How technology helps reduce costs and effort on R&RSmriti Somani
What do employee rewards and recognition exercise typically look like? Googling for e-vouchers from online brands, comparing costs, choosing deals in your budget, placing orders and then sending emails to each receive one by one.
How much time did that take? A full day, maybe more?
Then there are other options such as gifting branded merchandise that you need to order via marketing/ purchase teams, who in turn need to coordinate with vendors, check for quality, follow-up on timelines and then comes the daunting task of manually distributing each gift manually. There is also the point where you need to carefully arrange and store the gifts until they are distributed.
Now, how much time did that take? A week, or even more? And, did your employees really find this gift useful? We will never be able to say for sure.
The point is, employee gifting or rewards need not be an intense logistical exercise spanning days or even taking up a full day from your busy schedule. It should be an enjoyable exercise both for you and your employees. It should be light on operational costs and easy in the effort and most importantly useful to employees and timely, otherwise, the entire thing is a failed exercise.
Key concerns in R&R exercises today
Lack of on-the-spot gifting solutions:
Unless achievements are celebrated as they unfold, the value of rewards fizzle. While some awards and gifting you can plan for, there are always those that come your way unplanned. A manager wanting to reward a team member for brilliant performance or perhaps an employee’s birthday or a vendor turning in out-of-ordinary work deserves a moment of recognition. For such on-the-spot gifting requirements, you either have to ensure you maintain a steady stock of gift vouchers/ cards or you have a solution that can churn up a gift suitable to your requirement. There are very few ready-to-use on-the-spot gifting solutions available.
It’s not unusual for budget allocated to employee gifting being misused due to lack of transparency and accountability in some situations. Many organisations complain of such problems in managing of finances, especially because most time, in case of merchandise-based gifting, the money trail may not be documented online.
With employee gifts amounting to a certain monetary value, pilferage of vouchers or coupons is always a major concern among those who organise R&R. Stolen vouchers or cash-loaded gift cards may adversely affect the entire practice of gifting in your organisation.
Identifying and coordinating with multiple vendors is highly time-consuming and results in a gifting exercise prolonging beyond what is necessary. Haggling over costs and deals, ensuring the vendor is sticking to timelines and delivering as per expectations is a massive logistical exercise.
Customisation and control:
Incorporating company-specific policies in a gifting programme is not easy today with most solutions being tailored as per vendor offerings. You may want to add a special message or include your company logo, set an expiry date on vouchers and so on. You hardly enjoy a control on customisation of the solutions.
No data on your gifting exercise:
Once distributed, you hardly have any way of finding out the way your gifting programme worked. For e-vouchers, you would not know if your employees used them at all if the vouchers were used within the validity period, where were they spent and how you can use this information to develop your gifting programme further.
How can your concerns be eliminated?
A tech intervention is your answer to all these concerns. You may, however, argue that for certain gifting programmes such as those that involve ordering digital vouchers from e-commerce brands are based completely on technology. But have you stopped to think, a huge part of this continues to involve manual intervention such as coordinating with various brands for discounts and deals or even comparing costs from various websites. Even if you may think the option available at hand is digital, is it really 100% digital?
With solutions that let you create and send digital vouchers directly to employee email ids or choose deals and offer-laden digital coupons from multiple brands on one platform, you can save time, effort and costs on your R&R. Moreover, whether it is cash incentives or voucher-based gifting, such all-in-one R&R solutions offer you the flexibility that you have always desired in employee gifting.
It’s 2018 and we are at a point when your employee gifting exercise should be least of your concerns in terms of logistics, vendor management or worries about pilferage. It should be more like a click and gift for any and every occasion be it instant rewards, long-service awards, festive gifting, partner gifting or sales incentives.
You have the technology available that can make it happen, point is, are you taking advantage of it?