A few weeks ago, I published a Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos about recognition and rewards. It was about the boss who gave every member of the team an ugly holiday sweater. I hope you’ll check it out if you haven’t already. This one reminded me of another aspect of rewards and recognition that we might forget. And that’s all rewards do not have to be personal.
What I mean by that is, the goal of rewards and recognition is for the recipient to feel the value (of the sentiment). It’s true, sometimes that might be an item that an employee really wants on a personal level. I’ve had bosses give me an extra day off or a Starbucks gift card because they knew I liked those things. But once I had a boss give me a printer for my office. Yep, that’s right…a printer.
Did I need a printer? No. My office printer worked just fine. It was old but it worked. My boss knew that I really wanted a new printer with the latest technology. So, to thank me for my hard work, he approved a printer. I was thrilled.
By sharing this story I’m not implying that managers should all start buying office equipment for their employees. But this Time Well Spent cartoon reminded me that sometimes employees value rewards that make their work lives easier. Or rewards that make them feel they are keeping up with the latest technologies. Like mobile scheduling.
- Employees expect their work technologies to mirror their personal lives. Let’s face it, we’ve become really spoiled with the capabilities of today’s technology. I can deposit a check without going to the bank. I bought Aquaman movie tickets while standing in line at a store. Employees expect to have the conveniences of technology at work. And when I say employees, that includes manager level employees. Supervisors and managers want technology to make their work lives easier too.
- Companies that want to attract and retain talent need to have current technology. This goes along with the first bullet. The recruiting landscape is competitive. Employees have choices. When faced with the decision to apply at an organization with the latest tech or outdated tech, which one do you think they’ll choose? Exactly. This doesn’t mean that organizations have to run out an buy the latest at the moment it’s available. But it does mean they need to plan to keep competitive.
Organizations that want to send the message to employees that their work is valued need to also think about how the work gets done. Giving an employee the latest equipment is one way to show that the organization cares. They care that employees perform at a high level using the best technology. Which could translate into less stress, better work / life balance, and improved engagement.
I’m not saying that managers should stop the thank you’s, gift cards, or extra time off. Those forms of rewards and recognition are important. But sometimes, organizations need to think about rewarding employees by making their work life easier.12