Prashant Khandelwal, Regional Compensation and Benefits Lead, APAC, Siemens, on the impact of workplace recognition and how Siemens implemented a timely, opportune and value-based programme for employees to recognise and get recognised.

Researchers and psychologists have long argued that positive affirmation is a great and effective way to increase productivity and engagement. Numerous studies have substantiated the positive impact of appreciation.

Harvard Medical School’s article ‘In Praise of gratitude’ highlights the impact of recognition as found by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania. In the study, they randomly divided university fund-raisers into two groups. One group made phone calls to ask alumni donations in their usual manner, but the second group of fund-raisers were told by the director of annual giving that she was grateful for their efforts. It was found in the research that fundraisers “who heard her message of gratitude made 50% more fund-raising calls than those who did not.”

It's important for employees to know that their contributions are being valued by their employer. 79% of workers say they work harder when recognised, according to a study by Globoforce.

Happy employees are productive and contribute more to the company’s success. According to a whitepaper by O.C Tanner, employees who receive strong recognition are 33% more likely to proactively innovate and generate 2x as many ideas per month, compared to those who are not recognised well.

Workplace recognition is not a new concept, however, traditionally its implementation has been incongruous, inconsistent, and ineffective. For recognition to be impactful it should be timely, opportune and value-based.

A value-based programme for employees to recognise and get recognised

At Siemens, we felt the need to have a value-based programme which enables all the employees in the organisation to 'recognise' and 'get recognised'. This need became more pronounced when we started implementing newer ways of working and cross-functional collaboration.

We launched the STAR programme in ASEAN to support the above-mentioned goals. Siemens STAR is a modern approach to employee recognition that makes it easy to 'Share Thanks And Recognition'. STAR is different from traditional recognition approaches in many ways, some of the notable ones are:

  • Great employee experience – STAR leverages cloud-based technology which is accessible any time on any device. In addition to superb User Interface (UI), it also provides variety of recognition options like E-cards, Points, and Cash. The points can be used to shop on the portal, which is integrated within the tool providing a seamless experience.
  • Creating lasting memories – Celebrating and sharing joyful moments with others, etches the positive stories in our mind. The ‘Recognition Wall’ in the tool enables users to share public messages with the network using Text, Audio or Video.
  • Driving peer-to-peer recognition – Recognition is no longer the sole domain of managers at Siemens rather all employees can also use different programs to recognise colleagues irrespective of hierarchies thereby acting as an enabler for cross-functional collaboration.
  • Timely recognition – In the past, achievements were rewarded during the annual performance cycle but now managers have the option to rewards employees/teams at the opportune time. This complement and strengthens the performance/feedback process.
  • Boundaryless recognition – STAR also enables multi-national teams to harness the power of appreciation. Now, an employee based out of Thailand can easily recognise his/her peer(s) in Vietnam.
  • Value-based recognition - STAR recognition is aligned with Siemens Ownership culture goals, helping recognise behaviors and contributions aligned with our values and purpose. Each moment of recognition is linked to one of 4 dimensions:
    • Living our values
    • Taking the lead
    • Doing what matters
    • Working together.

Workplace appreciation has assumed increased significance in these challenging pandemic times. Recognition leads to joyful feelings, positive memories, and shared optimism. All these emotions lead to the virtuous cycle of positivity and workplace cohesion.

With STAR, we are confident of creating a strong culture of appreciation and recognition at Siemens that will energise our employees and move the business forward.

Remember, two simple words – "Thank you" can make a huge difference!

Photo / provided