Workpoints

Friday, 26 August 2016

Loading awards after the date they actually occurred? No problem…

Often in business, we find ourselves waiting for reports to be compiled or for a time frame to be completed before we can continue with the next step. This is often the case when it comes to rewards. You are often expected to present an award for a certain time period however only once that time period has ended; whether that is a month, a quarter or a year.


Many systems allow you to do live updates, but what about post-dated updates? The date of input is not necessarily reflective of the date of occurrence. The input details will then in turn affect the reporting from that system thereby you’ll end up with June’s results reflecting in July’s reporting.

Since we understand the practical administration that happens in a business, our ‘code-whispering’ developers here at Workpoints have made provision for this necessary feature.

Take Sales Target Awards for example…these can only be announced after the month has actually finished. In which case, you need the ability to not only upload the winners, but also for the reporting to reflect accurately on each month’s winners. Employee of the Month is another example, whereby the information that will determine the winners or those who have met their targets will only be accessible after the last day of the month. With Workpoints, not only can you load an award after the time frame in which it has occurred, but the additional apps and supporting features, such as Leaderboard, will also reflect the data accordingly.

In a competitive environment, with our Target Date input feature, you can use the leaderboard throughout the month of June to give a live-time indication of who’s currently in the top 10. Once you’ve obtained final figures, which will typically happen in the first week of July once when you have consolidated the final week’s results for June, you can input the data and selecting your target date to be 30th June, not only will the award date reflect that this is for June but the leaderboard for June will also update therefore announcing the result.

Yes…it’s as a simple as that.

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!


Extrinsic or intrinsic motivation?

Having played a major role in any motivation strategy in the past 10 years, the use of extrinsic rewards suited the routine driven, inflexible work environments where rules and procedures were paramount. However, in today’s work environments where it is becoming the norm for employees to self-manage, where innovation is expected and where the focus is on goals rather than tasks, a larger focus needs to be placed on intrinsically motivating one’s employees.

How an individual feels everyday can be more important to them than the extra financial incentives that they can earn. So it’s important to understand the nature of the task or goal before embarking on a motivation strategy. This is not to say that extrinsic motivators should be eliminated altogether. Considering the diversity of the workforce and the fact that people are motivated differently, one should develop a motivation strategy that considers all.


What type should we use and when?

Extrinsic motivation still has its place and works well for both;

1) Small, quick tasks that are mundane and usually require nagging before they get done. These are tasks that are considered low-interest, but necessary, such as the completion of time sheets or other administrative duties. These tasks are made more attractive by dangling a carrot. When rewarding for these types of tasks, the reward should be instantly gratifying.

2) Larger tasks that are considered a substantial achievement and are quantitatively measured. Commission on meeting a sales target could be an example of this. The secret to extrinsic rewards lies in the objective nature of knowing the rules of the game; a clearly defined goal and a meaningful reward for achieving it.

Intrinsic motivation on the other hand is a little more difficult to conjure and is generally created by the nature of the work itself. An important contributing factor to employee engagement is whether the job role has a sense of meaning and purpose. The interest factor of a task is largely determined by the opinion of the individual and can sometimes come down to whether they’re in the right job or not.

By appealing to individuals' needs for relationships, belonging, appreciation and esteem, we can to a certain extent, provide additional intrinsic motivation and reward. Encourage a culture of peer recognition, let individuals know their input is valued, that they’ve made a difference, and ultimately give them a sense of control of their own environment. 

The approach to intrinsic motivation is longer-term, and the effect of the reward is energising and motivating in itself.

Our advice?

People require a balanced approach to work that combines a need for immediate gratification as well as long-term accomplishment. Your rewards and recognition strategy should appeal to the needs of the individual, whilest being aligned with driving the goals of the organisation. Take the opportunity to extrinsically reward individuals without hindering a creative process, and give public acknowledgement of achievements where you can.

