How to Launch a Successful Employee Recognition Program

How to Launch a Successful Employee Recognition Program

Blog Articles
20 June 2022

Employee recognition programs can lead to numerous benefits for your organisation. With increased satisfaction, productivity, and wellbeing, you’ll soon reap the rewards through lower turnover rates and better internal communication. However, just the act of having a program like this isn’t enough – you need to make sure your employees are ready and excited to actually use it.

If you’ve spent time and energy setting up a rewards and recognition program for your employees, you want to make sure they’re going to get the most out of it. We recommend carefully planning and structuring the launch of your recognition program to help ensure it goes off without a hitch. You want your employees to be set up for success and eager to use the program.

Involve your employees from the beginning
Everything feels more special when you’ve been part of the ideation, design, or development process. The same goes for a rewards and recognition program. There are multiple ways of getting your employees involved at every stage of the process. For instance, during the initial ideation stage, you can conduct some surveys to find out what rewards they’d like and how they’d like to receive them.

You could even have a competition to name the program – not only would this help involve your employees but it would also make it more likely the name becomes something special to the organisation.

It’s also good to consider if you’ll need any imagery on the platform you’re using. If this is the case, it’s best to include photos of your own team members instead of using stock images.

Use customisability to match your brand
It’s important to stay true to your brand at every touch point you have with your employees. Think of it as a way of emotionally connecting your team with your company’s objectives.

Let’s face it, we all use numerous programs and tools to get through our work day. You don’t want your rewards program to blend in with every other tool your team uses, you want it to stand out as being part of your organisation.

By including your own brand elements and personality, like your logo, colour schemes, and value messaging, you can help ensure the program is consistent with who your brand is. It will help support your brand’s goals and messaging in making your rewards program memorable.

Build anticipation for the launch
You want your employees to be counting down the days until your program goes live! To do this, you need to make sure the launch date has been well communicated across the team. This may require slightly different messaging and communication methods depending on who you’re talking to. For instance, managers need to be 100% across how the program works before launch so they can educate their team.

To help keep people engaged in the last month leading up to the launch, you could start a formal countdown on one of your communication channels. Or even plan a special launch event to celebrate.

Remind your employees the program is there
So, you’ve had a great launch and all your employees are really excited to use the rewards and recognition program you’ve introduced, but after a little while, you realise that use has declined. That’s not exactly ideal.

Until using the program becomes a habit, you may need to give your employees a bit of extra encouragement or some reminders. You could try starting with a regular day every week for your employees to show recognition to their peers. This could be a Thank You Thursday or a meeting to share each other’s Wins of the Week.

Ways of Cultivating an Inclusive Workplace Culture

Blog Articles
04 May 2022

It’s incredibly important for businesses to develop diverse teams across all levels of seniority, however, what’s equally important is ensuring those diverse teams are well supported and that all employees have a voice. Diversity isn’t the same as inclusivity. Hiring managers should be empowered to bring diversity into the business, but the whole workplace should be empowered to communicate and feel heard.

A sense of belonging in the workplace can lead to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% reduction in turnover risk, and a 75% decrease in employee sick days. Because in a culture where employees are respected and appreciated, they’re also more likely to participate and less likely to feel unwanted.

Cultivating an inclusive workplace culture is a long term, iterative process that involves everyone in the organisation. From senior management to the hands-on workforce, ensuring that all employees are educated and supported will help ensure inclusivity is a top priority.

There are a number of ways you can go about this, and it’s recommended that you implement policies to cover as many as possible.

Educate your leaders

While implementing and following inclusive practices is a company-wide endeavour, leaders need to be well educated. Using a top down approach shows team members that leadership truly values inclusivity.

If the wider team can’t see that their leaders are doing the right thing and can’t learn from them, it’s going to be tough to create broader change.

Actively listen and promote participation

Everyone has the right to be heard, whether in meetings or privately, and know that their contributions are appreciated. Discourage people from interrupting others and ensure there are always opportunities for everyone to participate in discussions. Provide meeting agendas ahead of time wherever possible, so those with a language barrier or who are more introverted can come prepared with ideas and conversation starters. Remember to ask for input for anyone who’s joining the meeting virtually as it’s not always easy to slip into conversations in those situations.

Use certain language carefully

Certain terms and phrases have been ingrained in corporate workplace communications that aren’t reflective of how we should interact with each other.

Phrases that are commonplace like ‘ladies and gentlemen’, ‘hey guys’, or ‘girls and boys’, can lead to employees feeling uncomfortable or excluded. We can move beyond gendered phrases like this and use more inclusive language, like ‘welcome everyone’ or ‘hey team’. And issues aren’t restricted to phrases like this either.

Be mindful when using phrases driven by stereotypes or with harmful backgrounds and keep in mind that they’re almost never necessary.

