Modern workforce in the corporate arena is multi-generational, comprising of the Gen X, the Gen Y, the millennials and now the Gen Z as the newest entrant. All these generations differ not just by age, but also by their hobbies, interests, passions and perspectives. When any organization talks of Rewards and Recognition (RnR), it has to ensure it caters to a plethora of employees reflecting diversity of ideas, thoughts, actions and approaches.
Customizing rewards to these plethora of employees is therefore a necessity for organizations. The big RnR question is not why and what to reward, but how and when to reward. This need for customizing rewards is driven by a number of factors, major amongst which are:
• Personalization of rewards: Organizations want to make their best employees feel special and valued. They want to express that there is a mutual connect of emotions and often look for ways to reward in an appropriate manner.
• Drive employee engagement: Organizations understand that the manner of RnR impacts employee engagement more than RnR per se. As such, the imperative to cater to the varying preferences of employees becomes important.
• Genuine appreciation: It’s one thing that organizations mean to appreciate genuinely. And it’s entirely another that the appreciation is received by employees in a genuine manner. Both the aspects need to go in tandem.
How to customize Rewards for everyone at the same time
The big question is – how can companies ensure that their rewards are well-received by all the employees? How can they ascertain that the RnR is both timely and effective? The answers to these questions involve 2 parallel aspects – the means of rewards as well as the method of rewards. Talking about the means, the rewards space is laden with the options of perishable valuables. However, tangible possessions don’t entice a sizable portion of the modern workforce. The solution is to have a mix and match of tangible and what can be called – the experiential rewards options. Experiential rewards create memories in the minds of the recipient and are remembered for entire lifetime. Moreover, experiences such as adventure, tours, getaways, gourmet, hobbies and wellness offer a wide variety of options to employees which solves the problem of customization at least partially.
The other part of the problem is solved when it’s noted that experiences can also be given a tangible feel – they can be rewarded in beautiful keepsake boxes with the company branding and employee reward preferences making it inside in the form of experience booklets as well as redemption options. The best solution to solving the dilemma of customization of rewards is – let the employees customize rewards on their own.Vouchers are another means of rewards that operate in a manner similar to experiences, yet also have unique features such as brand specificity, occasion orientation, redemption flexibility and so on.
Coming to the method of rewards, technology has an important role to play in this era of the internet. Organizations can adopt either an in-house rewards technology or go for a cloud-based technology. Specific to the goal of customizing rewards, cloud-based platform fare better as they allow organizations to focus on their core business instead of worrying about the technology. Moreover, firms also save costs and inherit high data security with cloud-based technology. Cloud-hosted platforms can also be easily integrated with the existing HR systems and offer high ‘customizability’, flexibility and scalability options, which is nothing less than a boon for organizations spread across the globe.
Last but not the least, cloud-based platforms support instant rewarding feature and possess people analytics capabilities to gauge the effectiveness of reward programs across business functions. Coupled with experiential rewards assorted in keepsake boxes, cloud-based technology is the best answer to the question of customizing rewards across the diversity of organizational workforce. Experiences answer the how of the rewards dilemma while cloud-based technology answers the when of the rewards. The freshness of experiences as a concept and the robustness of cloud as a technology enabler is highly likely to be well-accepted across the spectrum of employees.
The article is authored by Kushal Agarwal, Co-Founder of Xoxoday