Celebrate the individual. Encourage, support and recognise self development, further education and personal milestones. If an employee's motivation to perform lies within the realm of satisfying their intrinsic needs, and the employer has the opportunity to speak to their extrinsic needs too… well, now that may be appealing to everyone.

How are you encouraging your staff? Are your rewards appropriately aligned to the effort and involvement required?

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!



References

Spring (2001); Behav Anal 24(1): 1–44.

George N. Root III. Intrinsic & Extrinsic Motivation Used by Managers. Small Business Chron

Kenneth Thomas. (2009) The Four Intrinsic Rewards that Drive Employee Engagement. Ivy Business Journ

Friday, 19 August 2016

More Celebration. Less Administration.


Celebrating an employee’s Work Anniversary is one of the basics in showing your employees just how much you value them. It sends a message to your employee that you’re glad that they are choosing to be a part of your company year after year.

While you may have every good intention of trying to celebrate these anniversaries, we know that the administrative burden associated with coordinating them can often become hefty. Not to mention that missing a trick or two could undo all your good intentions. That’s why, we here at Workpoints, have created a way to make celebrating more of just that – a celebration, with less administration.

We introduce to you the Work Anniversaries App for Workpoints. While you join in on the celebrations, our Work Anniversaries App will send a congratulatory email to the employee of the day and announce it on the Workpoints timeline. Automatically and seamlessly.

But that's not all – should you choose, our App will also send points for your employee to spend at any of our partnering stores. 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.

To get this and more great features, get in contact with us at www.workpoints.co.za for a free trial. 

Authors

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.



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!

The business case for trust?

If you have been looking for ways to get around the relational requirement in managing people, I fear that you will become increasingly frustrated. We tend to look for short-cuts to motivate and inspire people, but at the end of the day we will never be able to get away from the fact that people are fundamentally relational beings.


This means that building strong trust-based relationships with your employees and your teams is important. There is no long-term substitute for investing in trust-based relationships. We understand this for our personal relationships, but then somehow forget it in the workplace, which in turn often impedes the performance of our teams.

The business case for trust? Trust is not merely an emotional virtue – it has a tangible and enormous effect on the ability of a team to work together and be efficient [1]. This links to the effectiveness of a team which influences their ability to generate a return. High-trust organisations can show returns up to four times that of low-trust organisations [1]. In simple terms, trust is described as a positive expectation of the actions of others, or at least a belief that their actions will not be to your detriment [2]

It centres on the trustworthiness of the individual and or company, and directly impacts two critical areas of performance namely, speed and cost [1]. When trust goes down, speed goes down as well which in turn increases cost.

When you have trust in your team, you eliminate the need to ‘cover yourself’ or repeatedly follow-up on issues [3]. It is therefore recommended that managers pay proactive attention to managing the interpersonal relationships of their teams [2]. With long-term teams this will mean that you will need to monitor these relationships to ensure that they remain constructive as well as reconcile issues before trust starts deteriorating [2]. A good place to start is to evaluate the intent behind your own actions, as well as the actions of your team [3]. Be sure that you enforce healthy habits and interaction in your team.

There is a wealth of research available on building trust-based relationships within organisations. We strongly recommend that you study this topic to ensure the sustainable health, performance and growth of your organisation. Let’s invest in the basics.

Author

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.



www.workpoints.co.za

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

1. Covey, S. M. R. (2007). The business case for trust. CEO Magazine, 38–40.
2. De Jong, B. D., & Elfring, T. (2010). How Does Trust Affect the Performance of Ongoing Teams ? The Mediating Role of Reflexivity , Monitoring , and Effort. Academy of Management Journal, 53(3), 535–549.
3. Hall, C. (2011). Strengthening the trust at Frito-Lay. Dallas Morning News, pp. 1–2.

Friday, 12 August 2016

A few tips on how to manage change effectively

Change is probably one of the most quoted about phenomenons in today’s times and is almost always at the root of every event of any significance (Van Tonder, 2010). When the concept itself is unpacked however, change is simply the process of something becoming different, so then why is it that this notion is often associated with negative connotations?


