Why it is better to not just give away, but let employees choose rewards

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It is time organisations replaced their manual reward management system with a tech-enabled one, to save time and resources, and also ensure employee satisfaction.

Rewards are an integral part of any organisation’s employee-engagement strategy and they ought to be, as rewards are important to keep people motivated to do their best. Organisational success, productivity and overall work environment depends on how happy and motivated its people are, and businesses put in all kinds of efforts to achieve that. In doing so, they look at offering various perks and benefits to employees, as new-age rewards cannot fit in any single standardised category.

That said, organisations have to look at varied offerings for people at different levels of performance and in deciding that, they have to negotiate with different vendors too. The exercise is generally tedious and time consuming. Despite that, the employees are often left dissatisfied with their rewards, as they may not really need what they get.

Take for example, a multinational organisation with more than 30,000 employees in India. The company was giving away multiple rewards to employees for various activities throughout the year, for which it had different teams deployed across regions to plan and disseminate these rewards. The company faced numerous issues in doing so. Here are some of them:

  • Having to procure items for every reward separately was an administrative challenge for the procurement department and it was also difficult for them to negotiate discounts each time.

  • Distribution of the rewards was a logistic concern.

  • Since everything was manual, there was no central or singular employee support in case an issue arose.

  • There was no central source of records for all the rewards being given out to employees, while the details were always required for taxation purposes.

Now, one can easily imagine the chaos in a reward mechanism of this sort. It is neither scalable nor organised enough to even find out later, as to what works for people and what doesn’t. More than the operational or administrative challenges, it is about the mechanism allowing the employer an insight into what its people really want, so that there are no gaps in employee expectations from the rewards.

In order to streamline things, this MNC deployed an online rewards platform by Vantage Circle, for its employees. The platform not only helped solve all of its issues, but also gave employees the option of selecting a gift card as per their preferences.


“With features for rewards allocation & distribution, social recognition, badges & prizes, an analytics dashboard, and many more, Vantage Circle provides a customizable rewards & recognition solution that completely automates the process of budgeting and allocation of rewards within an organization.”


 

From the organisation’s perspective, instead of manually documenting, deciding and disseminating rewards, it now just had to simply upload an excel file with the employees’ e-mail ids and the corresponding reward points. On the basis of this, the employees would get an instant notification regarding their rewards. Then, they could decide at their own pace when they wanted to redeem their reward points against e-gift cards of their choice. Once they decided which gift card they wanted they could log on to the website or the mobile app and get their chosen gift card instantaneously, even while on the move.

The procurement department, on the other hand, was able to avoid numerous negotiations and had to take up only one to determine the discount it wanted. While the entire distribution and support was managed by Vantage Circle, the finance and HR departments had access to all the detailed reports to gauge the outcomes.

Getting an organised and automated solution to rewarding employees resulted in huge savings for the company—in terms of costs of procurement, man-hours as well as resources that were earlier consumed in managing the programme. The number of satisfied rewardees and the adoption of the rewards program also increased by over 30 per cent, making the whole idea behind rewarding more meaningful and impactful.

The story of this MNC has a message, loud and clear— that organisations trying to manage reward programmes manually, may be wasting a huge amount of their time and strategic bandwidth on administrative, logistic and operational tasks that can be taken up by a tech-enabled rewards platform. It will not only leave the HR professionals with more time and mind-space to strategise performance and rewards better, but will ensure that the purpose of any rewards programme — employee satisfaction and motivation—is fulfilled.

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