Thank you is easy to say yet many of us feel it’s not said enough. How would you like your employees to be able to say thank you to anyone who helps them do their role, regardless of location or job title?

How would you like something which will instantly engage your users and give you information your HR department will love you for?

How much more would you like it if I told you it was free if you’re an Interact Intranet customer?

Well welcome to the Intranet Rewards tool.

What is the Intranet Rewards tool?

Intranet Rewards is a tool allowing employees to recognise each other’s good work by giving points. You may decide anybody can award points to each other or just specific people can give rewards. You may also decide to let those points amount to a prize over time or alternatively just be indicative of people going the extra mile. It is a simple one click action to reward someone.

Users’ allowances could be a small monthly amount or a far larger sum, if you’re going to use rewards, scale the value appropriately to balance the targets and keep them challenging, but not unachievable or too expensive.

You can place an Intranet Rewards widget on your intranet homepage to make it instantly accessible for your employees.

reward widget

How do businesses use Rewards?

At Interact Intranet we award colleagues Donuts on our intranet Homer. Collect enough and you can exchange them for prizes (I’m saving for a coffee machine!) Each employee receives ten donuts per month, the smallest prizes are reasonably achievable (15 donuts for a box of chocolates) through to more challenging targets such as 410 for an iPod Nano. You can set your own point to pound ratio, ours is approximately three Donuts per pound.

Rewards

A lot of customers have had success using the Intranet Rewards feature, Interact Intranet Excellence Award winner Gwalia have theirs branded as Brownies and use across the whole business. However some have gone a step further and integrated it into their broader way of working.

Business Environment built rewards into their HR framework

A customer who inspire us with their use of Rewards is Business Environment, their innovation saw them included in the industry leading Nielsen Norman Group’s Enterprise 2.0 2013 report.

BE screenshot final

Business Environment initially followed a similar path to Gwalia, offering Amazon vouchers for a set level of points. However they then chose to rebrand Rewards as Smarties. Anyone can still reward anyone else with Smarties but passing a vocational qualification also sees you rewarded points.

When Business Environment conduct annual reviews of employees, their manager is given an export of each reward their employee has received. Now the review process has an employee’s view, a manager’s view and a record of peer-to-peer impact, good bye to the long pause when you get asked “what did you do eleven months ago?”

I discussed this in greater depth on the webinar Releasing the Power of Enterprise Social Tools to Increase Employee Retention, looking into on-boarding, development and recognition.

We’re also seeing customers asking for their employee standards to be developed into the tool so employees have to identify which standard their peer’s work meets, for example one may be working together. It proves a great way to get your employees to not just read your employee standards but to understand and apply them to their everyday work.

Getting started

If you’re going to award prizes, you’ll need sign off for a budget. Understand what you want Intranet Rewards to do. Is it to encourage collaboration? Is it purely to recognise those acts which often go under the radar? What is the business benefit to people rewarding each other?

Once this is in place, ask management to take note of any great pieces of work they see from front line workers. On the morning of launch, ensure these acts have been noted and rewarded using the widget. As with all tools, employees are far more inclined to join in than initiate usage. This management usage will also reduce any risk of people trying to game the system. If it does happen you will soon notice peer-to-peer policing managing how it works, as employees openly question gaming of the system.

You may also choose to set criteria, for example Business Environment has eighteen locations, you can only award a maximum of half of your Smarties to people in your site. Although this isn’t regimented, spot checks ensures this criteria is maintained.