The Advantages of Digital Rewards as a Form of Employee Recognition

Whether you are a sports team, a business or both, when you are doing something well, people start looking for the secrets of your success. And the secret is often contained in the people that you hire, whether they are front-of-house staff that look after your customers with panache, or back-office innovators that look at the way that you are doing things and help your organisation become leaner to grow and evolve. But can digital rewards help HR professionals to attract and retain good staff as part of a wider engagement strategy?

Attracting and retaining key team members is fundamental to ensuring that your business thrives. It’s a competitive world out there though, so how do you make sure that your business stands-out as somewhere that potential team members want to work long-term?

Reward and recognition strategies have long been recognised as an efficient way of building staff loyalty by underscoring commitment and encouraging future leaders and teams to go the extra mile.

Digital rewards increasingly stand-out as a cost-efficient and effective approach for companies looking to create a reward strategy that attracts and retains staff. Here are five reasons why.

1. They appeal to modern workforces

Digital rewards are easy to promote internally, either via email or through intranet updates. Using well placed links means that it’s easy for colleagues to take advantage of the opportunities they create and communications can be tailored to demographics and life events.
According to our recent consumer reward survey  46% of 1,399 individual consumers of gift cards and vouchers said that they would find it acceptable to receive an electronic code as a gift, a number that is likely to rise in the coming years as the proportion of digital-natives in the workplace increases.

2. Digital rewards are relevant rewards

Keeping rewards fresh is an important factor to making sure that colleagues continue to capitalise on the opportunities that a scheme delivers. An electronic code system can give colleagues the flexibility to choose their own rewards that fit their lifestyle without expecting team-leaders or human resource teams to make a best guess about what they might want. What’s more the rewards on offer needn’t remain online only – recipients could select a physical reward as their preferred option, thereby keeping them relevant and appealing to all, despite some misconceptions.
Equally, our survey found that 84% of consumers appreciate the ability to spend their reward either online or on the high street, so the flexibility of an electronic reward scheme is likely to encourage long-term participation.

3. They are easy to keep track of

One of the regular criticisms of traditional reward schemes is that they are difficult to keep track of with no management information, but a well implemented digital reward strategy can be managed relatively easily and deliver some very useful analysis for a company.

4. Reward codes are cheap for the business to maintain

The world is constantly changing and must-have products are rising and falling at an astonishing rate. Having a strategy in place that reflects this is a good way of keeping colleagues happy, and can really help with word-of-mouth promotion of your business. Discussions in the pub or at the school gates along the lines of “I was given a reward for a project I helped on and I put it toward our new TV” can be a powerful message about the benefits of working for your company.
In our survey, only 40% of respondents said that they were happy with the reward and recognition programmes that their companies offered and a further 39% say that their employers don’t offer any rewards or recognition. This means that there are a lot of potential employees out there that could be swayed into joining your team by an effective reward scheme.

5. They are simple to implement and maintain

Digital reward strategies are relatively easy to implement and maintain. They can be tracked and amended far more easily than their paper counterparts, reducing the risk that rewards will be used by someone other than the unintended beneficiary and because it’s virtual the look and feel of the reward can be instantly updated to reflect any brand evolution.

Growing confidence with technology among every demographic means that digital rewards have increasing relevance and appeal to colleagues at every level. We wouldn’t claim that a digital rewards strategy would be the deciding factor when people are making a decision whether to move company or stay, but it can be an attractive part of a wider overall package.

Given the benefits that digital rewards represent, there is a real and growing opportunity for businesses to make great gains by bringing employee rewards online.