Stay informed and ready to meet both everyday challenges and long-term planning and policy-making goals, with focused news, practical information, and strategic insights on all HR-related...
Aug. 10 — Employee recognition programs can be an important tool for engaging employees working remotely or in far-off locales, but such programs can't be the same as those used when all employees worked side-by-side in the same office, practitioners tell Bloomberg BNA.
While there are many programs that can engage remote employees, a recognition program is crucial because that “thank you” is so valued by workers, Susan Brown, senior director of compensation for Siemens USA, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 8. Employee recognition programs that identify how remote employees are contributing allow managers to give direct feedback in real time, which is essential, Brown said.
The technology and innovation giant started its “You Answered” employee recognition program in 2010 as a revamped version of disparate recognition programs throughout the U.S. and abroad. It allows for managers to recognize employee achievements, and for peer-to-peer recognition and congratulations in a web-based format. Rewards can range from congratulations to gift cards and cash awards, Brown said.
“We needed to know what we were spending and where, but now we are looking at what recognition can actually drive and how it can be used to maximize business strategy,” she said.
The Siemens program has simple standards for recognition, and all employees can see which workers are being recognized. Employees appreciate the rewards, but the recognition is what really makes a difference to workers, Brown said.
Looking forward, Brown said, Siemens' goal is to develop more analytics to see how or if the recognition program is driving greater employee retention and maximizing productivity. The company is also focusing on how recognition programs best work in other cultures and countries.
Recognition programs continue to be a part of the solution to engaging a global workforce, Derek Irvine, vice president of client strategy and consulting for employee recognition platform Globoforce, told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail Aug. 10. “Regardless of where employees are working, social recognition is a proven way to drive business outcomes and elevate employee engagement, productivity, happiness and retention,” he said.
According to Irvine, one key element to keeping remote workers motivated is leveraging the power of peer-to-peer feedback to create communities “where all employees within a company, no matter where they’re based, are encouraged to offer real-time insights, recognition and validation for their colleagues.”
When managing workers in remote locations, Irvine recommends leaders shift the focus from traditionally one-sided performance management practices, such as annual performance reviews, to more crowd-sourced approaches that focus on continuous, real-time feedback. This type of feedback recognizes and rewards immediately and makes an employee feel more valued, he said. It will also likely yield richer data on employees, offering managers a clearer picture of a team's or company’s strengths and weaknesses and a more realistic sense of how employees are performing.
Employee recognition programs may boost engagement and loyalty but creating a culture where employees want to come to work and do their best must take root in interactions that make people feel valued, Teresa A. Daniel, dean and professor in the Human Resource Leadership Program at Sullivan University in Louisville, Ky., told Bloomberg BNA in an e-mail Aug. 10.
“Stuff” is nice, but in most situations, it is the relationship between the employee and his or her immediate supervisor that creates the high-performance culture where people feel valued and respected, Daniel said. “Programs are really not necessary if the culture is right because managers and leaders are making employees feel special in their day-to-day work lives when good things happen,” she said.
For example, organizations should celebrate important employee milestones, such as achieving a particular length of service, meeting a tough challenge or finishing a big project, Daniel said. Both individual and team celebrations are critical to creating camaraderie and a sense of united purpose among employees, she said.
Daniel warned that employers often think that implementing a policy or program can “fix” things for employees. However, “companies that spend time cultivating a culture of kindness (build on respect, fairness, and appreciation) will reap the rewards of that effort in terms of attracting and retaining the most talented workforce possible,” she said. “Employees are motivated, engaged, and stick around those companies that treat them with respect, are fair, and who regularly show appreciation for their contributions,” Daniel added.
To contact the reporter on this story: Genevieve Douglas in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tony Harris at email@example.com
Copyright © 2016 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)