Workpoints

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Some practical insight

Instead of providing insight into the theory underlying Workpoints, as with our usual blogs, this week we decided to do something a little different. We have decided to share one of our most successful case studies with you to highlight just how effective Workpoints can be once implemented.




The background: One of South Africa’s major mining groups needed to improve employee engagement and performance efficiencies. In order to do this, they earmarked ‘promoting employee wellness’ within the group as their primary driver. Workpoints was used to measure, motivate and monitor specific health-related behaviours to provide the group with their sort after results. 

The Challenge: Workpoints was asked to apply their scientific behavioural model to improve employee’s willingness to lead healthier lifestyles. Included in the challenge, was to provide our technological platform that supports our behavioural change theories. This encompassed all communication to employees, prompting behavioural change (through various methods, including rewards and recognition), monitoring of programme uptake and reporting of consolidated results.

Unique to this industry however, was the large disparities between employee functions. Therefore, a challenge was to ensure that all employees, whether white or blue collared (i.e. managers through to miners), were prompted with appropriate communication techniques and rewards.

Their Goals: The goals of the project’s pilot phase included; firstly, educating employees on HIV/AIDS (i.e. promoting HIV awareness) and secondly, encouraging employees to “know their status” (i.e. go for HIV testing).

Our Involvement: We implemented the full version of our employee behavioural platform, Workpoints, within the well-known mining group. In order to address the challenge of aligning communication techniques and rewards to their variety of roles, we imported the group’s organogram into the system. This enabled the mapping of communication methods and reward options to employee functions. Ultimately, a combination of both web browser and SMS/USSD communication templates were used and reward options most aligned to each employee segment were offered. This enabled us to motivate the project’s first goal of ‘HIV education’ across the entire organisation (i.e. various communication techniques were used to send information and surveys to employees. Upon answering the latter, employees were rewarded). 

As a customised component of the project, we created a unique capturing system to be used within the onsite clinics across the group. This meant that once employees received communication regarding the project’s second goal of ‘HIV testing’, the nurses at the onsite clinics were able to capture the employees’ test information effectively. This component also allowed for the upload of information anonymously to our platform. The capturing system and Workpoints platform integration ensured that employees who went for their HIV test, received their respective reward seamlessly. 

The Results: The below results are an indication of the wellness campaign rolled-out from 17 November 2014 – 16 December 2014 (world AIDS day campaign):
  • 19% of the total staff compliment were counselled;
  • An uptake of 96% agreed to be tested;
  • Of which 8% of employees tested were identified as HIV positive for the first time (NB: All data remained anonymous to the mining group). This group represents the organisation’s employees who had either been HIV positive for a substantial time and did not have the courage to be tested or were newly infected.

The cost of treating an HIV positive employee per annum was approximately R24 000, with this said, it costs the company approximately R75 000 per annum for an untreated HIV positive employee (this includes medication, consultations, hospitalisation and laboratory costs. It excludes sick leave costs).

Therefore, the identification of 8% new HIV positive employees had a potential and approximate saving of R20 000 000 of medical costs per annum for the organisation.

And that is just one of Workpoints’ success stories. We’ll be in touch with more case studies in future blog editions. 

Author

Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

A feast of activities

Simply put, the social timeline feature on Workpoints displays ‘what's been happening’ within an organisation.



With a similar look and feel to that of Facebook’s social timeline, this feature of Workpoints is there for a variety of reasons. Firstly, the timeline can be used to inspire people to get more involved in the activities of their organisation. Secondly, it is also there to display the most popular activities for the month and lastly, but most importantly, it’s primary use is to recognise those hard working individuals within an organisation.

How this is done is that when you achieve an activity or a fellow colleague recognises you, this will be posted, in real time, to the social timeline. This means that the entire organisation will be able to see your hard work.

That’s not all – there is also a personal timeline that is displayed on an individual’s home screen or Workpoints landing page. Here an individual can view their recent awards, lifetime awards and their total points earned.

The feature is great for organisations as it will boost people participation towards the company’s vision, meaning that people will get more involved as they will see and receive recognition first hand.

Author



Zine Maphumulo (BCom General)

Zine is our Operations Administrator here at Workpoints. She is our query handler, our fixer and our number one prankster. 


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

More celebration, less administration


Celebrating birthdays is one of the basic ways of showing recognition to employees. Plus, it makes the workday a lot more fun! However, the admin behind organising and distributing gifts, emails or cards can quickly get out of hand making it easy to miss a trick or two therefore undoing all your good intentions.

