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    Mastering Reward & Recognition Strategy In A Virtual Work Mode

    November 27, 2020

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    The recent pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working. COVID-19 has without any doubt brought unprecedented human and humanitarian challenges. Many organisations around the world have taken measures by acting swiftly to safeguard employees and migrate to a new way of working that no one has ever envisioned. Across industries, leaders will use the lessons from this large-scale work-from-home experiment to reimagine how work is done and what role offices should play in creative and bold ways.

    Half a year has passed and we are still managing our anxiety with the fear of catching the virus, our present situation can be defined as:

    1)Massive job loss

    2)Unavoidable pay cuts

    3) Social recession

    So, how do you keep up the motivation levels of your talent when nothing is going right? Managing your remote workforce and simultaneously ensuring a smooth run of the active rewards and recognition program during this COVID-19 pandemic can be challenging. At this crucial moment, providing your employees with laptops and health benefits isn’t sufficient. It’s high time that employers understand the necessity of a tweaked rewards and recognition strategy to keep the employees motivated and engaged amidst the fear and uncertainty brought in by the pandemic.

    Shift in R&R Strategy:

    As organisations adopt a new way of working which is required in the new reality ahead, the definition and measurement of productivity is witnessing a significant shift as well. Some of the shifts that are becoming prominent includes:

    • Organisations are rethinking about their current frameworks and transforming the goal setting to a more dynamic, outcome and milestone based process.
    • Frequent check ins are becoming the order of the day to ensure ‘line of sight’, and also to guide the performance of the team in time, especially for the virtual roles.
    • Organisations are also looking for data driven platforms that can support remote working and track real time performance in absence of face time.
    • Possibility of a high “Burn out” due to multitasking with other responsibilities by being at home also automatically pushed the leaders to understand their employees and consider the emotional side as well. This helped in increasing the trust and transparency score.

    Hence, based on several other similar factors the rewards and recognition strategy of an organisation is going through a dynamic phase and there is a tremendous shift in the way it worked pre COVID to the post COVID world.

    Creating a Relevant Recognition Culture:

    While it is important to understand the necessity of a reward and recognition program, it is even more important to implement it based on the relevancy and create a dynamic workplace. Below are few examples of organisations who have put in effort to create and maintain a vibrant culture even during such challenging times and came up with various interesting employee recognition ideas.


    Gratitude Program by Fave:

    On July 2020, one of South east Asia’s fastest growing fintech & digital merchant platform Fave launched- Fave Greatitude: Covid-19 Special Recognition Programme (Great + Gratitude = #Greatitude). The act of #greatitude is to recognise employees' brilliant achievements or milestones (no matter how big or small they are) and express gratitude to people who have helped others in these difficult times. It was a two week campaign where employees across Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia offices recognised each other (virtually).

    This was a special campaign launched to recognise those who have kept each other going - in their lives and at work during the past few months. There was an exchange of almost 3000 recognitions within 2 weeks.

    A Financial Incentive by ALKU:

    The ALKU Stimulus Package has recognised and rewarded star employees while working remotely. ALKU also made the new remote work challenges the center of their Great Place to Work Certification celebration.

    "In this newly remote workforce, we had to switch things up a little. We chose 10 outstanding ALKU employees and tasked them with taking a fun photo of them celebrating the Certification" said Maddie Eldridge, Marketing Coordinator at ALKU.

    Source: Great place to work

    One of India’s largest fintech companies has initiated different employee engagement competitions like best chef award, best photography award, best home decor award etc has been launched to keep employees motivated and engaged during such uncertain times.

    One of India’s largest healthcare companies has launched interesting programs where they used recognition to celebrate staff serving in the epicenter of COVID-19. They have created and distributed new eCards which help in reinforcing how the world needs them, honoring them as heroes, or highlighting healthcare-related actions they’re taking, the new eCards are inspiring and powerful. A new program through their recognition platform allows leaders to automatically send eCards every day to thank employees and reach people when they need it most.

    6 Powerful Ways to Recognise Your Remote Employees:

    • Invest in cloud platform for Recognition: This is the most powerful decision one could make in 2020 as getting a platform to run rewards and recognition can boost the HR team to run relevant campaigns with ease.
    • Go Public with your Recognition: Social recognition is important as it's the sign of a workplace that puts people first.
    • Strategise your long term recognition plan: COVID has definitely taught us a lesson that planning is crucial and strategizing your reward & recognition model and identifying success metrics and timelines are fundamental.
    • Promote mental and physical wellness: This is a no brainer and without any doubt the most important thing to be on anyone’s list. Promoting mental and physical wellness ensures a healthy organisation with better informed employees.
    • Facilitate employee development: What better ways to upskill an employee than by facilitating them with a free learning coupon? It should be one of the top priorities for HR while drafting the case for reward and recognition culture at work.

    Here is a checklist on total rewards which shows all possible factors that need to be identified and evaluated to form a successful rewards and recognition strategy.

    total-reward-checklistGiven the uncertainty ahead, the existing recognition pillars need to be continuously re-evaluated to assess relevance. Agility, Accountability and Autonomy are the new design principles that need to be incorporated in the rewards and recognition strategy and most importantly it should be incorporated in the organisation culture.

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