Employee recognition in the digital age has fundamentally changed. The concept is simple enough: recognize employees for their hard work in a thoughtful manner. Employee recognition has consistently produced positive results in the workplace, but arguably it was somewhat subjective in the past. With more data, there are better tools for analyzing employee performance. It creates opportunities to get more out of this strategy than ever before.
It's not just the quality of work that matters in attracting and retaining top talent but also recognition programs. These are important because they can show employees that their efforts are being noticed by their managers. Even when this recognition is small, it can impact their motivation to come to work every day.
In this blog, we've collected some of the top trends in employee recognition in 2022. The good news is that there's never been a better time to show your employees that they are valued as each year the importance of rewards and recognition grows as organizations shift from obtaining increased productivity to offering increased employee happiness.
Upcoming Employee Experience Trends of 2022
Over the past few years, employee recognition programs have evolved substantially. With more and more organizations creating formal recognition programs, there is a growing need to understand what drives employees to continue participating in them to engage their workforce effectively.
More Investment in Training
Companies will invest more money in employee training than ever before. To keep up with the competition, companies will increase their spending on professional development opportunities for their employees by almost $4 billion. Employee recognition software will become more sophisticated. There's no doubt that technology is going to continue to improve while becoming even more accessible. It will make it easier for employers to use employee recognition software while also helping them provide a more advanced experience to their employees.
Tangible rewards continue to dominate employee recognition in 2022. The reason for this is that they are easier to create and distribute than digital rewards. It's a trend that we do not see changes soon. Employees respond well to tangible rewards because they can easily see the value it adds to their lives. Physical rewards such as gift cards, vouchers, and free samples remain popular across all cultures. Digital rewards such as credits, discounts, and digital content are also growing in popularity among employees today. These rewards can often be redeemed immediately or at a later date, making them more convenient for employees than other types of tangible rewards.
The shift in traditional performance management systems towards performance recognition systems
With the shift towards a knowledgebase economy, employers are focusing on increasing employees' motivation, intrinsic value system, and innovative skills rather than their job duties. Performance management systems are not only outdated but also do not encourage employees to develop their skills. As a result, many employers are shifting their performance management systems towards performance recognition programs that focus on recognizing employees' contributions to the organization to address this issue.
Employee Recognition as a culture-building tool
Many companies implement employee recognition programs simply because it's the right thing to do. They see it as a way to show appreciation and keep their employees happy and motivated at work. However, the best companies know that recognition goes beyond being a part of your culture—it is an essential component of creating a great workplace where employees love to be.
In 2022, employee recognition will be about creating a good employee experience and creating a great company culture. Studies show that engaged employees are more likely to stay with their organization and have ten times higher productivity. Therefore, to create a workplace that people enjoy coming into every day, you have to use rewards and recognition to create a great culture.
Gamification at Work
When we think of gamification, most people think of video games, but the concept of points, levels, and rewards can be applied to all sorts of experiences beyond traditional gaming. For example, points are earned for completing tasks in the workplace, which is then used to unlock real-world rewards. Gamified programs are specially designed to encourage specific behaviors in the workplace, such as helping one another or taking on new challenges. These programs are created using rules that are similar to popular video games. For example, when an employee reaches a certain point threshold, they are given access to a particular community forum to interact with their peers.
Another example is awarding points based on how many check-ins an employee makes in a day or week. Once the employee accumulates enough points, they are rewarded with a prize or gift card. Although these programs have been around for years, they're becoming more prevalent due to the popularity of mobile apps and social media platforms that have already successfully implemented this type of framework.
In 2022, employee engagement will continue to be a critical piece of driving innovation through employees. In-house training and ladder promotions will be the most common form of recognition for employees, but technology-driven employee experience innovations will also rise.