What to look for in a R and R partner?

In Recognition and Engagement by Lori McKnight

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Part III

What to look for in a R&R partner?

If you’ve read part 1 and part 2 of our latest blog posts you now know why companies are moving to centralized Recognition and Reward Programs and how to determine if your company is ready to modernize its program. Now…if your company is poised for change, how do you make sure you’ve picked the right partner?

Here are 6 criteria to consider

1. Choice

Look for partners with rewards that reflect the sociodemographic make-up of your workforce. You want a partner with many reward choices, both symbolic that will be personally valued and popular brand name items for the lifestyle-oriented.

2. User Experience

Make sure the partner understands the industry you are in. What’s considered a good user experience for a retail environment is different from what’s needed in a high-tech company. The partner should also understand that even within a company there are different roles and the system should be designed to motivate and accommodate ALL employees.

3. Ease of Integration

How will the partner integrate your HRIS or employee data? Can they work with the data in the format you prefer OR do you have to spend a lot of time manipulating to meet their requirements? The administrative tasks required by you upfront and ongoing should be discussed.

4. Post Implementation Support

Will the partner be responsive after your program rolls out? Ask for client references from others in your industry or those with similar demographics, programs, etc.

Consider how the partner will keep your program exciting from one month to the next, knowing that sustaining interest and participation is critical to realize your ROI and make an impact on your culture.

Think about how much time you and your staff have to devote to maintaining an R&R program. If you are short-staffed, you will want your partner to take a more pro-active role in maintaining the program.

5. Expertise

Are partner asking the right questions… how do individual departments in your organization currently handle recognition and related rewards? What’s working? What’s not working?

Are partner making recommendations that are in your best interest? Things like:

  • advising you to set financial controls, limits and maximums on your rewards
  • setting the number of times the same person can be rewarded in a given period before flagged
  • setting approvals for rewards over a certain amount

Do the partners offer suggestions to encourage adoption. A best practice is to enlist a business leader and his/her organization as a pilot group, revise program based on feedback, and then promote the positive results throughout the organization.

6. Cookie cutter or tailored solution?

Are you looking for a program in a box OR a solution that can be tailored and scaled to meet the needs of your workforce and budget?

Does the partner allow for local practices and philosophies? In some cultures, money is not a viewed as a motivator, and public recognition may not be the cultural norm. If you work for a global organization, make sure your partner is aware of different reward preferences and perceptions around public recognition.

I hope this summary of the Gartner report provides a helpful roadmap as you embark on introducing new tools to cultivate a workforce that loves coming to work.

To evaluate CSI STARS Engagement and Performance platform, request a demo here.

Need help navigating the road to a new R&R Partner? Download our Recognition & Rewards Vendor Checklist

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Author: Lori McKnight

Lori McKnight
Lori is VP Marketing for CSI International. Prior to CSI she worked at Mercer Human Resource Consulting and Youthography, a youth market research agency. Connect with Lori on LinkedIN to talk about how to motivate and bring out the best in your team.
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