Incentra Insights

Workforce Recognition and the Post-Digital Divide

Posted by David Chittock on Jun 3, 2014 4:25:00 PM

Are You Ready for the Brave New World?

I read an article recently in Forbes that talked about the post-digital divide.  It defines our era as one where technology has emerged as the key economic driver, but only if businesses and organizations can harness it for the needs of a new generation of workers.  If you’re an HR professional, you know we are heading toward a brave new world in which everything we’ve known is being turned inside out.  The workplace is changing before our eyes and traditional employee engagement programs are just not cutting it.  Multi-generational and virtual workers, globalization, digital age technology, and drastically altered organizational structures are just a few of the drivers impacting the 21st century workplace.

What Scares Us About All This?

We all know that an effective workforce recognition program has to rely pretty heavily on a solid, robust technology platform.  But, I talk to so many HR managers who are deathly afraid of taking on the challenge of initiating a new employee recognition and rewards program.  Just the thought of having to deal with a whole new technology platform and the pain of a lengthy implementation can cause many managers to back off in dismay.  And too often they have every reason to fear.

Inflexible Can Be Our Downfall

There are all sorts of pre-packaged software programs out there in the marketplace to choose from.  But too often, these programs are so inflexible that a company has to force-fit its program into a predesigned system.  There is often very little opportunity for addressing functionality outside the program’s parameters and changes and modifications can involve lengthy and costly upgrades.

Flexibility & Customization Rule

The way I see it is that a company’s unique makeup and people profile should dictate the technology components…not the other way around.   A workforce recognition program technology platform has to be completely customizable, totally flexible, and able to grow as the company’s needs change.  A “one size fits all” approach is simply just not going to work.  You’ll not only feel boxed in, but an inflexible system will stymie your efforts to truly engage your employees, personalize recognition, change real behaviors, enhance performance and see measurable results.  

Be the Master of Your World

The right technology platform enables you to harness the power of social media, peer-to-peer recognition, formal and informal recognition, spot recognition, employee/manager nominations and online award shopping.  The right platform will also provide you powerful analytics to manage and monitor your program and maximize performance.

What Side Do You Want to be On?

Being on the right side of the post-distal divide may mean radically transforming your organization’s structures, programs, and policies into an environment in which your people can grow, develop and perform at peak levels. This will take some bold and courageous leadership on the part of management, and particularly HR professionals, to steer into to these unchartered waters.  Which side of the post-digital divide are you on? 


Categories: Rewards Technology