That's why we've created an app for Birthdays. Introducing our new Birthdays App at Workpoints. While you join in the celebrations, our Birthdays App will send a Happy Birthday email to your employee on their special day and announce it on the Workpoints social timeline, automatically and seamlessly.

It will also send along points (at an amount of your choosing) to spend at any of our partners. This means you don't have to guess which gift to get and your employees are guaranteed a great celebration!

Just one more way to make staff rewards, recognition and engagement easy.

Author 


Bradley Van Aardt (MSc Engineering)

Bradley is our CTO here at Workpoints. He is our super all rounder, our jokester and our go-to guy.


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

It’s all about communication

How would you describe your day-to-day work? “Busy”, “chaotic”, “I don’t have time to breathe” or “it’s Monday and I’m already running late for Friday!”

In order to get through the many things on our to-do lists, we don’t have time for lengthy emails, let alone reading through several every day. We do however all need a little encouragement… a little reminding. A human-centric approach is not to expect you to remember everything on your own, but rather support the outcomes desired by sending you a little reminder. A friendly prompt can be the difference between action and…well, another week passed without getting around to doing that task.

Staying abreast of everything that goes on in your day to day work is not easy, but that’s why we send you updates and notify you when there’s been activity. Amidst the chaos of diaries, meetings and deadlines, it’s nice to know that someone out there thinks you’re doing a great job!


Our communications are not only centred around the actual message we wish to convey, but they are also designed to support the outcome. We make it easy for you to access the parts of the program you need to by including links. We offer friendly tips on how to do things, as well as brief and to-the-point information on new or interesting features. We also understand that there’s a fine balance between staying in touch and spamming you with too much communication.

So all in all, we’ve found a great formula of what to say, when to say it and how often to say it. Making your everyday more fun through our interesting content whilst supporting you to get through your to-do list.

Author

Amanda Mohr (BCom Industrial Psychology, Honours)

Amanda is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our client advice giver, our multitasker and our personal shopper.


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

We know everyone is unique

Since not all organisations are the same, we at Workpoints have spent a substantial amount of time ensuring that activities – one of the core components of the application - are built for maximum customization. An activity on Workpoints is an attainable quality from which recipients can earn points. For example, we can setup an activity called Social Function and award it to anyone who attends a company Social Function. The recipient can then earn redeemable points upon receiving this activity. 


Setting up an activity on Workpoints is a breeze. We start by assigning it a title, description and category.

Once we have these three standard fields we can then create our own custom fields! For example, in our Social Function activity we can create a date field – which would indicate the date when the function took place. Likewise we could add a venue field which indicates the location where the function took place.

As another example, let us assume your organisation would like to encourage employees to better themselves through professional certifications. With custom fields we can set up an activity to drive this kind of behaviour. We’ll call the activity Self-Development. We can add fields such as certification name, date and points.

Now, whenever someone obtains a certification we can award them the Self-Development activity, and credit them with the points, specified by the administrator in the organisation, in the points field. 

With the Social Function and Self-Development activities we have just defined two completely different behaviours that we would like our employees to adhere to – building an inclusive team and developing one’s own skills. Therein lies the beauty of Workpoints activities, they are extremely malleable.

By using custom fields you can set them up to drive the exact behaviours required for your organisation!

Want to drive peer-to-peer mentorship in the organisation? Set up a unique activity! Want to reward proactive behaviour? Set up a unique activity! Want your team to look forward to filling in their time-sheets? Set up a unique activity!

Author


Sello Mkantjwa (BSC Computer Science, Honours)

Sello is part of our Software Development team here at Workpoints. He is our go to customer products guy, our music guru and our super model.  



Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!


Recognition in your pocket

Generally, people and their phones are attached at the hip – literally. However, when asked to use their mobile devices for work, often this is where the love/ hate relationship begins. With the fear of work encroaching on personal time, some people quite simply refuse to have anything ‘work’ on their phone.

Now there is a good reason to include a little something work-related on your mobile device. Workpoints has just launched it’s highly responsive, mobile-friendly website that enables you and your work colleagues to recognise and reward one another...from anywhere and at any time.




Our mobile site pages resize to fit any screen dimension, regardless of the web application running on your phone. The reshaping and resizing of text, buttons and images will ensure that your on-phone experience will be just as good as that of your computer-browser.

