Recognising a job well done

The first part of this article discussed the benefits of recognising the achievements of employees. In this concluding part, the top minds of various industry sectors share the initiatives taken by their organisations and the role of social media in recognising employees.

So, how do organisations make employees feel appreciated? Sonia Kutty, General Manager, Human Resources, QuEST Global says, “One of the key initiatives is recognition from the customer, which we consider as the ultimate, as no one better than the customer can give a better testimonial. This is one of the key indicators of appreciating an employee’s contribution.” Several awards - CSAT Champions Award, Service Anniversary Awards, Employee of the Month, and Strong Contender for Employee of the Month Award, Team of the Year and Strong Contenders and Knowledge Management Champions Award are given throughout the year based on set parameters and votes of a team of judges. ‘The CEO Club Dinner’ is a quarterly event where the best employee of the quarter gets the opportunity to join for an informal dinner with QuEST CEO, Mr. Ajit Prabhu. ‘Conveyor’ – the company’s newsletter makes special mention of employee’s key achievements”, she adds.

Tejas Pandit, Business Operations and Strategy Lead, EMC India Centre of Excellence says that EMC has designed a customised platform to recognise employee achievements. This platform not only recognises individual employee’s achievements but also enhances collaboration. It also induces motivation for right behaviours and actions to be exhibited while working at EMC India.

Naveen Narayanan - Global Head, Talent Acquisition, HCL Technologies says that while there are cash rewards, the primary focus is always on recognition and appreciation. He says, “Awards such as Long Service Awards and Delivery Rewards and Recognition Awards Programmes bring to life HCL’s Employees First philosophy. O2 League of Extraordinary is an annual gala event to celebrate the high performance and achievements in the presence of family and colleagues. Xtra Miles is an online platform through which employees can appreciate the extraordinary efforts of peers. Recognition comes in the form of ‘miles’ or points earned, and gives them an opportunity to be a part of a select club of achievers.”

As Nagarajan Balanaga, Vice President – Human Resource, Cummins Group in India elucidates, “All major achievers are personally recognised by the Group Managing Director at the all-employee communication forum held quarterly. Individual and team efforts are recognised at this forum in the presence of the leadership team.” Additionally, key achievers are also recognised by presenting the CMD (Chairman and Managing Director) Awards for demonstrating allegiance to Cummins’ six core values.”

Rajesh Ramanathan, Director, HR, Cadbury Kraft Foods says, “Internally, we highlight and recognise achievements through mailers, newsletters and announcements on the intranet along with announcements in town halls and key forums.” Among their initiatives, ‘Managing Director Club’ is a concept wherein the best performing sales and customer business development colleagues are nominated to the exclusive Managing Director Privilege Club – ‘The Heroes’ and are flown to an international location for fun-filled 4 days.

Additionally, they have a regional award system where key achievements from teams of different countries are recognised across functions. Recently, 11 top performers were selected from across Cadbury Kraft offices in India and were awarded the opportunity to witness the London Olympics 2012.

Tapping the power of social media

The emergence of social media – like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter is a great benefit for organisations with branches worldwide. A bit of fun is added while ensuring the organisation’s visibility and employee engagement.

As Sreehari S, Managing Director, India Development Centre, The Attachmate Group (TAG) says, “Social media plays a vital role in the company’s reward and recognition process, especially in geographically distributed teams. Most of our recognition programmes are structured around peer recognition, and the company supports this with enabling tools and processes. This allows employees to express appreciation, gratitude and recognition for each other’s contributions across locations. The employees and their significant contributions are posted on the collaboration sites within the company’s intranet and are also displayed at various points at the workplace.”

Rajesh Padmanabhan, HR Head, Capgemini India says, “The public recognition that follows infuses a sense of accountability in the winners as they are regarded highly by others. Such announcements leave strong impressions on the external viewer about the company’s values and culture. As for the employees, it reinforces them to align themselves with the company’s ethos.

Today, we see that many companies are active on Facebook, Yammer, Twitter and they have strong alumni networks. In this age of netizens, such initiatives will be very successful.”

Meena Wilson, Senior Faculty, Centre for Creative Leadership – Asia Pacific says, “The role of social media is expanding. At this point, social media recognition seems to be driven by employees as individuals, not by their organisation. Individuals recognise each other via comments on Facebook, Yammer, and other networks. This may change.

With organisations creating their own ‘pages’ on social media sites, savvy employees step forward to blog, twitter, youtube or post. In effect, social media enables employees to step out and directly win accolades from internal and external audiences in ways that were not possible earlier.”

It is easy to be carried away with all the praise about social media. However, it is critical to ensure privacy concerns are addressed in line with the organisation policies and culture. Otherwise, companies will flounder and make mistakes resulting in loss of reputation, customers and employees.

As Rajesh Padmanabhan cautions, “We need to be careful with the context and messaging to ensure the spirit of recognition and appreciation is not lost.”

With an effective recognition strategy and judicious use of social media, companies can enable employees to give the best they can at work.

Aarti Santosh


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