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Employee Recognition At Giant Leap Systems




It gives a good feeling to hear not once but time and again that people are appreciating your work and the token of appreciation has to be meaningful.


GLS needed a system to recognize employee contributions and reward them. We needed something that is genuine, frequent with distributed decision-making. We wanted to truly give the reward receiver a sense of meaningful appreciation for what they had achieved and also wanted to decentralize the power to choose what qualifies as the contribution that can be appreciated.


We got highly inspired by the kudos card system mentioned in certain management books and also followed by a few companies. We built our own internal system called “Reward Box” for lack of a better word or words. We translated this system into what we truly wanted to achieve and how it might work for us in our environment.


Budget


We budgeted a monthly amount that we would like to spend as a company in recognizing people every month. This had to be sizeable as it was broken down into an amount for each employee to go into their GLS wallet.


GLS wallet


Each employee has a wallet that will be replenished each month. If at the end of the month there is a balance in the wallet, this can be carried forward (At present the balance is forgone to save time on administrative work in carrying forward).


Power to choose


Each employee has the power to reward any other employee in GLS. It can be your subordinate, senior, junior, or even the housekeeping staff. In short, anybody who contributes to GLS.


Reward


Whenever anyone working in GLS feels like rewarding someone for their contribution, they can just pick up a reward card and mention to and from details along with the reason for recognizing that person. They can then drop the card in the reward box which will be opened randomly. The cards are read out in presence of all the employees. The reward should be in kind with a specified amount value against it. People can use up all of their monthly points in one shot or they can break it up and use it multiple times throughout the month.


Observations


We realized that at first people were excited for sure but really not aware of what construes good work or what work qualifies as a reward. We let the process just flow and left it to them for figuring out with helpful guidelines when asked. Slowly things fell in line and we saw quite a few recognition in areas where we had never concentrated earlier. People started taking this very seriously and enjoying the recognition as well. The budgeted monthly amounts started getting used up in a meaningful way. It also got the creative juices flowing in people to think of various rewards to keep in unique and also useful. People started taking note of the likes and dislikes of people as they can reward them accordingly when they want to recognize their work. A lot of people and team issues took care of themselves when rivals started appreciating each other's work in presence of everybody. A lot of misconceptions about lack of team spirit were dumbfounded.


Conclusion


This process definitely works and goes a long way in the area of people recognition. Let's accept it, this is also going to be misused at times and it certainly was, to begin with. But, as we have often seen, when power and responsibility are given to people, they self-organize. There might be a great temptation for the first couple of months to indulge and get things straightened when it's not going the way you anticipated but when left alone it turned from being abused to well-conceived with a lot of suggestions that we may have never considered if left it to us. We took it slow with a limited budget to experiment with this idea. Now, we intend to increase per employee's monthly wallet amount and the minimum reward points per recognition. As we are into the business of analytics, we are in the process of collecting data on various parameters of each reward given and I am sure with time we might have some findings which might give us some interesting insights. So, let me know if you need to know anything about this system and watch this space for more of our operational framework endeavors.

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