3 ways technology can be used to deliver reward choice to your employees
In business, delivery of reward choice for your employees is a powerful tool. Whether you deliver long service awards, have a reward and recognition scheme, or use rewards as an incentive for positive behaviour or performance, giving your employees the freedom to choose or personalise their rewards will truly increase employee engagement. But, how do you do it?
In recent years, technology has dramatically changed the face of employee engagement. More specifically, many businesses’ reward and recognition processes have cleverly incorporated technology to automate operational elements, increase accessibility and allow for instant peer- to-peer recognition.
When it comes to reward choice, technology also has a huge part to play. Read on to find out how you can harness technology to personalise your rewards process, by offering the simple but effective element of choice.
Why is reward choice important?
Before anything else, it’s vital to acknowledge why reward choice has become so popular for many businesses. Prescriptive rewards, while they still certainly have their place, don’t necessarily mirror the nuances of a workforce, no matter the size. People are different and all have different motivators, so a ‘one size fits all’ approach to reward will, of course, have a limited impact.
Let’s look at a simple example. The reward for your sales incentive scheme could be an exciting sky diving experience. While an impressive gift, this probably won’t appeal to every single person in your sales team because they all have different needs and interests. As a result, this devalues the incentive and therefore could hinder your ability to motivate your employees.
When we introduce the notion of reward choice, the result is very different.
A reward that has been hand-picked by the employee immediately has more personal value because it’s aligned to their needs and interests and, ultimately, it’s something they want. By giving employees control through choice, you’re also empowering them. This increases the perceived value of the reward because it’s automatically personalised and therefore has more meaning. As a result, this increases the strength of the incentive because the employee will be compelled to repeat the behaviour that was rewarded in the first place if they know they can choose something they want.
To refer to the ‘Paradox of Choice’ by Barry Schwartz, choice is both freedom and control. It allows people to get what they want, to be themselves, and to be actively engaged in the world. This notion when channelled into an employee reward strategy is very powerful because the likely result is employees actively engaged with their business.
The role of technology
So, how do you deliver rewards that will tap into your employees’ personalities and interests? That will provide them with a choice? This can be a real challenge for businesses when done manually. Imagine trying to personally deliver rewards to all your employees on an independent basis. It would be impossible to do this all the time, so you’d need to have a system in place to carry it out for you. This is where technology comes in very handy because it can facilitate reward choice in a virtual, online way, via a points-based delivery mechanism on a reward platform.
1. Reward points
Reward points work exactly like an online currency, so every time a business wants to recognise their employees with a reward value, they can deliver points that translate into money which can then be spent by employees on an item of their choice.
The benefits of this technology are wide-ranging. Not only does a points-based system immediately facilitate freedom of choice, but it also allows businesses to incorporate choice into any of their reward initiatives. This could be sales incentives, a reward and recognition scheme, long service awards, employees’ birthdays – anything that warrants a reward of some kind.
On top of this, while the points themselves are essentially the reward, it’s how employees choose to use these points that adds the real value. As a result, you’re not just giving your employees money which can easily dissolve into everyday purchases, you’re giving them the freedom to choose something that will have real meaning to them.
2. The retail experience
By using technology, you can make a whole host of products and experiences accessible to your employees. Having a reward catalogue attached to your scheme means that once your employees have points to spend, they can easily browse a vast collection of rewards and hand-pick something that they truly want.
These days, we’re all used to searching for things we want and need online. In fact, we expect to be able to do it for every retailer. With this in mind, incorporating the online shopping experience into your reward scheme through technology not only makes sense, but adds real value to the choice you’re already offering. Your employees can choose their rewards on the go with ease.
Better yet, payment card top-ups are also possible with technology. This means that there really is no limit to the value of your rewards because employees can use their own money in conjunction with their reward points to buy anything they like.
For example, at peoplevalue we all have access to a reward catalogue of over 25,000 products and experiences, and it’s this range that ensures reward choices are attractive to employees. So, whenever we have points to spend, we can simply browse through the catalogue and choose the rewards we want.
3. Cultural fit
Technology also allows you to tailor your rewards to your company’s culture, further personalising the entire process.
With the delivery of reward points and the subsequent transactions all being made on one platform, there is the capability to also access your employees’ reward statements. This anonymised data gives you an insight into the types of products and experiences that are popular amongst your workforce, as well as those that aren’t really of interest. As a result, you can refine your reward catalogue accordingly and ensure that the choice you’re offering is of cultural fit.
What’s more, having an online platform for your reward scheme also means that you can easily reach out to your employees and get their feedback. Not only does this support employee voice within your business, but it allows you to further personalise your reward choice based off their genuine thoughts and feelings.
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