Wow! You have a great online recognition and reward program all set up and people are using it.
But a few people have some concerns about how painless it will be to access.
Your program should have a friendly interface and be easy to use. Common functions should be accessible from a simple drop-down menu.
Now you are wondering how intuitive your recognition and reward program really is.
Intuitive or Not
It is the rarest of desktop application or software-as-a-service that someone who has never worked with a similar program can immediately use.
Recognition programs can sometimes be a far cry from opening up a smartphone for the first time. For smartphones, you simply take them out of the packaging, turn it on, and you’re usually up to speed in seconds.
With your recognition program, make sure your IT folks, or third-party vendor, have created a program that is easy to learn and easy to use. This is where intuitive technology is critical in having use-friendly design for your software solution. The goal is to access and operate your recognition and reward program with commands that match a natural and “intuitive” way of working.
Managers and employees alike must feel comfortable in using the program to recognize those they work with. Using the program should be efficient and effective.
That’s why most employee recognition programs go through a detailed User Acceptance Testing (UAT) protocol. UAT is usually the final stage in any program development cycle. This is where you invite employees and customers to test out the program software. Their job is to put the recognition program through its paces and see if it can easily do what it’s supposed to do.
Making Recognition Giving Easy To Do
Can you easily go on the program and find how to recognize a colleague?
Okay, so you have found where the ecard feature is on your program. That was easy to do. Now you can select a graphic ecard image from one of the category options available to you. Is this just to thank someone or is it to celebrate a career milestone? You get to choose the card that fits.
You should be able to click on today’s date to send out the ecard or defer the date using a calendar to send the card out later on.
Then it is just a matter of identifying the recipient(s) to send the card to and filling in the text box with your message of recognition and appreciation. Correct any mistakes before sending the card to your recognition recipient.
Other means of recognition available to you will be features like sending an iconic social badge for quick recognition expressions. These end up appearing on the recognition newsfeed with your brief comments and on the individual’s recognition program profile.
Of course, you can simply go to the social recognition newsfeed to see what is happening. Send a quick recognition post as just a text-based message and thank someone or acknowledge them for the great things you’ve observed. Add a personal comment to somebody else’s recognition message in the stream besides just hitting the “like” button.
Giving Rewards for Above and Beyond Performance
Most recognition programs also have a reward component to them. When sending or nominating a worker for receiving points, or any other reward, for going above and beyond, make sure it is easy to know exactly what to do.
Naturally, there will be the same process as for ecards in identifying the employee and probably how to attach an appropriate ecard. Follow the proposed cues or messaging process for identifying the specific action or behavior the employee performed. Tell the recipient the impact their actions have made on others.
To determine the right reward amount to give, you may have to go through steps in identifying how the employee’s actions met certain criteria. This will help confirm the right value of the points amount or reward level merited by the employee.
Never give a reward alone. Write up an appropriate recognition expression or message accompanying the reward. Once completed, send your reward or nomination for either manager approval or directly to the employee.
Most online recognition programs send an immediate email notification to the employee with the ecard or recognition message. This has an embedded link that will take the employee back in to the recognition program. There, they can say thanks or leave an acknowledging comment.
If they sent a reward to the employee, the employee will receive an email notification sending them to the organization’s recognition and reward website. An employee may choose to bank their points or rewards and accumulate them for higher valued items in the redemption catalog, or immediately redeem them.
Redemption of points or level-based rewards should be easy to do. An employee can access the reward or award categories from an online catalog and select a gift or gift card. This then follows the standard add to shopping cart procedure and checking out once done. They may or may not have to add their address, or at least confirm the mailing address, before finally placing the order.
These processes should be clear to all users. You can use Frequently Asked Questions to guide employees, have pop-up windows tell you what to do, or access video tutorials actually showing what to do.
Coming to your online recognition program for the first time should be an inviting experience that encourages recognition giving. There should be one simple menu showing you where to go next. They should focus everything about your program on making recognition easy and fun.
Recognition Reflection: How easy to use are your current recognition and reward programs?
Roy is no longer writing new content for this site (he has retired!), but you can subscribe to Engage2Excel’s blog as Engage2Excel will be taking Roy’s place writing about similar topics on employee recognition and retention, leadership and strategy.