The challenge for businesses over the last twelve months has been about how to keep staff engaged and motivated during lockdowns and remote working. To build and maintain an excellent business environment in such a situation has indeed been difficult.
Business leaders have had to make decisions around how much to invest in a reward and recognition programme to support their people and keep their businesses running. Now a year after the Covid-19 pandemic closed many business offices, we’re beginning to see reasons for optimism: the population of vaccinated people is growing; the number of new COVID-19 cases is declining; and by mid-summer, a good portion of the working-age population should be vaccinated.
As time evolves, the need for good affordable reward and recognition solutions will only increase.
Returning to the workplace
Whilst offices will be reopening, many will not be able to operate at full capacity due to ongoing social distancing requirements. Business leaders will therefore need to look at how they manage a more varied workforce from a location point of view and also think about the wellbeing measures that need to be put in place to manage the evolving long-term consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The immediate decision facing many businesses is about how and who to bring back to the office environment over the coming months and how to build staff engagement and motivation with a more dispersed workforce. Decisions around work policies about the mix of remote and in-office work have ramifications beyond short term cost and efficiency. Because of what we’ve gone through over the past year, we are about to enter a new era in the evolution of organisations with changes to how we interact whilst at ‘work’.
The decisions that business owners and leaders make over the next few months will set the tone for how work will be done in the future, impacting the relationships employees have formed and their emotional connection with the company. This will have a significant impact on employee motivation and productivity levels.
Much of the current commentary in the media on this question assumes that after it’s safe to return to the office, many employees will prefer to remain working at home for much of the work week. However, many business leaders that we talk with have found working remotely more frustrating than satisfying because their job involves tasks that are most difficult to do remotely.
They must ensure collaboration across departments and business functions, coach employees remotely, deal with people and relationship problems, and read the subtle signs of everyday interactions for barriers to communication. If they are not done well, morale and teamwork decline, and ultimately, innovation suffers. Managing people can be more difficult when working remotely. This means that both managers and all staff will need access to new engagement tools.
Reward and Recognition
The hard task for businesses is to ensure that working teams whether they are in a workplace or working remotely are engaged with one another. Creativity and successful growth delivery depend on spontaneity and repeated unplanned iterations. Gaining staff loyalty and dedication to the bigger business purpose requires that people go through good and bad times together, shoulder to shoulder and are able to recognise and reward the right behaviours and all the contributions.
Reward and Recognition Platform
Delivering employee recognition programmes through an online portal allows employees to recognise another employee for a job well done and can be aligned with business values. This makes it a good solution for many businesses. The adopted reward and recognition platform should include a range of options to reward employees including peer to peer, manager to employee and employee to manager.
It should also allow businesses to incentivise outstanding efforts with monetary rewards or perks. Rewards can be given in the form of an evoucher code to spend on a Rewards Catalogue, where employees get to choose from a wide variety of brands. The platform should allow personalisation of the look and feel so that the company brand and values are reinforced to all employees.
Business owners need to remember that a reward and recognition solution is separate from the pay package, although it can also be monetary in nature. Reward and recognition programmes aim to provide a psychological benefit to employees and make them look good in front of their peers and teams.
Busy Bees Benefits helps companies across the UK to attract, engage and retain their best people with an employee engagement platform that brings employee benefits, discounts and perks, reward and recognition, employee wellbeing and employee communications into one Smarthive hub solution.
Managing Director, Busy Bees Benefits
Provider of the SmartHive Platform
Smart Hive is an integrated, cost effective employee benefits platform that provides your employees with access to all their health and wellbeing benefits in one place. Talk to a member of our team today or book your very own demonstration.