Ankita Singh

How HR and Business Leaders can develop a strategy for recognizing and rewarding employees | Dr. Ankita Singh | Senior VP & Global Head HR, IT, admin & Travel | CIGNEX Technologies Private Limited

Ankita SinghThe psychological frame triggers the need to recognize team members only if they are exceptionally doing well, “as per expectation” in our scorecards is not as noteworthy of recognition as “Over and above expectation” for most of us in the system. Unfortunately, that’s not the correct way but the most accepted and practiced one.

Unfortunately, we often miss those little windows to appreciate our people who contribute meaningfully in their capacity. Most managers believe that the individuals are already getting paid for what they deliver.

We define SMART goals for our people, but how often do we define SMART strategies to recognize their work. Here, I am elaborating a little more on what I mean by SMART and effective R&R strategy that
business leaders can design:

Simple: Strategic yet relatable and doable. Sometimes we get too much into the formula-based approach. R&R strategy should be simple to define, communicate, understand, and accept. Instead of sounding like an alien project, it should motivate people to be part of the defined initiative.

Merit-based: Leaders should not complicate it by portraying these strategies as “For the top 2% performers of the organization”. This way, we limit the range and discourage people from participating. The
moment you showcase it’s just for 2%, it becomes a race. It’s more reasonable to convey that everybody who performs as per the defined objective targets will get recognized. Building a culture of appreciation
and recognition should be the priority for the leaders.

Adaptable: Staying receptive to change is a must. If the need of the time is to go with a tech-driven approach, Leaders should take that route. It should not restrict or reduce the importance of R&R just
because we are all working from home; we don’t know how well the other person is contributing or simply because we cannot organize the appropriate platform to recognize people. Whatever can be done should be done. The duo should focus on creating a system that survives the changes and meets the need of today.

Reviewed: A high percentage of organizations still follow their R&R strategy rolled out a decade back. I am not implying that leaders should instantly transform those; no! But, practically all the driving factors have changed, and there is no harm in checking with the people who directly get impacted; feedback and a review mechanism should be in place. Be it concerning the process, how we acknowledge it, how continually we
do it, or where we broadcast, it will always be so helpful and apt to know from our employees instantly to comprehend how well it is received and how effective our entire plan is.

Timely: Like annual surveys, we have all witnessed annual awards and monthly recognition forums; do they help? Have you not reworked your sheet at the end of the year, removing some percentage of performers
as they would have already left the system? Why delay and keep it for later when you could notice and talk about it now. It makes so much more sense to celebrate the win as it occurs than to wait for a time or a day when people find it next to impossible to relate and appreciate.

Surveys have quantified that people who feel appreciated at work contribute more than others. The organization’s motive should enable each individual to deliver their best to their capability and get
appreciated logically.

We do it wrong by announcing it as a race than self-development/growth. We should stop displaying that individuals should demonstrate to be better than others to get identified and recognized; instead, leaders should tell employees that “We are in this together; we will enable you to out-perform and celebrate the win together.” When the day arrives, leaders should proactively pass on the piece of encouragement and motivation to show that the organization values people and their contributions.

Recognize them as performers to get recognized as THE employer of choice.