Review anti-discrimination policies

Anti-discrimation policies (and enforcing them) help ensure everyone in the workplace is given fair opportunities. They should outline how your organisation monitors behaviour, receives and responds to complaints, and works to prevent discrimination from occurring in the first place.

Your anti-discrimination policy must also align with Australia’s and relevant state’s anti-discrimination laws. Australia itself has several discrimination acts which must be followed by law, along with supporting state-regulated acts.

Cultivating an inclusive workplace culture promotes stronger teams and wellbeing in your employees. It will help you attract and retain talent, increase performance, and, importantly, follow the law.

Why You Should Have a Rewards Program for Your Customers

Blog Articles
21 April 2022

You probably have a whole collection of rewards cards in your wallet, or emails offering discounts for members only in your inbox. It’s so common that when a customer chooses where to shop, many look for rewards. In fact, a study by The Point of Loyalty found that the average Australian has 4.4 rewards memberships and 68% say that the loyalty program they belong to enhances their brand experience. But what makes rewards programs so enticing for customers and so powerful for businesses?

Improves their experience

Ultimately, a rewards program improves the customer’s experience with your brand. It shows you want to give back to the customer, and gives them those “good feels”, with the idea that you will go beyond the basics to give them something more, just for shopping with you.

Encourages repeat business

Rewards programs often encourage customers to shop again. Whether it’s a coffee card where the 10th cup is free, free shipping for rewards members, or earning points on purchases to go towards future discounts and rewards, there’s nothing that will encourage someone to shop more than getting a little extra each time!

Keeps your brand competitive

With so many other companies offering rewards programs, it has become a standard customers look for when comparing brands. Forbes shared that 81% of shoppers research products, compare prices, and read reviews before making their purchases. Making sure you have something better to offer is essential and a rewards program is one way to do this.

Creates brand advocates

If your customers like the rewards you offer, they are more likely to tell others about the brand. The more things that make your brand unique and a more attractive option than your competitors, the more your customers will organically become loyal advocates. In a world of influencers and a critical audience to match, creating organic brand advocates is essential.

Builds social proof

Along the lines of brand advocacy and competitiveness, social proof is also an important factor that rewards programs can help with. A customer is more likely to give a favourable review if they have extras like rewards, and in some cases, you can offer rewards for customers who post reviews as well. Ambassador reported that 88% of customers trust online reviews, so it’s worth investing your effort into this field.

A Rewards program offers great return on investment if implemented correctly. The My Rewards platform gives you a great base to build from, along with a team who are experts in rewarding customers. If you’d like to learn more about it, get in touch via the contact form below.

International Women’s Day Was Last Week – What Are You Doing This Week?

Blog Articles
18 March 2022

International Women’s Day (IWD) was celebrated a week ago on the 8th of March. Anyone would’ve been able to find numerous articles online, sharing tips and ideas for how to celebrate the day in their office. However, as good as pink cupcakes may taste, we’re now a week out from IWD and we’d like to ask you the question – what is your organisation doing now?

Female empowerment movements have shifted and evolved over the past few centuries as women have worked to gain equal rights and equitable experiences within society. However, as far as we’ve come by the year 2022, there’s still much more that needs to be done. This years’ focus for IWD was #BreakTheBias – working to fight against gender stereotypes and discrimination.

Instead of celebrating women for a single day each year, the focus should be on making quantifiable and worthwhile changes year round. Corporate work environments in particular are notorious for their misaligned policies and procedures, whether formally written or hidden behind closed doors. A single day of celebration doesn’t do too much when these policies and procedures are engrained in women’s everyday experiences.

The importance of empowering women every day
“Supporting women at home and in your workplace every day in ways that they need, empowering them and standing up for them should be in the DNA of any organisation. Not only is it the right thing do but the positive impacts on productivity and engagement in the business are phenomenal.” — Maitreyee Khire, our Managing Director

In addition to being the just thing to do, upholding certain principles of women’s empowerment can realise a number of positive outcomes for your organisation. Including, to:

Improve corporate performance;
Attract and retain talent;
Attract investments;
Increase innovation capacity;
Diversify your supplier base;
Better meet the needs and demands of consumers;
End harmful gender-based stereotypes in advertising and outreach materials; and
Fully integrate into communities.
A few things you can do in the workplace to #BreakTheBias for good
1. Fight the idea that women working together must be rivals
Whether it’s born from the media or necessity (or both), it’s become the ‘norm’ for women to be rivals within a workplace in order to work their way up the corporate ladder. However, all this does is cause extra, unnecessary divides between team members.

Of course it’s not realistic for everyone to be best friends. However, we should encourage everyone to celebrate each other’s strengths and show support for each other’s weaknesses, whatever they may be.

