Tag Archives: Employee Recogniton

Employee Recognition: The Rise of Virtual Rewards

gThankYou! Employee TrophyA new study has shown that employees are increasingly favoring virtual rewards over those which come with a specific dollar value, according to research by gamification platform Badgeville, and employee motivation company Make Their Day!

What are Virtual Rewards?
Virtual rewards are ways of providing employee recognition without using financial incentives, and they’re currently thriving in companies nationwide. Virtual rewards can come in many forms, including but not limited to:

  • Praise and recognition from an immediate manager or peers
  • Opportunities for growth – such as leading a team
  • A better title/more responsibilities in the workplace
  • Reward for achieving workplace goals
  • Just plain fun!

Virtual rewards are often used through gamification; a process gaining popularity using the principles of game play in a non-game application. BunchBall provides a useful white paper on Gamification 101, if you are new to all this. Out of the employees surveyed, 88 percent said they find virtual recognition from their managers “extremely motivating”.

The Benefits
The report’s findings showed that 83 percent of employees felt that they got more satisfaction from recognition at work than particular rewards of monetary value. Not only that, but 71 percent claimed the most meaningful recognition they’d ever received cost nothing at all!

Cindy Ventrice, president of Make Their Day! and author of ‘Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works’ says: “The value of non-tangible recognition is clearly identified in our findings. Workplace technology today, such as gamification, provides many new opportunities for non-tangible recognition. With nearly one-fifth of meaningful recognition being delivered virtually, it is clear that these methods can be effective.”

Growing Popularity
According to Incentive Magazine, the research showed 70 percent of employees found rewards meaningful to them even though they did not come with a monetary price tag – that’s an increase of 57 percent from six years ago.

“It’s about status and employee recognition. They are giving meaningful virtual rewards for exceptional work. They deliver what employees and consumers actually want, which is emotional reward”, stated Gabe Zichermann, founder of Gamification Corp.

The study was conducted using responses from over 1,200 workers from a diverse range of industries to establish what drives and motivates them to perform well in the workplace.

Cryptocurrency for Employees
Perhaps you’ve heard of Bitcoin? It’s already been adopted by many merchants, and now companies are beginning to explore the possibility of using this cryptocurrency (digital currency) as a kind of reward system for employees.

One company, called Recognize, has already created a mobile app supporting Bitcoin as an alternative way to reward workers.

Mario Herger, the enterprise gamification scheme’s designer and Austrian Innovation Center’s CEO based in Silicon Valley, said: “Tangible rewards like  money can lead to disengagement.”

He went on to say: “Yet, there are a lot of scientific examples where giving people money rewards other than salary means that people are interested in going the last mile.”

That’s why Bitcoin seems to be one solution; it’s not really money, but it works well, if not better.

A Tool to Add to Your Recognition Program
Virtual rewards are proving a great way to yield satisfied and motivated employees in the workplace, so why not consider adding virtual rewards to your recognition program today?

Ken Comee, CEO of Badgeville said: “The results of the Make Their Day! study aligns to what we’ve seen across our customers deploying gamification solutions for workplace engagement, as well as numerous reports over the last few years on the changing face of what motivates employees today. Workers of all ages, especially the rising millennial population, are motivated by real-time feedback, fun, engaging work environments, and status-based recognition over tangible rewards.”

Remember, personal recognition by management should never be eliminated by virtual rewards. Instead, think of virtual rewards as an additional way to motivate and positively engage with employees within your company; and as a tool that’s particularly valuable for engaging millennials.

Does your company currently use virtual rewards?  How do they work in your workplace?

Want to learn more about the role of employee recognition for engagement and the long-term health of your business?  You’ll enjoy our FREE eBook below:

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Make Workplace Thank You Notes Work for You

gThankYou! Enclosure Card

Making your employees feel appreciated is more than just employer generosity or good will. It is good business, and it involves more than just employee gifts.

The link between employee recognition, appreciation, engagement, retention, and business success is well documented. Globoforce reports that 55% of respondents to their recent survey said they’d leave their current jobs to work for a company that recognized its employees. A little appreciation goes a long way, as does employee dissatisfaction, which has a definite impact on customer service and productivity. Everyone wants and needs to be appreciated, especially the employees who show up to work every day to contribute to your business and take care of your customers.

The Power of a Sincere “Thank You”
The 2012 SHRM/Globoforce semi-annual survey shows that simply recognizing employees improves employee performance and retention rates. A Forbes research project in 2012 that studied the effects of saying thank you to employees found that employers who regularly thank employees substantially outperform those that don’t.

What kind of recognition creates value and has a measurable impact by lowering voluntary turnover? Well-designed recognition programs that include targeted and personalized recognition and build recognition into the company culture lower voluntary turnover by up to 31 percent!

Delivery Matters – Make It Personal
A sincere, personal thank you, either verbal or written, means as much as or more to your employees than a gift or reward. Saying the words “Thank you” and being specific about why you are thanking the employee show that you care and that you noticed the level of performance that went into whatever it is you are appreciating.  Putting your gratitude in writing shows you took the time to make an employee feel valued, creating a lasting memory of that appreciation.

Fast Company article, “Affordable Ways to Make Your Employees Feel Appreciated – Or Else” describes how Chris Patterson, CEO of Interchanges in Jacksonville, Florida, goes out of his way to make his thank you’s personal and meaningful by investing in getting to know employees. He even sends handwritten notes with gifts to employees’ spouses thanking them for being supportive when employees have to work late or overtime.

Many Ways to Show Appreciation
There are many ways to use workplace thank you notes to recognize a good job, extra effort, and outstanding performance.