This means that not only will Workpoints enable mobile teams to use our software no matter their location, but it will also enable anyone to have a quick squiz at who’s been up to what, check their leader board status from anywhere or to redeem a voucher from our reward store while doing their Sunday morning shopping.

Author


Sean Noné (Bachelor of Economic Science, Honours)

Sean is our COO here at Workpoints. He is our maths genius, our number one triathlete and an all round cool guy.


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

Friday, 15 July 2016

How to give performance management a face lift

Well if you are anything like us, you will let out a heartfelt sigh at the mention of ‘the one we do not speak of’… Performance Management (PM). This concept has been misunderstood, exploited, abused, used as a weapon to drive fear and ‘performance’ in the hearts of employees everywhere. We, here at Workpoints, do not believe that the reputation of the PM process can be revived easily, so for now, we will rather have a look at what we can do in future.

The first thing we can (and should) agree upon is that a yearly or bi-yearly review is not a smart idea. By the time an organisation realises that a team or individual was not on track, they will have missed nearly every opportunity along the way to correct it. Basically, the pace of business and life does not align with the traditional PM processes and timelines (Cancialosi, 2016). In addition to the lag time in taking action, PM is also subject to the recency effect (last recollection of performance becomes the only frame of reference), personal bias, inaccurate preparation and a disconnect between job responsibilities and employee accountability (Bainbridge, 2016).
Deloitte conducted a study on PM in their organisation and found that they wasted nearly 2 million hours per year on the PM process (including preparation, meetings and analysis) (Buckingham & Goodall, 2015). Deloitte has since revamped their PM programme to build on strengths and facilitate real-time conversation (Orlando & Bank, 2016).
So while there are many programmes out there centred on PM and how to capture this data on a real-time basis, we here at Workpoints, have been working on a little project of our own. Keeping real-time PM at the back of our minds, we hope to one day offer much more than an Employee Reward and Recognition platform. Our future platform will encompass goals, aligning these to the company’s strategic objectives, providing real-time analysis on results and rewarding and recognising employees automatically once objectives are met.
While our plans are brewing, see below for some tips on how to improve PM within your organisation: 
  • Create an organisational culture that supports and embraces the concept of PM;
  • Clearly understand your end-goal in order to design a PM processes that can help drive behaviour towards that goal;
  • Develop a coaching culture;
  • Adjust goals;
  • Dynamically prioritise actions;
  • Frequently assess behaviour and facilitate conversation around actions;
  • Calibrate outcomes and manage progress;
  • Limit bias in favour of facts;
  • Link goals to the strategies and objectives of the organisation.

Authors
Estée Roodt (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Estée is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our keen researcher, our problem-solver and our number one sports star.



Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.


Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!


References
Bainbridge, K. (2016). Manage Performance Management. Supervision, 77(5), 8–12.
Buckingham, M., & Goodall, A. (2015). Reinventing Performance Management. Harvard Business Review, 93(4), 40–50. http://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107415324.004
Cancialosi, C. (2016). The Future of Performance Management is Not One Size-Fits-All. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/chriscancialosi/2016/02/22/the-future-of-performance-management-is-not-one-size-fits-all/#6f8a9e3e26ec. 11 July 2011.
Orlando, B. J., & Bank, E. (2016). Case Study A New Approach to Performance Management at Deloitte. HR People & Startegy, 39(2), 42–45.

Friday, 8 July 2016

How to use technology to engage millennials

Firstly, let’s welcome the Millennials, the youngest and upcoming generation, to the workforce. Millennials can be recognised by their tech-savvy, multi-tasking abilities. Millennials communicate via instant messaging and are not bound by geographical location, nor time restraints. They value instant and frequent feedback, team collaboration as well as expect the workplace to function in the most efficient way possible. And most importantly, Millennials are expected to represent nearly 75% of the workforce by the year 2030…



