The changing face of R&R

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HR has undergone incredible change in recent years with long-established attitudes being called into question – according to one industry expert, the positive upheaval has had a particular impact on rewards and recognition.

“Over the past five years, we’ve witnessed the traditional pillars of human capital management fall as old HR processes continue to be dismantled and revolutionized,” says Chris French, VP of customer success at Globoforce – a world leader in the R&R arena.

“As part of this, we’ve found that talent management tactics such as annual performance reviews are no longer the best method to determine how employees are contributing to a company, and helping it to flourish and succeed,” he continues.

French points to a recent Willis Towers Watson study in which only half of senior managers said their annual incentives and bonuses made any difference to how well employees do their jobs.

“This indicates that the days where a one-time annual bonus could keep employees happy and motivated to work hard are gone,” he told HRM. “Instead, the most successful companies are realizing the power of a more human-centric approach, where employees are treated not as human capital, but as people.”

According to French, an effective rewards and recognition program must rely on social technology – such as crowdsourced feedback and recognition – in order to “stabilize the falling pillars of HR” and create a more human workplace.

“By leveraging crowdsourced information, companies can utilize peer-to-peer insights, data, and connections to inform their respective businesses and create a more human employee experience and culture,” he told HRM.

French notes a second study, by Globoforce’s WorkHuman Research Institute, in which 80 percent of employees said the mere presence of a recognition program – provided it was one tied to a company’s core values – indicated company leaders actively tried to create a more human workplace focused on employee well-being.

The study also found that 58 per cent of employees who said they believed passionately in company values were more likely to say that leaders cared about a human workplace. Workers recognized in the past month were also 34 percent more likely to believe their company was a best place to work than those who were not recognized.

“When companies implement R&R programs designed to inspire employees and promote their well-being, they will ultimately prove to be successful,” stressed French.

So, with rewards and recognition still in a period of sustained change, where will the discipline be in a decade’s time?

“Over the next 10 years, recognition and rewards programs will continue to drive humanity in the workplace. This means that traditional metrics such as engagement, retention and employer brand, as well as emerging metrics such as happiness and optimism, will directly correlate with human workplace practices such as recognition, transparency, and respect for individual needs and growth,” says French.

“Companies on the vanguard of creating a more human workplace stand to reap significant rewards in terms of people metrics and ROI, so it’s key for companies to know and understand which human workplace practices are most effective in creating that more human workplace culture,” he continues.

“In 10 years’ time, the most successful companies will be the ones that concentrate their efforts on creating a more human workplace, which will be driven by the most crucial element of employee happiness: recognition.”

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