Recognition, reward and opportunity; these are the three key staples in the diet of an engaged and motivated employee. Yet – delivering the right balance of these ‘dietary requirements’ can be one of the biggest challenges businesses face. When they don’t get it right, a disengaged workforce and low morale ensues. With 20 years’ experience in senior leadership positions, former Partner at Deloitte and CEO of realestate.com, Jamie Pride, understands this well.
‘There is often no way to recognise employees’
Jamie told Dynamic Business: “Working at a senior level, it is often difficult to gain an understanding of the everyday successes of line-of-business employees. There is often no way to recognise employees throughout the organisation, despite managers’ best intentions.
“Lack of recognition, reward, and lack of opportunities to learn are three of the biggest reasons for disengaged employees,” Jamie said.
Try as they might, misjudged attempts at recognition are futile if not an aggravator to the issue of low morale. All too often managers inadvertently reward employees, not for what they do, but for what they say and how loud they say it.
“It is not always the loudest and most obvious successes that deserve to be rewarded. A dependable, consistent employee is crucial to the business,” said Jamie.
‘Higher staff turnover and reduced productivity’
Jamie recognised that the failure of businesses to properly recognise and reward their employees was harmful to their bottom line. According to Jamie, the poor employee morale that develops, leads to higher staff turnover and reduced productivity.
“This results in increased costs to the business, and can also reduce the business’s innovation and competitiveness,” said Jamie.
In 2014 with his learned observations in tow, Jamie set up REFFIND, a technology platform that enables businesses to communicate with, engage and reward employees. Aiming to standardise recognition, REFFIND’s objective is to help HR teams and managers who are challenged with reaching [sometimes remote] employees with consistent messages.
Jamie said “we launched REFFIND to solve a big global problem – how to retain good staff and motivate people as more and more millennials seek greater meaning and depth to their employment.
“Our innovative ‘employee experience’ mobile platform creates a network for organisations to effectively communicate with staff, offer rewards and interact with employees in a way unlike any other traditional model.”
‘Failure to recognise and reward is not just a ‘big business’ problem’
Contrary to what might be a popular assumption, Jamie contends that the failure to recognise and reward is not just a ‘big business’ problem. He says small businesses that have not developed a sense of company culture can often have employees stretched across a broad set of duties who feel undervalued. Alternatively, in larger organisations, the issues arise when recognition becomes restricted to small teams or departments (perhaps with the exception of those loudest and most obvious successes).
“It’s not necessarily the size of the business, but rather the strength of the culture,” he said.
With a diverse client base, it appears that Jamie did spot a gap in the market for REFFINDs services. Attracting clients across a range of industries globally, some of their biggest customers include Qantas, The ICONIC, Blackmores, Staples and AMP. All seeking to reduce turnover and increase engagement.
‘Behaviours entering our organisations are evolving on a daily basis’
Jamie comments “employee engagement is a hot topic in every industry today” – and this is so, because the behaviours entering our organisations are evolving on a daily basis. In turn, it will be crucial for ‘evolution’ to remain a fundamental component of REFFINDs own internal culture and business model.
“We will continue to pay close attention to these changes and expand our solution set to remain relevant,” said Jamie.
“The beauty of our app is that we are continuously gathering feedback from our clients’ employees.”