Monday, June 18, 2012

Self Service Employee Recognition and BYOD

Recently I was fortunate to have a conversation with Brent Skinner from HRO Today. The article "Control Your Own Destiny" discussed the emerging trend in the workplace of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and the ways in which people are choosing the tools and technologies that make the most sense for them to be better colleagues. 

To those not familiar, the trend of bring-your-own-device refers to the rise of the smart-phone in the workplace where people are using their own phones and apps to be more productive. 

I want to keep it positive and am not suggesting there is a army of rogue managers out there using whatever tools they deem necessary. Instead we are entering a phase where managers will use the most appropriate tools that ensure they are efficient, timely, and effective.

This trend has encouraged many organizations to recognize that people are becoming their own IT departments and choosing the most appropriate technologies to be productive. This combination of self service and connectedness is really changing the way we work. 

Looking at this trend through the lens of employee recognition there are a few highlights worth noting. 

1. The Instant Workplace - People now crave immediate feedback and managers have embraced the idea of using their phones to give quick, targeted, feedback. 

There is almost a sense in some corporate cultures that if a person doesn't receive immediate feedback something could be amiss. Some people feel like they are playing catch up and others have embraced an instant feedback and praise system. 

Given the challenge instant provides, people are choosing their own methods to offer informal recognition in a timely way. The rise of the smart phone in the workplace means managers and peers now have tools available to them to be accessible and instant. 

2. Convenience - This BYOD movement taps into the ability to have convenient tools right in your pocket. 

It almost seems like the smart-phone has become an "HR, Swiss Army Knife" where all productivity tools are easily accessible. If it's reviewing a candidate, entering time, or giving recognition, people are using their phones and apps to  do their job when and where they want. 

One example we hear of frequently is the manager walking from one meeting to another and giving quick recognition to a co-worker for doing a great job. 

This convenience has also increased the rate of recognition since people may no longer forget or delay recognition until they get back to their desks. 

3. Remote Workforces - Immediate recognition in the hallways and by the water cooler is becoming more difficult as people work remotely and spend time outside of the office. 

New HR self serve tools help remote groups stay connected and updated. News feeds, peer recognition, and collaborative tools are well suited for people to do from their own phone. 

Closing Thought

The following quote from the HRO article brings these abstract trends to life and connects how the rise of self service tools and the BYOD movement can help companies foster a truly engaged and recognized workplace. 

“Immediate recognition tends to improve engagement between both the sender and receiver of the recognition and aligns with McKinsey’s findings that immediate recognition is 70 percent effective in motivating a person,” says Todd Horton, founder and CEO of KangoGift. “This simple act of kindness scored higher than all other forms of motivation including cash and taps into how self-service can be used for aligning instant recognition to company values and goals.”

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