We have found these negative associations to be especially true when regarding workplace change. According to Kotter and Cohen (2002), the nature of our turbulent reality leaves organisations dealing with at least one of the following; new technologies, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, new strategies as well as cultural transformations, at any given point in time.

But that’s not all. In our experience, we have observed that any change at work, no matter how big, for example restructuring departments, or small, such as changing seating arrangements, can cause employees to feel unsure. This leaves Human Resource Professionals (HRP) and the like with the challenge that managing change effectively poses.

Essentially, in the words of Kotter & Cohen (2002), when changes are handled well, we win. While we can delve into the many reasons of why people are adverse to change, such as leadership influence, connected-ness to organisation, amount of communication received, personal preferences etc., the list can get rather long. So let’s instead get practical and see what some of the most influential ways in which to tackle this ‘change dragon’ are:
  • Visualise the change: It absolutely vital that leadership envisages the end point of the change. Why is the change required? What benefit will this have? How will their organisation function once the change is rolled out? The answers to these questions are crucial to ensure a compelling vision is created to direct the efforts of the people who are going to be changing (Kotter & Cohen, 2002).
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate: People are the most important part of any change plan. Even with the greatest vision, if this vision isn’t communicated to those who actually have to live and breathe the change, yip - you guessed it, the change initiative will fail.
  • Getting things going: To make sure the change rolls out effectively, it is important to break-down any barriers to the change. These may include increasing training, improving technology and establishing feedback portals.
  • Constant encouragement: It is also important that the people experiencing the change are informed of the project’s progress. Openly sharing success milestones will generate positivity within the team, department or organisation undergoing change.
  • Making the change stick: Once the change plan comes to a completion, it is essential that people continue to act in a way that is consistent with the original change vision. We want the change to stick and do to this, it needs to become a habit for people. Once this has been achieved, it will shape the organisation going forward. 

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

Kotter, J. P. & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Van Tonder, C. L. (2010). Organisational Change: Theory and Practice. Gauteng, SA: Van Schaik Publishers. 


Thursday, 11 August 2016

Winning!

Are you looking to increase your teams’ productivity while improving morale around the office and fostering an environment of friendly, healthy competition? Research has shown that the use of game thinking, game mechanics and competition to engage employees creates natural and healthy competition in the workplace.


Built into Workpoints are lots of these above mentioned gamification elements, including a unique programme leader board. To give you some more information about the advantages of a little healthy competition in and around the office, see below a list we have compiled. Leader boards provide the following 3 benefits: 

• Competition: There is no motivational technique more powerful than self-driven motivation, something that a publicly displayed leader board does in subtle ways. 

• Transparency: While transparency is great in terms of doling out credit, it can be even more effective in ensuring that there is no place for anyone to hide. 

• Morale: A great aspect of the leader boards it that they not only serve as standings, but have other associated morale-boosting features such as a ticker of new deals and an alert for breaking deals as well as serving as an effective reminder of past successes.

Basically, gamification tactics in work environments have been proven to be effective in improving transparency, motivation and morale. Increase the competition amongst employees in your office and lift everybody’s performance by implementing our Workpoints leader board today!

Author

Lexi Giokos (BCom Economics, Honours)

Lexi is part of our Business Development team here at Workpoints. She is our sales extraordinaire, our chatter-box and our ray of sunshine.


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, 5 August 2016

Kudos to you!

Saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ used to be just good manners right? Well, research shows that creating an organisational culture that expresses gratitude and recognition can enable companies to outperform those who don’t.

Recognition is therefore a road to a better work culture and better performance. Peer recognition on Workpoints enables your teams to give each other a virtual ‘thank you’, ‘well done’ or other recognition for a noteworthy cause. It is fun and can be branded as High Fives! Kudos! Fist Bumps! or whatever gets your team talking.