  • The most meaningful appreciation recognition is timely, taking place as soon after the activity being recognized takes place. Don’t wait to show an employee that you know how hard they worked on your project or how well they treated your top customer. Write a thank you note as soon as you see exceptional performance or effort and be sure to deliver it personally if you can.
  • Thank you notes and recognition don’t have to come only from the boss or as part of formal recognition programs. Peer-to-peer notes of appreciation mean just as much as when the boss writes them. With the rise of social media, social recognition has a huge impact, and letting co-workers and employees across the organization publicly recognize and reward effort with electronic systems as alternatives to written thank you notes also fuels retention and performance.
  • Story telling is an exciting and engaging way to recognize and thank employees. Extend the life and goodwill of thank you notes by telling the story of how they took care of that big customer, or sold the biggest order in company history, or saved the day by catching an error in a shipment. Use stories of gratitude at employee meetings and annual events like summer picnics or New Year’s parties for a bigger impact on employees than a plaque or gift card.

Not sure how to craft a workplace thank you note? You’ll find good suggestions and references in our post, 10 Tips for Writing Employee Thank You Notes.

So remember the power of a sincere thank you and make it a habit to regularly write personal thank you notes when you really appreciate performance and effort at work. Take a few minutes to make it personal and consider your delivery to make an impact. Your employees will be grateful for the attention and recognition and your workplace will benefit too.

Click Below to Download your FREE Guide to
Employee Gift-Giving Now!

gThankYou! Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.

Employee Recognition – Creating a Comprehensive Strategy

Employee recognition is mission-critical in any organization.

gThankYou! Mission Critical StampWhy?  Today’s job market is highly mobile.  If employees don’t feel valued in their current job, they’ll find a new one where they do feel valued.

The respected Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) undertakes an annual in-depth Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement Report that examines employee engagement and satisfaction.

The 2012 edition of SHRM’s Survey identifies important trends that highlight the importance of employee recognition:

  • The most important aspect of job satisfaction is “opportunities to use skills/abilities”.  Among the 600 survey respondents, no aspect of their jobs has grown more in the past ten years.  It was the fifth most important aspect ten years ago; today it’s #1.
  •  “Relationship with immediate supervisor” is the second highest growth aspect of job satisfaction, and fifth overall.

SHRM offers three implications for these findings:

  • Develop existing employees.  The difficult environment for identifying and hiring key candidates, particularly for manufacturing and service jobs, means the best way to fill tomorrow’s more demanding positions is with today’s employees.
  • Communicate about the total rewards package.  Knowing about compensation and benefits options and possibilities for growth are critical for creating a growth mind-set among employees.
  • Build a bridge between employees and senior management.  According to SHRM, two of the top five contributors to employee job satisfaction were “relationship with immediate supervisor” and “communication between employees and senior management”.  “Clearly, employees value their relationship with management, and they are looking for ways to make this relationship more effective…”

So, where does that leave your organization?  We’ve talked in the past about the “Employee Recognition: The #1 Best Practice, MBWA ; (management by wandering around) is a great starting-point for all managers.

But, how do you create a culture that ensures all departments and employees receive recognition to feel valued?

gThankYou! - MIT SealOne of the most appealing, comprehensive strategies we’ve seen comes from M.I.T., the renowned university in Cambridge, MA.  MIT’s Human Resource Department has constructed an Employee Recognition Program  that includes Baseline Practices and Best Practices.

 

MIT’s “best practices” suggest each department:

  • Reinforce department and/or employee goals;
  • Provide a continuum of recognition activities from informal day-to-day to formal award events;
  • Awards criteria align with each department’s goals and values;
  • Group social events and awards are used.

The University acknowledges recognition can range from simple, everyday options (thanks, praise, respect), to the institutional (safety, providing a meaningful mission) and the formal (awards ceremonies).

As with any great University, MIT gives us the opportunity to learn.  MIT Human Resources provides a thoughtful series of outlines any organization can study, borrow and emulate.

Their advice provides a sound overall structure and suggests a broad range of considerations for your organization’s recognition program.  Here are some examples and a few of the most insightful suggestions from each:

MIT Human Resources – Designing Employee Recognition Programs

  • Maximize involvement in program design.
  • Ask employees how they want to be recognized.
  • Involve a diverse group in the design.
  • Announce the names of design team members.
  • Create a program that allows participation at all levels, including:
  • Peer-to-peer recognition;
  • Manager-to-employee recognition;
  • Employee-to-manager recognition;
  • Make “spot” award programs easy, informal and accessible.
  • Build buy-in and excitement
  • Involve senior leadership.
  • Share decision-making.

Maintaining Recognition Programs

  • Change nomination and selection committee membership each year.
  • On-the-spot recognition can take place every day, year round.
  • Be timely and spontaneous; give immediate recognition.
  • Encourage everyone to participate in on-the-spot recognition.
  • Awards ceremonies should be the high point in the year, a culmination…

Create a Continuum of Recognition 

  • “Managers and peers can provide ongoing, informal recognition on a regular basis at no cost by simply providing the type of feedback described above either in person, through email, at team meetings, or even on a sticky note…”
  • And, even MIT reminds us to use “Thank You” often.

That’s a great place to start, isn’t it?  Thanks to MIT for sharing their thinking. Where do you go for advice on developing an employee recognition program?




About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.

gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.

gThankYou, LLC (www.gthankyou.com) is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at info@gthankyou.com or 888-484-1658.
Follow the Company Blog –  “Celebrating Work”.
Join the Conversation @gThankYou 
Watch our gThankYou! YouTube Video – “Learn More About Us”.

“G” logo and “Certificates of Gratitude” are trademarks and “gThankYou” is a registered trademark of gThankYou, LLC.