Where Do I Start?
OK, so you’re ready to select a new Rewards & Recognition (R&R) software platform. But wait! Not only are there a myriad of choices out there, there’s also a multitude of types. There’s talent management, human capital management, and domain specific points systems just for starters. Totally confused? No worries, you’re in good company. Most HR managers feel the same way you do. So…what to do first?
Before You Begin
Whether you’re launching a brand new program, revamping an old one, or realigning your entire recognition strategy, a recent Gartner study suggests a few actions to take prior to making any critical R&R software decision. Since technology in the workplace has evolved at the speed of light in the last few years, it would appear these recommendations from Gartner make a great deal of sense.
Here they are for your consideration:
- Make Sure This Is a Good Time - Like most initiatives, a critical factor for success is the actual timing of the project — not only from a "is it a sensible time of year" perspective (resourcing and budgeting), but also whether it's a good time or not to launch such a system due to some systemic issues that are affecting morale. If there is a hostile atmosphere, such as an industrial dispute, or expectation of impending layoffs, maybe the R&R initiative can be used as a part of the solution to an underlying grievance or problem.
- Make Sure Your Compensation and Bonus Plans Are Realistic and Competitive before Pushing a Reward Program - Line managers generally want to do the best for their employees. If inadequate pay and bonus plans are in place, managers may leverage an R&R program that includes monetary rewards, such as gifts cards, to "top up" pay in some circumstances. So it's important for organizations to have a fair compensation structure already in place that is competitive before making a significant investment in a recognition project.
- Make Sure Your R&R Strategy Is Aligned to Your Performance Management Process - As more organizations look toward using a continuous performance management approach, it's important to consider how recognition plays into this strategy. As continuous performance management becomes mainstream, having strong data and systems linkage becomes as critical to supporting the process as is the ability to push certain information into the recognition system without rekeying and logging in.
- Make Sure Your Organization Is Culturally and Technically Ready to Embrace Recognition Technology - It's important to foster an environment where people feel valued and where they feel comfortable recognizing others openly, without fear of bitterness and/or an expectation of a reciprocal recognition. From a technology perspective, be aware that most leading-edge applications use mobile and a desktop experience, which generally works best on the latest generation of mobile devices and web browsers and works less well (or not at all) on older generations of devices/web browsers.
How to Know You’re Ready
Finally, just make certain your company philosophy for R&R is totally in sync with your corporate mission statement. In other words, your employees will be recognized and rewarded for how well they are carrying out your core values and corporate principles in all their activities on behalf of the company. This will be your guiding measure for selecting the R&R platform that is truly best for your organization.