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Technology Innovations in Employee Recognition

Feb 13, 2017

Written by: Tricia Mikolai
(View Author Bio)

Since becoming web-based in the mid-90s, employee recognition programs have been an essential piece of the employee value proposition (EVP) – the complete offering a company makes to its prospective and current employees in return for their best efforts. However, not only has the face of the workforce changed in the last 25 years, so has the technology to recognise it.

To be truly innovative, recognition program technology should meet the needs of four generations in the workplace, multiple user levels and leadership teams who want to see results for the spend. Let’s take a look at the top five innovations…

App accessibility

For 2017 the number of mobile phone users is expected to rise to 19.4 million1 – that’s 79% of the population; and 74% of Australians say that they rely on their phones at least as much as their desktops2. If your employees are going to their mobile devices first, the most successful initiatives will also be mobile. Better yet, app-based programs put your program one click away from participation. Make accessibility easy using any device, anytime, anywhere.

Seamless login

The number of platforms users log into each work day can quickly get out of control: intranet, email, CRM, performance management, learning management, collaboration tools, benefits… plus the systems they need for actual work tasks. Recognition program technology can integrate with many systems, becoming a natural part of any of the communication, learning, measurement or reward platforms already in place. In fact, it can serve as the hub linking these disparate systems through single-sign on and Informatica Cloud integration which directly connects your enterprise data to the program.

Social networking

Social media is how we communicate, and many organisations have launched internal networking platforms to drive communication and collaboration. Take advantage of those natural desires for social interaction in your recognition program with public recognition, likes, comments and sharing (both inside and outside the organisation). However, you don’t want your employees camped on social media sites all day under the guise of recognising a co-worker or sharing their personal career successes. Add technology controls to address who can access specific sites and to give individuals the right to opt-out of any postings about them. Social recognition is an excellent employee engagement tool that can be implemented safely with proper policies and technological support.

Game mechanics

Using game mechanics in a recognition program drives emotional engagement leading to higher participation. Games give human actions deeper meaning by letting us be part of something bigger, providing instant feedback through interaction and building social connections because we have to collaborate to play. Gaming technology will:
• Communicate priorities – defines the “rules” and “goals” of your organisation
• Drive behaviour – these are the actions you need to take to win
• Train and educate – this is the information or skills you need to master to be successful
• Measure progress – here’s where you stand in meeting your goals
• Recognise achievement - these are the winners in your organisation


Measuring anyone’s performance is personal. Giving feedback is personal. Receiving feedback is personal. Employee recognition is personal. It has to be or there’s no point to it. Leading-edge employee programs use technology at every opportunity to address employees by name and personalise as many interactions as possible. From customised recognition to privacy settings, building a personal networking group to creating a profile and benchmarking performance to choosing a reward… every touchpoint in the program can be tailored to the individual user.

These innovations and many more can not only deliver a recognition program that meets your strategic EVP, they can also remove common hurdles of participation. The recognition system you choose should have the flexibility to implement those innovations that make sense for your culture while creating a simple user experience.

1 Number of mobile phone users in Australia from 2011 to 2019 (in millions).

2 2016 Australian Mobile Statistics: How Digital Is Increasingly A Mobile-First Experience.

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Tricia Mikolai

Tricia Mikolai

Former Managing Director

Tricia Mikolai served as Managing Director of BI WORLDWIDE's Oceania region. With almost a decade of experience in behaviour change programs, Tricia was responsible for leading multiple successful initiatives to help Fortune 1000 companies drive performance improvement. She is committed to sharing her knowledge and experience with business leaders to help them drive and sustain business results.

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