Probably the most widespread questions I hear from Individuals leaders is, “Does Blueboard permit individuals to acknowledge one another with factors?”.

Particularly now, with workers burning out sooner than ever and firms scrambling to retain high individuals, points-based worker rewards programs are a default resolution. However many of those  for worker recognition packages exist to verify a field—they don’t seem to be truly making workers really feel appreciated or motivated. They don’t seem to be making any important influence.

The reply to the query above is “No”. Blueboard is not a points-based system. On this put up, I will clarify why and share my insights primarily based on years of working with organizations enhance their worker recognition packages, and hundreds of conversations on the topic.

What’s a points-based worker reward system?

Let’s begin with the fundamentals: worker recognition is the act of acknowledging and appreciating an worker for a habits, milestone, or contribution via casual or formal processes. Worker recognition is usually tied to some kind of reward—which may are available in many varieties like money, reward playing cards, experiences, or factors.

A points-based worker rewards system permits a sender to present factors to a recipient. These factors are tied to a selected greenback worth, although this greenback worth tends to be obscured for workers. Typically, workers can accumulate and redeem these factors for merchandise, reward playing cards, or journey incentives from an worker rewards catalog.

Whereas it could look like an efficient system, this points-based method has flaws that may mute the influence of your worker recognition. In reality, whereas firms spend over $90B on non-cash worker rewards within the U.S. yearly (which incorporates the whole lot from journey to reward playing cards to points-based programs), a 2012 research by Deloitte discovered that 87% of worker incentives investments have zero influence on organizational objectives—together with worker motivation, worker engagement, efficiency, and retention charges.

Let’s take a more in-depth take a look at points-based worker reward programs and discover why this can be the case.

What do points-based worker reward programs accomplish?

First, it’s necessary to acknowledge the strengths of a points-based worker reward system. There are a number of the reason why this method to worker recognition could also be a superb match in your firm, particularly in case your group is strapped for sources and price range.

1. They’re low upkeep.

Factors-based worker rewards could also be a handy selection should you’re in search of a low-maintenance worker recognition program. Since these programs are centralized in a single digital platform, it’s simple for an HR crew to:

  • Allow managers or friends to present factors at their comfort, 
  • Put controls in place for portions of factors distributed, and 
  • Observe who’s giving and receiving factors.

2. They’re versatile.

Factors-based worker rewards packages additionally provide the flexibility to reward workers in a wide range of greenback increments. If your organization has a restricted month-to-month price range to dedicate to worker recognition, for instance, a points-based worker reward system helps you to dole out smaller greenback quantities extra continuously. This creates extra worker recognition contact factors and spot recognition with workers with out having to interrupt the financial institution.

However the place do points-based worker rewards miss the mark?

If your organization has the time and price range to dedicate to a extra complete worker recognition program, you must look past a points-based system.

As a result of such a program would not truly supply an impactful, sustainable resolution. And analysis exhibits {that a} poorly-designed worker recognition program can even have dangerous results—from procrastination to poorer enterprise outcomes. Writer Dan Pink says it finest in his ebook, Drive: 

“… whereas a number of advocates would have you ever imagine within the primary evil of extrinsic incentives, that’s simply not empirically true. What’s true is that… deploying them with out understanding the peculiar science of motivation—is a really harmful sport.”

Right here’s why points-based worker rewards packages are likely to fall brief:

1. Factors don’t set up a transparent tie between the achievement and the reward.

With a point-based system, there’s typically a lag between the popularity and the reward.

Let’s say an worker receives 20 factors each time they do one thing optimistic at work, however the desired reward isn’t accessible till 300 factors—forcing the worker to attend earlier than they will redeem their reward.

This makes it troublesome to tie the precise habits the worker acquired factors for to the worker recognition second, as a result of the method for receiving the reward is drawn out over such an extended time period.

A research by Kaitlin Woolley, assistant professor of promoting at Cornell, discovered that speedy rewards—in comparison with delayed ones—strengthen the affiliation between the exercise and the objective of the exercise, making individuals really feel like the duty is rewarding in and of itself. 

“The concept speedy rewards may enhance intrinsic motivation sounds counterintuitive, as individuals typically take into consideration rewards as undermining curiosity in a job. However for actions like work, the place individuals are already getting paid, speedy rewards can truly enhance intrinsic motivation, in contrast with delayed or no rewards.”

The best, then, is an worker recognition program that simply and shortly connects the popularity second with the reward, and provides a transparent hyperlink to the habits(s) demonstrated. It will result in elevated efficiency output and workforce engagement.

2. Your funding will get backlogged.

With a points-based platform, workers are likely to hoard factors to save lots of for bigger rewards, which may happen over an extended time period. Throughout this span of time, one among two issues tends to occur:

  1. The result is underwhelming. When the worker lastly redeems their factors, it’s typically for a reward like a $50 reward card to Starbucks—which is usually a large letdown. On high of the snooze issue, research present that anyplace from 46% to 56% of oldsters have not less than one unused reward card of their desk drawer. In different phrases, your workers could by no means even use the reward they labored so arduous and waited so lengthy for.
  2. Workers find yourself forgetting concerning the factors they have been saving. When workers neglect concerning the factors they do have, they do not redeem them. This typically means there’s an enormous waste of advantages funds, to not point out reward utilization reporting turns into a nightmare. This additionally impacts worker pleasure round your recognition program. You need workers buzzing concerning the rewards they’re receiving, which gained’t occur if factors sit round gathering mud.