So… it’s important that an organisation knows how to facilitate this generation as well as have a clear understanding of the tools that will work in the facilitation process.
Getting to know your workforce enables you to better choose the tools that will encourage employee engagement. As discussed in last week’s blog, we know how important employee engagement is for productivity. We all desire great stats and an improvement in performance. We often set off on missions to measure levels of engagement, with the best intentions of encouraging an engaged workforce. We send out surveys promising that ‘we value your opinion’ and then… we don’t know always what to do about the outcomes.
Technology is continuously responding to these demands with solutions that assist organisations in creating an environment where the personal goals of employees and organisational objectives are balanced. Choosing the right technology tools can go a long way towards taking employees from being ‘not engaged’ to ‘engaged’; the advocates, the believers, the self-managed employees.
The tools? What you’re looking for is cloud-based apps, with a mobile component, and preferably as much automation as possible. If there is an element of gamification too, then you’ve found a winner! Tools such as Slack and Yammer enable real time communication that’s deeper and richer than traditional e-mail, and for our Millennials it also keeps communication efficient and fun.
What about instant recognition? How does one say thanks when you’re not in the same room? A quick message perhaps? But is that enough? No one else heard it. The power of peer recognition is invaluable, particularly in an environment where social interactions and team relationships are embraced. Performance and recognition applications such as ours, Workpoints, offer real time feedback to employees. We also offer recognition that is free of hierarchical structure and ensure alignment between objectives, without the months of delay between reviews.
All of the above tools offer great user experiences and are available on a rental basis lowering the cost. So gone are the days of having to buy software!
Ultimately, organisations need to embrace these technological advances instead of fighting them, lest they become like the taxi industry in the face of Uber. Using these innovative tools, organisations will not only improve their bottom line but also ensure that the needs of their modern workforce are catered for, resulting in a workforce that is engaged and productive, including their Millennial talent.

Authors


Amanda Mohr (BCom Industrial Psychology, Honours)

Amanda is part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our client advice giver, our multitasker and our personal shopper.

Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.



Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!

Friday, 1 July 2016

How to engage your employees

According to Crim and Seijts (2006), a truly engaged employee is someone who is completely invested in the vision of their organisation. This type of employee is committed to living the organisation’s values and also applies themselves in reaching the organisation’s goals (Crim & Seijts, 2006). So how do organisations encourage an engaged workforce?



Organisations can create work environments that foster engagement by ensuring that all the bases are covered when it comes to their employees’ needs. This includes, but it is not limited to, cultivating a healthy social environment, ensuring employees have the facilities and resources needed to achieve company goals as well as providing employees with the opportunity to take on challenging work.
When an organisation creates an environment that cultivates engagement, not only does this make for a happier and more productive workplace, but it also becomes easier to attract new talent, in addition to spotting true talent amongst their existing employees. So how do we here at Workpoints make sure that our clients generate this culture of engagement?
In our latest blog we spoke about our engagement survey that is created in-house by our Behavioural Specialist team. In this, we highlight that before we set-out to set-up your Workpoints programme according to your specific organisational requirements, it is important that we first understand the needs of your employees. We do this by sending out our short 19 question engagement survey directly to your employees.
The fundamental underpinning of our research links work engagement to Maslow’s interpretation of an individual's needs. The results that we receive from this survey speak directly to the theory underlying our programme. With a bit of moulding and shaping, we are able to apply these results, according to the theory, to maximise your business performance.
Our survey takes into account the following 5 categories
1) Do people feel comfortable with the basics?
2) Do people feel safe and secure in their work environment?
3) Do people feel they fit in at work?
4) Do people feel good about themselves and their efforts at work?
5) Do people feel they can reach their full potential at work?
Based on the results we receive from your engagement survey and the links we make between these and the above 5 categories, we then advise you on how best to set up your customisable Workpoints programme. This will encourage the addressing of possibly unmet employee needs. We then monitor the data captured by your programme to see if behaviour, specific to the respective need levels, is improving. We also conduct follow up engagement surveys to stay on top of how your employee’s needs might be changing.   
Simply put, that is how we tackle employee engagement!
For more on our engagement survey, stay in touch for our next blog or contact us on info@workpoints.co.za
Author
Jillian Dabbs (MCom Industrial Psychology)
Jillian is a part of our Behavioural Specialist team here at Workpoints. She is our content developer, our avid blogger as well as our party planner.

Workpoints is a fully featured reward, recognition and incentives platform that provides you with the tools to create a high performance organisation. Our easy-to-use application integrates simply into any organisation and instantly encourages staff to do the daily grind with excellence and energy. Visit www.workpoints.co.za for more info and a free trial!


References
Crim, D. & Seijts, G. (2006). What Engages Employees the Most OR, the Ten Cs of Employee Engagement. Ivey Business Journal: Improving the Practice of Management.