Leadership buy-in for employee recognition software

Employee Recognition Software: How to Get Leadership Buy-In

Lynsey May Sutherland
Lynsey Sutherland
January 23, 2024
5 min read

Have you recently received a disappointing engagement survey result? The clear next step is to take action with employee recognition software.

But even with the support of champions in your HR or People departments, it can be hard to get the go-ahead from leadership. Everything comes down to profit and loss metrics; senior management will often ignore a proposal that is not accompanied by strong evidence. Luckily for us, employee recognition software is proven to boost retention and productivity rates.

Why invest in employee recognition software?

Why invest now? The balance of power in the employer/employee relationship is moving steadily towards favouring workers. Compensation is no longer the only factor in company loyalty.

Recently, Forbes reported a dip in employee happiness, while Gallup’s State of the Global Workplace: 2023 Report demonstrated that 41% of quiet quitters cite poor company culture as their reason for disengaging.

Organisations like SHL improved their engagement survey results by 9% after implementing our employee recognition platform, while William Hill increased employee recognition by 30%. 

Want to discuss employee recognition at your company? 👉 Book a demo.

How to build a case for employee recognition software 

1. Engage stakeholders early

Depending on your leadership team’s familiarity with the importance of employee recognition and employee engagement, you may need to educate them early in the process. 

Involving your stakeholders from the beginning will provide key feedback, helping you understand their priorities before making your pitch. Create a list of requirements from across the business to ensure that your business case is robust.

While building your proposal, find ways to integrate what you propose into other HR initiatives. Consider how this will align with or support other key initiatives throughout the business. Not only will this help make your case more compelling, but stakeholders will also appreciate your efforts to see the bigger picture. 

2. Clearly define the problem

What did your engagement survey reveal about your company culture? Is there a lack of communication? Reward? Recognition? Mo works with customers who use a myriad of engagement survey providers to improve their engagement scores; we notice a higher success rate when an organisation clearly understands their objectives.

Create a mission statement to help you visualise your goal:

“As our HR lead, I want to create a recognition-rich culture. To do this, we need to create opportunities for people to celebrate success, recognise results, and appreciate their colleagues. We can achieve this goal by implementing an employee recognition platform, improving engagement and performance, and promoting a more inclusive culture”. 

Clearly defining your goals in the context of your unique company values will set you up for success.

3. Showcase the solution: employee recognition software

It is time to think about your specific strategy. Break down the value proposition of your preferred employee recognition provider: cost per user, reward capabilities, intranet integrations, data analytics, and user features.

When our customers pitch Mo’s platform, they emphasise our Boosts feature. Boosts allow managers to automate prompts, encouraging employees to share Moments which helps busy teams build positive habits of recognition. We also offer monetary rewards in the form of vouchers from Amazon, Uber, Deliveroo, ASOS and other huge brands. This sets us apart from other platforms that operate a points-based system. 

You may also wish to make your case for a digital platform over manual options. Manual recognition offers little flexibility; global companies need a better, more configurable solution.

The transition to remote working means that businesses must connect their workers across physical distances to maintain a sense of belonging. Digital recognition platforms, such as Mo, foster connection by enabling peer-to-peer recognition with teams located across the world.

Mo’s Top Tip:

Incorporate data where you can. The most successful business cases always include high-level facts about the return on investment. If you have engagement survey results or qualitative employee feedback, these can add proof to your argument that a change is needed.

👉 The bottom line? Show them the numbers.

4. Breakdown costs and expected ROI

The first question that will come to mind during your pitch is the cost of implementing employee recognition software. When approaching cost, share benchmarks.

The Society for Human Resource Management says that HR departments normally spend 1-3% of payroll on rewards and recognition – however, some may spend up to 10%. 

Highlight how much the platform will cost per user, what reward budget is in place already any proposed changes you may have, and potential additional fees. It will be important to demonstrate what the return on investment will look like over time. If you’re calculating the ROI yourself, be sure to include:

  • Improvement in turnover (according to Gallup, highly engaged business units achieve 24% less turnover)
  • Improvement in productivity (Gallup found that engaged employees contribute 23% more profitability in highly engaged business units)
  • Reduced absenteeism (Gallup also found that effective recognition leads to 41% reduced absenteeism)

5. Focus on the benefits to the company

Now it’s time to explain what exactly you’re hoping to achieve with employee recognition software. You must focus on the benefits of using employee recognition software. Here are a few ideas to include: 

  • Productivity: Happy, motivated workers who feel appreciated are 12% more productive than demotivated workers and think their efforts are rarely noticed. Recognising great work, in whatever form that takes, consistently results in higher productivity and more creative working.
  • Innovation: Staff who feel appreciated may also feel more confident about putting forward new ideas and offering suggestions for improvements. Making sure your employees feel like a part of a team also builds resilience, allowing them to pull together to overcome obstacles.
  • Lower turnover: Employees who feel seen and appreciated are also far less likely to look for a new role elsewhere. According to Deloitte, high recognition companies have a 31% lower voluntary turnover than companies with poor recognition cultures. You’ve probably heard that people don’t leave jobs; they leave managers. Research shows that few employees are keen to leave a manager who recognises their hard work and publicly thanks them. 
  • Connection: Employee recognition creates a ripple effect – great employees are highlighted and thanked, encouraging others to emulate them. Staff will also pick up the culture of appreciation and gratitude, often complimenting and thanking each other. According to Gallup, recognised employees are 5 times as likely to feel connected to their culture.
  • Overall wellness: Recognition creates an encouraging work environment where staff feel supported and valued. According to Gallup, employees who feel recognised are 44% more likely to be ‘thriving’ in their life overall. 

Employee Recognition: Key Takeaways

  • When you’re trying to get leadership buy-in on your plans for employee recognition software, the most important thing is making sure you can clearly show how it will impact your business.
  • Outline the problem you want to address, explain the solution, and create a mission statement that aligns with your overall company goals.
  • By putting yourself in leadership’s shoes, you will find it easy to build the kind of business case they want to see.

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