Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Putting People First - Top 3 HR Trends to Consider When Improving Employee Satisfaction

We think a lot about the idea of making it easy to say thanks at work. For us, celebrating the "small wins" is important and necessary to create a sense of purpose among managers and employees. And yet, it seems like it is not happening enough. 

Recent research published by Right Management suggested only 19% of workers are satisfied. Wow, 81% of workers in the US are not fully satisfied? 

We wanted to share the top 3 HR trends we believe companies should think about as they address this on-going satisfaction gap.

1. Mobile - More workers are either bringing their own smart phone to work or receive one directly from the company. This poses a tremendous opportunity for organizations. 

The first large opportunity is that employees have the chance to choose their own mobile apps that help them do their job better. While not every company may want people using their own tools, the reality is that many people now use their mobile device to increase both their personal and professional productivity. 

The second large opportunity is that organization now have a "2nd screen" to reach employees and develop tools that work better. 

From our vantage point, mobile is perfectly suited for recognition. If a co-worker just nailed the client presentation, why not use your phone to send a small recognition reward and then share it with all team members. Informal, timely recognition is always best. 

As with many mobile tools, simple reigns and focus each mobile tool on one simple thing. 

2. Social - There is no escaping this one, the workplace is becoming more social and virtual. Teams are talking on internal and external social networks like crazy. 

The implication for HR departments that these networks present tons of potential to share informal and on-going employee recognition. Rather than have recognition one-on-one, co-workers can now share recognition and create a rich recognition profile for each team member. 

Collaboration is well suited for reducing the satisfaction gap on virtual teams since there is one central place to view what's going on. 

Tapping into this trend will yield unique results in helping employees feel more "in the loop" and engaged with their peers. 

3. Big Data - We admit it's a buzzword, but the spirit has been true forever. If mobile and collaborative tools make communication and recognition more instant, the systems that process these functions generate an amazing knowledge base of data insight ready to be mined. 

Of course, we are fans of the way we made the "pat on the back" digital since it presents an opportunity to track and standardize a traditional offline process. That said, understanding how to collect, organize, and make sense of  HR data poses a clear way to close the satisfaction gap.  

Closing Idea

As your company thinks about the best way to increase employee engagement  and satisfaction, we really encourage you to incorporate elements of these three trends. They won't be going away anytime soon and you will be pleased with the results. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

MITX Innovation Award Nomination!

This week we learned that KangoGift was named a Finalist for an Innovation Award sponsored by the Massachusetts Innovation and Technology Exchange (MITX). This is very exciting news since our nomination is based on our "soon-to-be-released" instant recognition tool where we are looking to make it easy to thanks at work. 

Thank you MITX and everyone who has helped shape this new product. We have our fingers crossed for the June 12th ceremony. 

Our philosophy as you know has always been about the celebrating the small things and just saying thanks can go a very long way in making someone feel appreciated. It turns out that many employees don't feel like they are getting the recognition they deserve and we want to change that. Consider this our shift from instant gifts to instant recognition in the workplace. 

Saying thanks just works and if done in a timely way, both the recognizer and recipient will feel a little more engaged in their work. Of course we will be adding the Kango touch to make recognition instant, mobile, and a little fun. 

In the coming days we will share more about the product and how you can check it out. For now, here are the 4 guiding principles we used when designing the tool. These guidelines are rooted in recognition theory shared by the major HR thought leaders. We are simply posting what many already know on a gut level.

In order for recognition to be effective, many say that it must be...

1. Immediate
2. Specific
3. Public
4. Repeated regularly 

We thought deeply about each component and believe we've put something together that many will enjoy using including executives, managers, and employees. 

More to come, but we wanted to celebrate the MITX nomination and share it with you all!