The world has changed in many ways, but what has not changed is the fact that people still need to feel connected. And when it comes to the work force, many people now find themselves isolated from their colleagues and team, which is new territory to navigate.
We sat down with Alex Allion, the Director of Sales Enablement at Terryberry Company to discuss the role of corporate leadership and how companies can still provide employee recognition and reassurance during these unusual times.
Alex, can you briefly walk us through your story/experience – where you started and how you got to where you are today?
I began as a inside salesperson with Terryberry back in the late ‘90s. Fortunately, I was surrounded by many mentors who showed me the passion behind recognizing an organization’s most critical asset: its employees!!
Today I work with our national team of people to develop meaningful and unique recognition platforms for our clients.
What does employee recognition mean to you, and why are you so passionate about it?
Who doesn’t like to get recognized for hard work? It’s true for everyone but what fascinates me about Employee Recognition is how the impact transcends beyond the person getting recognized.
For example, if I am a new hire at an organization and I see Leadership recognizing someone for going above and beyond, I can internalize and immediately know what going ‘above and beyond’ means for my new employer. Then I can set my sights on raising my game and I begin to contribute at that level, or even higher. If done right, companies can create a true Culture of Recognition which continues to snowball through every department. It’s amazing!!
In your experience, what correlation have you seen between employee recognition and increased performance (and even employee longevity)?
By far the biggest game changer in this industry has been the development of social media style recognition platforms. These systems allow recognition to occur in real time which has a dramatic effect on the frequency of recognition and a much greater impact on employees.
ROI with these programs is measured in terms of Employee Engagement which can be monitored through employee satisfaction surveys and analyzing usage data from the online recognition platforms. On average we see the impact of recognition is accelerated by a multiple of 5.32 if a virtual platform is in place. So, if 80 “Above and Beyond” nominations occur within a year, that number is increased to over 400 unique recognition moments thanks to the social element these programs have.
What should companies be thinking about (and or doing) when it comes to helping their employees feel connected, when they are physically farther apart than ever before?
It has been amazing to see so much innovation from employees now that most everyone is working from home. The message we keep reinforcing with our clients is to keep recognition going…no matter what! To help our clients accomplish this we took our Peer to Peer recognition product, and created a trimmed down version for our current customers who had not yet leveraged the platform. This version allows our customers to connect their employees through the platform, and continue to recognize the contributions that support their core values during these challenging times. The response to this has been very strong.
What is the best way a growing business can strengthen their relationships with their employees?
We recommend that our customers use the 3 C’s:
- Community – Build a community where outstanding contributions are shared.
- Communication – Communicate these with as much frequently as possible.
- Commitment – Celebrate your employees’ commitments to your organization during these tough times.
How can people contact you with questions around employee recognition?