Evolving Reward Trends For Employee Engagement

According to a 2016 research on talent management conducted by the Deloitte group in India, the IT and the ITeS sectors witnessed average attrition rate of 22% during FY 2015-16 and 21% during FY 2014-15. These rates are alarming and the scenario is not very different in other industries. Hence, the imperative to develop, nurture, engage, and retain talent is gaining prominence.

Rewards and recognition (RnR) form a significant component of any organization’s strategy. A properly designed RnR includes appreciating your employees for their hard work and performance. Motivated employees are more likely to stay engaged with their organizations and work for a longer period of time.

The right kind of RnR is vital in keeping employees motivated and committed, and organisations are looking towards adopting fresh and innovative practices to reward and recognize their employees. We look at some new approaches and technologies adopted by start-ups as well as large enterprises to engage better with employees.

Experiences: Setting a new trend

Modern workforce in the corporate arena is multi-generational, comprising of the Gen X, the Gen Y, the millennials and now the Gen Z as the newest entrant. When any organization talks of RnR, it needs to ensure it caters to the needs of a plethora of employees reflecting diversity of ideas and opinions. Employees of the modern era want to invest their time doing activities that cater to their passion and interests. In the form of rewards, they want to avail such experiences that bring them a bouquet of cherishable memories. They prefer experiences over tangible assets and freedom over stereotypes.

New approaches by HR startups in the rewards space are designed to cater to these evolving expectations. Some companies that have started using gamification and experiences as a part of their rewards program are Accenture, Infosys, Adobe, and Microsoft, and startups such as Ola, Furlenco and Snapdeal.

Leveraging technology

When RnR meets streamlining and automation, organizations benefit not just by rewarding unique gifts to employees, but also by ensuring that their total reward (TR) programs are well managed and executed. A good RnR platform facilitates a transparent reward points system. These points can be instantly redeemed by employees against experiences, vouchers, or activities. Another feature of such a platform is that it is scalable and flexible, and can be customized as per the company’s vision, objectives, structure, and culture.

Organizations that adopt such a strategic gamification of RnR are quite likely to experience increased employees interaction and mutual appreciation. Through technology platform, they can showcase their top performers on a live leader-board. Employees can redeem experiences and activities of their choice and imbibe learnings from them. Organizations can monitor their reward spends and deploy people analytics to ensure their employees stay happy and productive. Last but not least, companies can save on taxes with their innovatively designed rewards programs and can easily integrate the platform with their existing human resource management systems (HRMS).

According to a 2016 global research conducted by the AON Group, ‘rewards and recognition’ features among the top 3 employee engagement drivers along with ‘enabling infrastructure’ and ‘EVP’ (employee value proposition). Rewards and recognition also showed the largest positive dimension increase on an annual basis, indicating that organizations are taking their RnR more seriously than before.

It will be fair to say that the corporate concept of rewards and recognition is evolving fast. Employees are welcoming new approaches to RnR comprising of innovative reward methods such as gamification and reward means such as experiences and vouchers. They are also engaging themselves more with the newer reward technologies that are being adopted by their organizations.

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