Keeping an employee interested in the job is of paramount importance and without strong emotional bonds people change jobs in an almost flippant manner, sometimes for a ‘slim' hike in package. As competition grows, the pool of skilled manpower isn't keeping pace. Added to the dilemma is the widening age latitude, of these ‘mercenaries'.
Lead by INFOSYS (an attrition of almost 17 employees a day), IT companies are most at risk, actually the entire Service Industry falls into the danger zone. As a result, there is a need for good and effective Reward & Recognition programmes. Some organisations have kicked off R&R programmes, managed by an in-house team from the HR department. However, some companies have realised the importance of taking a more professional approach.
R&R programmes for sales teams or any employee group with a distinctly measurable KPI/KRA is relatively simpler. It's for the other categories that a great deal of precision and a clear set of measurement guidelines need to be designed i.e. criteria for credit allocation, who can assign credits to whom and how. More complicated is assigning who should ascertain whether a correct measurement has been made. It's often better to create an auto diligence system without the boss being involved.
The more effective a programme aspires to be, the more complex it becomes. It's for this reason companies have started engaging specialist organisations to design and maintain R&R programmes.
An effective R&R programme must necessarily comprise four crucial components:
1. A fantastic interface with participants – creatively refreshing, if online then a great Microsite; if offline then an attractive brochure;
2. A VERY simple mechanism – one that can be easily understood and operated. There can't be any complicated methods of measuring or allocation, people will simply not take the trouble to participate;
3. A dynamic rewards catalogue that is constantly updated with exciting experiential products and services. From movies, entertainment to food, education to white goods and even home improvement services;
4. Results that can be measured. At the end of the day every good R & R programme is measureable.
It is critical that at the concept stage, all beneficiaries get involved. The primary driver being the HR Department, then there's the concerned employee's department, in some cases the corporate communications department and the marketing and sales departments where necessary. Key to the success of any R&R programme is the employees' buy-in, without which the whole exercise becomes futile.
Current programmes operate a tiered system with restricted access; allowing teams to see within but not across the spectrum; similarly as one goes up the pyramid the more one can have access to. Programmes should be able to function irrespective of the employee's location; therefore most successful programmes use all three platforms of delivery - Offline, Online and Mobile.
The author is Girish Khare, CMO, RewardPort India