2. Work to educate your team on how to recognise workplace harassment and set in place safer procedures for coming forward
In a study by the Australian Human Rights Commission, it was found that in 2018 one in three Australian workers had experienced workplace sexual harassment in the five years prior, yet only 17% of those made a complaint.
There are a number of reasons for this, including a strong history of complaints being ignored, victim blaming and shaming, and poor policies surrounding the process of making a complaint. Currently, the onus is typically on the victim to come forward, with less being done to prevent harassment occurring in the first place.

In addition to establishing clear, private, and safe procedures for making harassment complaints regarding, there should be leader-driven, practical prevention techniques in place.

3. Set meaningful and achievable goals for promotions
Requesting a promotion is notoriously difficult for most people and, in particular, women often sell themselves short. Research suggests that women may downplay their achievements under the belief there may be backlash on self-promotion.

When promotions are based on subjective measures that change over time, it’s harder to justify to others why one person should get it over another person. It also encourages disparity over the size of the promotion and length of time between promotions.

To help mitigate this, leaders should work with their teams to set meaningful, achievable, and most importantly, quantifiable goals for promotions.

4. Embrace the differences between everyone on your team
Building diverse teams is just one piece of the puzzle in having better decision making, boosting creativity, increasing employee engagement and a sense of belonging, and building higher levels of trust. Another piece of the puzzle is ensuring the elements that make teams diverse are also celebrated and embraced.

Stereotypes are rarely helpful in any situation. We know that not all women are ‘nurturing, mothering’ figures, particularly when they’re in a work environment, and not all should be treated in that way.

5. Work to achieve equal pay for work of equal value
The gender pay gap conversation is far from over and won’t be over until organisations universally commit to equal pay for work of equal value. Within Australia, the gender wage gap persists at about 13.8% – and this figure is larger for ethnic minorities and the LGBTIQ community.

There are a number of other factors at play when looking at the overall gender pay gap, including things like occupational segregation, the ‘motherhood penalty,’ and differences in who works full time vs part time or casually. However, while it can be difficult to compare like for like, it’s clear that gender pay gaps are in favour of men worldwide.

So, International Women’s Day was last week; are you working on any of these changes this week?

Making Your Employees’ Mental Wellbeing a Priority in 2022

Blog Articles
16 February 2022

It’s been great to see the emphasis more people are putting on mental health over the past couple of years, particularly in the workplace. The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 72% of their survey respondents use one or more strategies, excluding formal services, to manage their mental wellbeing. This is a great number, but we can do more as managers to help support this process and ensure wellbeing is maintained as well as possible.

The mental wellbeing of your staff is incredibly important to the functioning of your business, not to mention how we engage as human beings. When moods are low, it can affect productivity, absenteeism, and the wellbeing of those around them.

What is mental health and wellbeing in the workplace?

The World Health Organisation (WHO) defines mental health as ‘a state of well-being in which every individual realises his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully and is able to make a contribution to her or his community’.

Despite its prevalence, however, (1 in 6 people likely have some form of mental illness) it’s reported that 50% of managers think no one in their workplace is affected by mental health issues (Black Dog Institute).

“The mental wellbeing of your staff is incredibly important to the functioning of your business”

Noticing behaviour changes in your team

Not everyone will feel comfortable coming directly to you with how they’re feeling, but there are things you can look out for that could indicate there’s something wrong. The Black Dog Institute lists these changes in behaviour to look out for:

  • Changes in routine (stopping participation in sport, social activities)
  • talking about unusual/disturbing thoughts
  • Reporting or demonstrating symptoms associated with high levels of anxiety and/or lowered mood
  • Lowered concentration and performance
  • Reduced motivation
  • Increased absenteeism
  • Social withdrawal or isolation
  • Decreased personal care
  • Use of drugs (illegal and/or legal) or alcohol
  • Reduced activity and energy
  • High levels of irritability or aggression
  • If you notice any of these behaviours, you should reach out to the person to show that you’re available to support them however you can0.

Ways you can improve mental wellbeing

  1. Regularly spend time with your employees talking about everyday topics, even if it’s a virtual conversation. It can be more difficult to notice changes in people’s behaviour when we only discuss work topics, so it’s important to
  2. maintain some level of personal relationship as much as possible.
    If you don’t already have one, implementing an Employee Assistance Program can provide much-needed access to confidential, free support to employees who need it.
  3. Accept that some employees will need to take time away from work purely for their mental health. By extending ‘sick leave’ to include mental wellbeing days, it shows your employees that you value mental health just as much as physical health. It also means that if someone doesn’t feel 100% comfortable explaining they need time away for mental reasons, they don’t need to.
  4. Encourage healthy boundaries between work and home life. While some roles and responsibilities mean you do need to be available for large parts of the day, most of the time nothing will explode if it’s left until the next workday. Encourage your employees to disconnect from work things like Slack and emails until they’re back in the office.
  5. Acknowledge good work, people who’ve gone above and beyond, and when people have accomplished a difficult task. This can be done in any number of ways and should always be tweaked to suit the individual where possible, so it’s a genuine offer of appreciation. Obviously, though, I’d be remiss if I didn’t suggest My Rewards as a great way of showing recognition to your team members.