3. They promote a transactional relationship.

One other draw back of factors representing a greenback worth is that they’re simply one other type of forex, which may make them really feel transactional somewhat than significant.

Whereas transactional rewards may be efficient for sure industries, consultants discover that folks with advanced, creatively targeted jobs (which is the majority of information staff) crave extra customized rewards. In line with Harvard Enterprise Faculty Assistant Professor Ashley V. Whillans:

“With most of in the present day’s workers, you’re making an attempt to assist instill intrinsic motivation, so that they really feel motivated to place in additional effort out of enjoyment for what they do and appreciation for his or her jobs, somewhat than feeling extrinsically motivated by money alone.”

To not point out that Capgemini Consulting discovered that whereas 97% of loyalty packages depend on transactional rewards, and 77% of transaction-based packages fail within the first two years.

4. They fail to make workers really feel appreciated.

To me, that is a very powerful level.

The objective of all varieties of worker recognition, in the end, is to make your individuals really feel valued. To make them assume, ‘wow, my supervisor (and my firm) truly discover my arduous work and so they admire me as a human.’ However that is simply the beginning.

With the precise method to worker recognition, your program has the potential to forestall worker burnout. To shut the connection hole within the office. To assist workers really feel extra fulfilled of their day-to-day work. 

However as a result of points-based packages are likely to really feel transactional and forgettable, they typically fail to make workers really feel actually appreciated. In that case—what is the level?

Why an experiential rewards program stands out as the path ahead.

Okay, okay, so if points-based packages aren’t well worth the funding, then what’s? 

What I found after numerous hours of analysis and conversations is that experiences are a strong, but underrated motivation device. A rising physique of analysis finds that tangible non-cash rewards—akin to experiences—ship equal or higher returns to organizations in most circumstances than equal money rewards.

However there’s not only a enterprise case for experiences. There’s a human case too. Analysis helps the truth that experiences: 

  • Foster significant relationships,
  • Positively contribute to id shaping, and
  • Evoke fewer social comparisons

And whereas there haven’t been any formal research accomplished on the influence of experiential rewards vs. points-based rewards within the office, our crew has talked to consultants—like Dr. Amit Kumar, a number one researcher within the research of experiences—who firmly imagine that experiences may result in higher worker well-being.

“If our experiments counsel that it is a good suggestion for people to shift a few of their private investments away from materials consumption and in the direction of experiential consumption, and we all know they’re prone to be happier consequently, then it might be equally sensible for organizations to assist individuals do that.”

Anecdotally, we’ve discovered this to be true with our personal shoppers at Blueboard. Hundreds of workers and employers alike have informed us how significant our rewards have been—whether or not that’s as a result of they helped individuals spend high quality time with family members, uncover a brand new ardour, or cross off a bucket-list merchandise.

By making experiences accessible to workers within the context of a well-structured recognition program, you’re giving your workforce the chance to reap all these advantages.

Nonetheless on the fence about the perfect varieties of worker rewards?

To be an knowledgeable purchaser, I encourage you to analyze totally different types of worker recognition and worker reward programs in your workers. Whatever the path you go (points-based packages, spot awards, experiential worker rewards, or an in-house resolution), your worker recognition efforts ought to be genuine and significant to provide the perfect outcomes. Right here’s why:  

  1. Happier workers equal extra productive workers. It’s no secret that happier workers produce higher work. Which suggests blissful workers result in extra happy prospects, which ends up in income development, and opens up further sources to speculate again in your workers. Bersin by Deloitte discovered that organizations with subtle worker recognition practices in place are 12 occasions extra prone to have sturdy enterprise outcomes. Create a significant worker recognition program, and it’ll find yourself paying for itself.
  1. Employer model issues. In aggressive industries the place expertise is scarce, every worker is extraordinarily beneficial to the corporate as your model voice and exterior champion. To face out from different hiring organizations, it’s essential to have a robust employer model as a result of the candidate’s notion of your small business simply is perhaps the ultimate issue for a candidate with a number of provides. Nice worker reward and recognition packages construct pleasure and buzz, and so they can construct evangelists throughout the firm to additional unfold the phrase in an genuine means. That’s why so many individuals flip to sources like Glassdoor to study extra about an organization’s tradition. Think about having an worker depart a overview the place she raves concerning the time she was rewarded with aerobatic flight classes — a memorable, private, and shareable experiential worker reward that’s extra prone to entice the eye of different certified candidates.
  1. Selections are essential to excel as an organization. I perceive altering up your worker recognition efforts is an enormous resolution to make. However if you wish to break free from the established order and entice nice expertise, you could actively make the choice to put money into your individuals. Having the identical ineffective program in place yr after yr hurts your potential to draw, encourage, and retain high expertise. The longer you sit on the choice, the longer your crew suffers from the unfavorable results of doing nothing.

Taking the following step to a brand new sort of worker recognition.

On the finish of the day, your organization has to decide on the worker recognition and worker reward system that most closely fits your wants, that’s an genuine reflection of your organization tradition and values. I problem you to look previous comfort and ask you to contemplate what kind of program will actually be impactful and provides your workers the worker rewards they deserve.

If you happen to’re focused on making the leap to a distinct sort of worker recognition program, our crew would like to inform you extra about Blueboard. We’re all about serving to you acknowledge and reward your individuals with their selection of tons of of experiential worker rewards, making recognition thrilling, customized, and constructed for scale. Join with our crew to study extra.

Editor’s be aware: This put up was initially revealed in April 2018 however has been up to date with up-to-date info and to mirror fashionable circumstances.