all aspects of their job.
Questions to ask:
- What devices or media do my employees have access to daily (eg. Computers, smartphones)
- Do most of my employees use an internet-connected device as part of their daily work?
2. Compatibility with Your Other Systems
Choosing an employee recognition software that integrates with some or all your existing software has several benefits. First, it reduces the amount of time your HR or people team will need to spend administering the system. Second, it can make a massive difference in driving adoption within your organization. There are three broad categories of integrations that you’ll want to look for:
User Provisioning: These types of integrations usually hook into your existing HR software like ADP or BambooHR and save time by automatically keeping your employee data synced between all your systems.
Single-Sign-On: These integrations make it easy for your employees to log into your employee recognition software without needing to remember or create a brand-new username and password combination.
Productivity: This integration type is a client favorite at Kudos! These integrations enable your employees to send and receive recognition from their existing software (like MS Teams, Outlook, or Slack) without needing to log into the employee recognition software. These integrations have a big impact on adoption within many organizations.
You’ll want to make a list of your various software solutions and work with your vendor to identify which integrations make sense for your organization.
Questions to ask:
- What software does my organization use?
- Are integrations an important factor in our employee recognition strategy?
3. Recognition or Rewards?
Everyone loves a reward, but when your employees tell you that they want more recognition at work, they don’t mean more rewards. They mean meaningful, memorable recognition for the work that they’ve done.
Be sure to look for a solution that emphasizes quality recognition above the rewards aspect. This will ensure that your chosen solution drives the right behaviors and is less prone to being gamed by its users.
Keep in mind that, in addition to the software subscription fees, some software vendors make profit by taking a commission from the rewards your employees redeem in their software, reducing the overall impact of your investment.
Questions to ask:
- Are rewards required or are they optional?
- Does the vendor markup rewards or make money by selling points?
4. Prioritize Security
Organizations have a responsibility to protect the personal information of their employees. Your software provider should have the necessary policies and background in place to show their commitment to providing enterprise-level security. Your vendor security audits will go quicker and smoother working with vendors that have a track record for meeting the demands of enterprise data security requirements.
Questions to ask:
- Is there someone dedicated to security and privacy oversight?
- What third parties are used in delivering the services and what oversight / monitoring is provided over these?
- What independent assurance do you provide over your security and privacy practices?
5. Choose a Scalable Employee Recognition Software
Will the software you choose to accommodate your growing business? If you plan to expand your recognition program to divisions or business units in other countries or regions, you’ll want to choose a platform that can provide service to those areas and in those languages.
And remember, when shopping for your employee recognition software, you’ll want to factor in the future costs of rewards as you expand the program through your organization.
6. It Should Be Fun
Your employees will be eager to interact with a program that feels exciting, so your chosen vendor should provide detailed launch plans to create a splash at your organization.
With millennials turning 40 this year, a large part of the workforce is ready to interact these types of social programs. If you're going to appeal to this category of employees, the software you choose should have core capabilities like commenting and liking as part of the social recognition activity. Employee recognition can even support inclusion in your organization if you roll out the program in the right way.
The Right Employee Recognition Software Is a Resource for Your Business
The relationships between teams and people in your organization can improve when you use the ideal employee recognition software. With the number of programs available, you’ll want to do your due diligence on your chosen software option. It should have a straightforward process of recognition and the latest software features for improved efficiency.
Ensure that your software vendor is reliable. Partnering with a provider who has industry-leading knowledge of employee recognition programs will be a resource for you.
Are you in need of employee recognition software for your company? Kudos is the platform that builds high-performing workplace cultures and increases employee engagement. Request a demo today to see how Kudo works.