Point scoring at work

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Points-based recognition is an effective way for businesses to engage employees and encourage positive behaviours

Companies are increasingly looking at new ways to streamline their HR processes to create time and cost efficiencies within their business. One such method is a points-based employee recognition scheme, which gives individuals and teams the opportunity to earn recognition or rewards for outstanding performance, long service, work anniversaries and more.

Schemes like these are an effective way for a business to engage with its employees and encourage positive behaviours that are aligned to the company’s values. One of the main benefits of points-based schemes is that they are flexible enough to suit most organisational requirements. For example, the vast majority of points-based employee recognition schemes can now be tailored to reflect a company’s brand and to create targeted, on-message communications with staff.

As with most other business processes, schemes like these can now be implemented and managed online. Staff are simply given access to a secure portal where they can exchange points for rewards chosen from a comprehensive and bespoke catalogue of vouchers, events, travel, experiences and branded merchandise.

While schemes like these are not new, the way that companies are using them is. Some firms have introduced an element of ‘gamification’ into their engagement efforts, which is proving particularly successful among younger generations. However, a flexible points-based system can be appropriate for any type of employee – provided that the rewards are relevant and valued, and that the scheme is properly communicated to staff.

While a gamified version of a points-based recognition scheme may be more expensive than others, generally speaking the standard platform can be very cost-effective. There are typically minimal setup costs and little or no charge for using the system, making a points-based scheme an efficient way to engage and communicate with the entire workforce quickly and creatively.

Moreover, the digital nature of the platform allows employees’ points to be calculated and tracked automatically, rather than using a time-consuming manual process. An employee’s points can also be redeemed online, which also makes the process quicker and more efficient. As a result, points-based recognition schemes are becoming more and more popular with a wide variety of businesses and industries.

As HR departments look for novel ways to reward staff, a points-based recognition scheme may be the closest thing to a one-size-fits-all approach that benefits everyone, including the employer. With this type of scheme businesses have the chance to strengthen the relationships between employees and their managers, boost staff retention by ensuring that employees feel valued, and improve productivity by encouraging the specific employee behaviours they want to see – all of which contribute to a healthier bottom line.

Iain Thomson is director of incentive and recognition at Sodexo Benefits and Rewards Services

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