When my wife Linda and I had coffee with a neighbor recently, our neighbor complained about the lack of recognition in her company. She heads the business improvement area in a billion dollar company and is paid a salary of several hundred thousand dollars a year. Yet even at her senior level she was unhappy about the way top management failed to recognize her work – which improved her company’s bottom line by many millions of dollars. What’s more, operational managers were trying to take the credit for some of her work. She was actually thinking of leaving the company due to the lack of recognition for her good achievements. This story is a strong reminder that hunger for recognition is one of the strongest motivators for employees, ahead of money and various other influences. This article suggests a range of mobile apps for recognizing employees that will help to lift worker engagement and performance.
Also, remember that communication is a key element of successful employee recognition.
I have written several articles and a Kindle book, Employee Recognition: The secret to Great Team Performance about employee recognition, having managed several such projects in-house and as a consultant for various organizations. Through all these experiences I’m still amazed how senior managers overlook such a simple concept so much. It is not difficult to set up – as you can read in my article, “Key principles for effective employee recognition activities.”
Software infrastructure is the best bet for enabling those connections among colleagues who are separated by distance. Tech tools have been developed – and are continually being developed – to enable businesses to overcome geographic barriers for communication and relationships.
But, importantly, technology can’t replace human connection, according to a Terryberry article in 2020. Technology and infrastructure can – and often should – be used to enable human connection, but humans and a commitment to people are still required to form healthy and productive workplace relationships.
Mobile apps for recognizing employees make it easier to to give due praise and acknowledgement for work well done. Nevertheless, don’t overlook the fact that face-to-face expressions of recognition are more effective than digital versions. On the other hand, the COVID pandemic has forced many employees to work from home, which will probably continue on a hybrid basis. This would tend to suit the use of mobile apps more than previously.
Clearly the impact of COVID and its variants around the world have had a major impact on the workplace, forcing many employers to channel their employees into working from home or participating in a hybrid work mode. In turn, this has forced major changes in workplace communication and employee recognition.
One outcome of these changes is the adoption of new software platforms for employee recognition. Ideal communication is face-to-face and in-person, and software and apps are merely a substitute, but can be effective if managed well. This article by SnackNation reviews “The best employee recognition software platforms & reward programs used by notable companies in 2022,” to give you a range of options to think about.
Also, here is an earlier the list of 12 mobile apps for recognizing employees for work well done could be helpful for you:
Workmates by HR Cloud is an all-in-one employee mobile app, providing a touchless solution for businesses and employees to stay connected. Its ‘kudos’ feature and kudos leaderboard allow employees to reward each other for achievements, creating a company culture of increased productivity and engagement. Employees can give each other a digital ‘high five’ with customizable badges and receive rewards with gift cards, corporate items, or other ways of saying thanks.
Bonusly is an engaging recognition and rewards platform that enriches a company culture. Bonusly’s tools are designed to help people feel a sense of purpose and progress at work. The firm is top rated on review sites like Capterra and G2.
Released by O.C. Tanner, an 85-year-old company known for its employee rewards and recognition products, iAppreciate enables you to celebrate employee milestones, appreciate efforts, reward results, and more. What’s more, employees can send one another inspiring messages, too, and share their accolades on Twitter and Facebook.
This app from Toronto-based employee-engagement vendor Achievers enables workers to accumulate recognition points that they can apply toward merchandise, gift cards, and even 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.
Analytics on employee morale, culture and engagement. Using surveys, pulse tracking, recognition and awards the employee engagement software measures company culture and morale in real-time.
Rebranded from Globoforce, Workhuman is a complete app for employee recognition. In real time, the app lets you nominate colleagues for awards, approve pending nominations, receive awards, redeem awards, view and congratulate colleagues for recognition they’ve received via a social newsfeed and more, all in a safe and secure environment.
Terryberry is the parent company of the Give a WOW platform for peer-to-peer recognition in the workplace, and is also the parent company of 360 Recognition.
Through a Terryberry bulletin board platform, employers and employees can use the GiveAWow app to give and receive recognition for great work in real time. Flexible for businesses small and large.
Terryberry’s 360 Recognition Platform enables employers to host all recognition activities on one platform. This makes recognition experiences more engaging and meaningful for recipients, plus programs are easier to manage and monitor.
Kudos is a corporate social network and peer-to-peer recognition system designed to engage your teams with enhanced communication, collaboration, appreciation and recognition. It is simple, scalable, flexible, effective and affordable.
JobPts provides you with various types of rewards you can choose from to distribute. You can run points programs based on multiple currencies, denominations, hierarchical levels, geography and budgeting periods. The app’s social walls, gamification and employee collaboration features mimic your employees’ favorite social media channels and create a satisfying employee experience and engagement with the program.
Kazoo HR employee recognition and rewards programs help to keep dispersed teams together. Their employee recognition and rewards programs celebrate teams and tie their work to company culture and goals. These Kazoo programs are visible throughout a company and help boost engagement.
It is tempting to ‘subcontract’ to mobile apps for recognizing employees. However, one of the key factors in employee recognition is the ‘people factor.’ Most workers want their recognition to be live and in person, not delivered via impersonal social media systems and gamification, etc.
In a Gallup workplace survey, employees were asked to recall who gave them their most meaningful and memorable recognition: “The data revealed the most memorable recognition comes most often from an employee’s manager (28%), followed by a high-level leader or CEO (24%), the manager’s manager (12%), a customer (10%) and peers (9%).” Around 17% of employees cited “other” as the source of their most memorable recognition, which presumably included software and apps, a comparatively low proportion.
A review conducted by Gartner in 2015 (“Technology Overview for Employee Recognition and Rewards Software” – access by subscription) found the use of software systems including apps can be relevant to mid-size organizations of 500+ employees. The platforms “should be used to complement – not replace – the annual merit increase, incentive/bonus award and promotion management processes…” The Gartner report noted the drawbacks of using software systems. Be mindful of these:
“Gamification” has become considered by some people as a form of recognition, but what most people call “gamification” is actually what experts call “pointsification” or “badgification” – the addition of things like leaderboards, badges and a competitive or acquisitive element into software. The key point is that there is no real substitute for direct human interaction in employee recognition. Employees understand that. Here are the responses from employees in the Globoforce “Spring 2014 Workforce Mood Tracker” survey:
Globoforce also wrote in more detail about this in their article, “Why gamification and recognition don’t mix.”
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