The Benefits of Peer-to-Peer Recognition

Blog Articles
15 February 2022

Fostering a strong employee recognition culture within your workplace is about more than top-down recognition. It also involves everyone in the office being part of a positive cycle of appreciation.

As much as some people don’t like to admit it, feeling appreciated is a basic human need. When we feel that our time and effort is appreciated we’re more likely to feel happy and confident in that environment. Not only that, but showing that you recognise other people’s efforts can also increase feelings of gratitude and gratefulness within yourself.

As a manager, it’s important to understand the benefits of peer-to-peer recognition beyond this need to feel appreciated. Peer-to-peer recognition increases the probability of a constructive team culture by 2.5 times. It provides an opportunity to create a company culture for open communication, which has numerous additional benefits. This is because it helps strengthen the relationships between employees and promotes team spirit.

Try the following points to encourage more peer-to-peer recognition within your workplace:

Show recognition as soon as possible after a task has been completed. Recognition doesn’t have the same impact if it’s taken over a week to receive it.
Be specific about what the person has done to be specially recognised and the impact it’s had.
Show sincerity and make sure it’s always genuine recognition, and not just a box to tick.
If there are criteria to employees receiving certain rewards, make sure they’re attainable and clear.
Peer-to-peer recognition can come in many forms, either formal or informal, and both have pros and cons. We’d be remiss if we didn’t say that My Rewards is a great choice if you’re looking to implement a formal recognition scheme.

The My Rewards platform can be used for more than just general benefits for employees. Using our custom features, you can design a personalised platform for your business that allows employees to show recognition to their peers for special achievements.

Boosting Employee Morale in Remote Teams

Blog Articles
21 October 2021

Working remotely has a number of positive benefits for both employees and employers alike. However, while it can increase productivity and lead to a greater work-life balance, many people may also struggle with maintaining morale. It can feel like a mission to maintain a personal connection with the people you work with and it may be hard to get support or feedback from your managers.

Thankfully, there are a few things we can do to help boost employee morale across remote or hybrid teams.

Encourage boundaries between work and personal life

When you’re working remotely, it can be tempting to stay in bed until 5 minutes before your first meeting or work late into the night because your laptop is right there. While this can be ok from time to time, it can lead to unhealthy boundaries between work and personal life. As a manager, it’s important to encourage your employees to keep a strong separation between the work they do at home and the rest of their life. Encourage them to switch off at a certain time of day or have a separate workspace in their home.

Ask for feedback from your team

Your team is built up of people with a wide variety of past experiences, personal preferences, and learning/working styles, so it’s important you ensure they’re incorporated into your business practices. If your employees feel like you’re always making choices for them and not with their input, it can lead to lower morale and thus, lower productivity and satisfaction.

It’s important to regularly check in with your employees and get feedback on the practices you’re implementing and the tools you’re using. You’ll likely find that they have valuable insights into how to improve what you do.

Implement an employee recognition program

This may seem like a biased tip coming from us, but when you’re working from home your work efforts can become a lot less visible. This often leads to less recognition, even from peers. By implementing a formal recognition program and customising how you show appreciation for your employees’ efforts and achievements, you can help ensure they feel valued even when you’re not face-to-face to say it.

The My Rewards platform gives you the chance to fully customise what your employees see, how they’re rewarded, and how they interact with your brand and your brand’s partners.

Spend time talking about day-to-day life on calls, not just work deadlines

Often one of the biggest things employees miss about being in the office is the day-to-day chit chat that comes from making a coffee in the kitchen, standing in the lift, or sitting outside for lunch. While Slack, Microsoft Teams, etc. allow people to have general conversations (as well as work conversations, of course), it doesn’t always have the same impact.

We encourage you to take some time on phone calls and video calls to check in with how your employees and peers are doing, what silly thing their dog has done that day, or whether their neighbour’s DIY construction project has ended yet.

Make the most of the communication channels you’ve already got

Sometimes the communication tools we’re already using have features that we don’t know exist. Reach out to their support teams and see if they can do an education session with your team to run through all of the cool (and probably useful) features that they’ve got and some tips and tricks for making the most of their platforms.

For instance, did you know that Slack has a ‘Workflow’ feature that lets you automate daily/weekly messages to your team? It may be useful for asking your team what their top priorities are for the day and whether they need help from anyone in particular.

Whatever method/s you use, maintaining your employee morale is incredibly important for their happiness and success in their roles.

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