Peer recognition stories are shared on the company news feed in real time, increasing awareness, interaction and recognition. It is easy and can be done as often as you choose and across all levels within the company.

You can also link it to the company values that you want to acknowledge in the behaviours of your teams. So whether you are shy or the company clown, the MD or the new recruit, in JHB or in CPT, you now have the opportunity to “kudos” to any colleague, anytime, anywhere, and give credit, encouragement, and recognition where it is due.

Author


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.


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!

Happy women's day!

According to Kaputa (2010), women are poised to become a majority in the workforce for the first time in US history. To add to this, in a study by Pepperdine University, women in top positions reported outdoing the industry average in terms of profitability and productivity. For example, Beth Mooney, CEO of KeyCorp, just became the first ever woman CEO of a top 20 US Bank (Llopis, 2011).




In fact, 2010 saw a 25 percent jump from the previous year in the number of women Fortune 500 CEOs and in the last decade, women-owned businesses nearly doubled in number, and now account for 40 percent of all US businesses (Kaputa, 2010). Also, nearly 52 percent of managerial or professional positions are now held by women, according to a Catalyst, July, 2011 report.

On that note however, Taylor (2016) has referenced that women have long been told that thinking and acting “like a man” in the workplace is the only way to get ahead and to be taken seriously. This mentality may have prevailed decades ago when women were just gaining a foothold in the professional world, but modern women have learned that career success is not just about adjusting to the male-dominated status quo (Taylor, 2016).


So in the spirit of the start of women’s month here in South Africa, we have decided to tribute this week’s blog to the strong, determined and beautiful women that play a huge part in our workforce today. We want to dedicate this post to all those women who stand up to the status quo on a daily basis while embracing what makes their female perspective unique.

To do this, we have compiled a list of just 10 of the traits that make women so successful in the workplace:
  • Women are opportunity experts, having the ability to see opportunity and give their ideas life while inspiring others to do the same.
  • Women are networking professionals, they are masters of navigation and putting their ideas to the test is their gift. They do this through networking.
  • Women communicate well and routinely outscore men on oral and written tests because they use both hemispheres of the brain-left and right-to process verbal, visual and emotional stimuli.
  • Women are inclusive, choosing inclusion over exclusivity is an inherent female strength and a powerful advantage in today’s diverse, globalised workplace.
  • Women seek to be relationship specialists, they cultivate relationships that are purposeful, genuine and meaningful and focus on growing healthy, long-lasting relationships.
  • Women are natural givers and seek to give to others but also to their communities. Women enjoy living their lives through a cause that serves the advancement and acceleration of societal needs.
  • Women read between the lines and studies show that women are much better at picking up subtle emotional messages than men are. This makes them especially attuned to body language and able to detect unspoken signals of distress, confusion and frustration.
  • Women tend to empower others and gender studies show that women tend to work together, forming a kind of committee, in order to accomplish tasks. This inclusivity helps everyone in the group succeed.
  • Women are big picture thinkers, women tend to take in multiple perspectives and consider a wide range of tangential elements when solving a problem or coming to a decision, while men’s style of problem solving is different-more linear and more narrowly focused.
  • Women are more tuned in emotionally - especially intuitive and empathetic. They use these emotionally driven strengths to be open and responsive to others’ feelings and build strong and healthy work relationships.
So to all you business savvy women out there, read this, take pride in your role as a women in your workplace and use the above to constantly grow both individually and to continually challenge the status quo to take your organisation to new heights. Most importantly, be a mentor to the other invaluable women in your life, both personally and professionally. From all of us here at Workpoints, Happy Woman’s Day!

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

Kaputa, C. (2010). The Women’s Conference Archive Site. http://www.womensconference.org/the-female-advantage/

Llopis, G (2011). 4 Skills that Give Women a Sustainable Advantage Over Men. Forbes Magazine.

Taylor, N. F. (2016). 5 Important Lessons New Female Leaders Need to Learn. Business News Daily.