Employee Appreciation Really MattersIf you’re reading this blog post, it’s probably because you care about employee appreciation and you may be wondering how digital feedback platforms can help (and which ones could be a good fit for your company).

Why Employee Appreciation Matters

In a Workplace article on Gallup’s website examining the impact of employee recognition, writers Annamarie Mann and Nate Dvorak point out:

Beyond communicating appreciation and providing motivation to the recognized employee, the act of recognition also sends messages to other employees about what success looks like. In this way, recognition is both a tool for personal reward and an opportunity to reinforce the desired culture of the organization to other employees

Three words are key when it comes to employee appreciation according to Gallup’s results:  honest, authentic and individualized. Read on to learn how digital feedback platforms can help make employee appreciation a daily work habit.

There Must Be An App (or Platform) for That

In the same Gallup poll, when asked about types of recognition that are most memorable, these six methods were emphasized by respondents (note, money isn’t at the top):

  • public recognition or acknowledgment via an award, certificate or commendation
  • private recognition from a boss, peer or customer
  • receiving or obtaining a high level of achievement through evaluations or reviews
  • promotion or increase in scope of work or responsibility to show trust
  • monetary award such as a trip, prize or pay increase
  • personal satisfaction or pride in work

Luckily, with such a wide variety of digital feedback platforms currently available, there is likely to be one that can help supply the type of recognition and appreciation that your employees desire and value.

Digital Feedback Platforms Worth Checking Out

There’s no shortage of HR tech for you to consider, but having perused many articles and blog posts, these are some digital solutions for workplace employee appreciation we keep reading about:

  1. Achievers app enables workers to accumulate recognition points that they can apply toward merchandise, gift cards, and trips. Or they can use their points to make a donation to their favorite charity. Employers may also designate points for employees to use to recognize peers.
  2. BenefitOne’s employee recognition tool utilizes a social peer-to-peer platform that lets employees give in-the-moment recognition to one another. The tool also allows managers to customize incentives to create awards for employees at every level of the organization.
  3. Bonusly can help foster peer-to-peer feedback and recognition by allotting team members a certain number of points per month. Employees then award these points to their coworkers for specific achievements. Employees can also save up the points they earn from their peers and redeem them for rewards, like gift cards and other goodies.
  4. Bucketlist offers employers a platform to track employee engagement, satisfaction, and other performance metrics. The tool then provides HR a catalog of rewards to recognize staff successes. The systems also allows HR to create custom awards.
  5. Kudos software system creates a hub where employees can be recognized for their achievements from both peers and managers. The software offers customizable manager-to-employee recognition, like congratulatory videos, as well as private, feedback messaging that can be sent from employee to employee or from manager to employee.
  6. Motivosity software offers a social platform where employees can issue reward currency to recognize workers who are meeting company goals. As workers accumulate reward money, they can spend it in the Motivosity store, which consists of around 200 digital gift cards. Additionally, the store allows “for a cause” donations where employees can support company causes
  7. Recognize software offers features like automatic employee anniversary and birthday recognition and on-the-spot employee appreciation notes from colleagues.  These can be sent through the company’s mobile app, texts, emails and instant messaging. Also, managers can create a rewards catalog of gift cards, experiences and non-monetary rewards staff can redeem with points accrued.
  8. Tap My Back is a visually friendly app that allows employees to recognize one another by “tapping” each other – think tapping the pictures you like on Instagram. It’s intuitive, mobile and easy for employees to pick up and start using. Managers can set specific tasks that employees are allowed to recognize each other for and a badge system keeps it fun for employees.

Three more options are:  Assembly, Teamphoria and YouEarnedIt.

Keep In Mind…

Gallup recommends creating a recognition-rich environment in which praise comes from every direction.  Employee feedback needs to be frequent (and again, this is where those digital platforms can help) — every seven days since according to Gallup, every seven days is good — and it should be timely (so an employee will know how significant a recent achievement is or how their actions reinforced company values).
Honesty is still the best policy – if you reward employees who aren’t top performers, you could negatively impact actual high performers’ motivation.  Again, Mann and Dvorak have an insightful take on this:

Great managers know that they can never give too much recognition as long as it’s honest and deserved. Acknowledging an employee’s best work goes a long way toward making him or her feel valued and can lead to other desirable workplace outcomes.

Feedback From Employees

And while we’re talking about feedback, don’t forget to ask employees for feedback about your company and the work environment. Jim Barnett, in How to Celebrate Employee Appreciation Day & Pi Day! astutely pointed out:

Embracing frequent feedback sends a signal that the employee voice is valuable and heard. By providing employees with open feedback channels, company leaders will not only be able to take decisive action on issues and respond quicker but also foster an ongoing sense of employee appreciation.

Remember Achievers from the list above?  On Engage, their Employee Engagement Blog, they shared creative ways to engage with HR tech, and recommended small, “pulse” surveys to gather feedback from employees:

Pulse surveys can be used to gather data on virtually anything, from gauging feelings about a recent significant change within the company to tracking the effects of action initiatives. This allows employees to offer real-time feedback and also provides managers with the valuable information they need to guide their decisions and inform strategy. However, it’s important that you have a genuine commitment to acting on the results of these surveys, as engagement may actually suffer if employees feel their input has fallen on deaf ears.

Here are some options to help with this:
15Five, Happster, HighGround, PollyTINYpulse, and Perceptyx.

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