Recognition Help Desk: 5 Tips to Maximize Your Recognition Program’s Reward Experience

April 14, 2022 Anna Chmura

Implementing a social recognition program is the first step in creating a company culture that is positive, inclusive, and energized. By changing the way individuals and teams value each other and work together, organizations can foster innovation, creativity, and collaboration. By empowering both managers and employees to recognize and reward each other, everyone feels acknowledged for who they are and what they do.

Following up with an e-commerce site for employees to redeem awards is just as important. However, there’s more to a successful e-commerce platform than just making transactions. It’s about creating a buzz throughout your company and bringing colleagues together to share their meaningful redemption experiences. Not only does this extend the life of a recognition moment, but it also allows employees to reflect on how proud they were during that time.

When choosing an e-commerce platform, keep your employees top of mind. An e-commerce network should offer localized, relevant, and impactful reward choices through an immersive and personalized redemption experience. So think: What will create an immersive experience for them? Should the catalog differ for employees in different countries? How will employees remember they have awards to spend?

Here are five tips to keep in mind when building out your e-commerce strategy.

1. First impressions

Build a rich branding strategy for your platform that centers around your company’s values using logo, color, font, imagery, and other designs. Include seasonal promotions and highlight items that are new, on sale, or advertised more prominently to bring the catalog to life. Examples include Fourth of July in the U.S., Diwali in India, Chinese New Year, holiday gifting, and seasonal trends, such as outdoor games.

Don’t forget about your global workforce. It’s beneficial to have one reward catalog experience on a unified platform so employees aren’t burdened with reviewing or toggling between multiple catalog versions. Our own global rewards e-commerce store is country-specific, listing all rewards available in an employee’s particular region and displayed in their localized language. Employees have the option to change a language preference upon entering the site and at any point while navigating throughout the application.

2. Robust and varied redemption options

Your e-commerce catalog should give employees the ability to choose from various reward types. Staple redemption options include gift cards (virtual and physical) and merchandise items. The video below is just one example of how a Workhuman® customer used their recognition awards to create a heartfelt moment for someone else.

Since the pandemic, employees desire more, creating a new opportunity for e-commerce. Workhuman recently launched an Experiences section of our site with categories like travel and dining, sports tickets and adventures, deliveries, subscription services, and more. We provide a “Do It Yourself” travel feature that allows employees to create a personalized travel adventure and custom itinerary through an array of local and global travel providers.

Consider a recognition and redemption partner that research market trends to build a robust and continually evolving pipeline, ensuring your employees feel inspired and excited at every step of their shopping journey.

3. Locally relevant rewards

A recognizable brand is critical to motivate and inspire users to revisit the site. For employees around the globe, integrate a local flare with merchandise brands, retailers, restaurants, and experiences based in neighborhoods they live. For example, employees in China may enjoy finding the perfect novel at Dazo Bookstore. Whereas employees in the U.K. redeem their points for brands such as Fitbit, Le Creuset, or Swarovski.

Many vendors offer solutions that are only multinational with cash options or culturally problematic gift choices. This can result in low program satisfaction. We recommend choosing a truly global solution that puts meaningful rewards into the hands of employees and provides them with the power of reward choice. 

4. Supporting women- and minority-owned businesses

The pandemic had a devastating impact on many businesses, forcing hundreds of thousands to shut down for good. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER), patterns across gender, race, and immigration status reveal that minority-owned businesses have experienced the largest losses, with 41% being eliminated. Women-owned businesses were also disproportionately hit, with one-quarter going out of business.

Take time to research businesses that align with your company values and employee interests. A few women-led businesses recently added to our e-commerce network in North America include Birdies, Cracker Barrel, BaubleBar, Ulta, Crate & Barrel, The Sill, KiwiCo, and Blue Apron. We are continually expanding our assortment of businesses offered.

5. Driving redemption through engagement

Enable a multi-channel strategy to notify and remind employees when they have awards to spend. Incorporate inspirational copy, imagery, product, and category recommendations to inform them about the range of options for redemption of their awards. Some employees redeem more frequently, while others accumulate awards for larger purchases. Although, some employees may get caught up in their day-to-day responsibilities and forget about the reward selection waiting for them.

Based on Workhuman best practices, email communication and direct links prompt users to view their award balance and encourage them to visit the store. From there, employees can browse new catalog options, seasonal collections, and other content that might interest them. These reminders are tailored to the employee based on previous redemption history, including previous purchases, how much they interact with the e-commerce store, and how much they have left to spend.

In the end, your employees deserve an unforgettable experience from the moment they earn recognition to after they purchase through your e-commerce store. At Workhuman, we are relentless in our pursuit to provide an unparalleled global e-commerce offering and individualized customer experience.

“Our store is anything but transactional; we are taking our collective expertise and knowledge of what best-in-class e-commerce looks like and innovating to elevate the experience so that is feels as special as it felt to receive recognition,” says Workhuman director of category management Jenna DeLuca.

As you build your recognition strategy, think about the five tips mentioned above. Remember, your number one customer is your employees.

About the Author

Anna Chmura

Anna is a proposal writer at Workhuman. Outside of the workplace, she enjoys exercising, traveling, and spending time with her niece and nephews.

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