Workforce Technology
February 8, 2024

How HR Technology Can Improve Recognition and Retention in a Shifting Job Market

Over the past decade, we have seen the pendulum swing in the job market from employer choice and candidate control. Mass layoffs in the technology sector, the battle over return to the office mandates, and generational shifts in the workplace hierarchy have all created inflection points at various intervals in recent years. According to Monster’s Work Watch report, 95% of workers said they are planning to seek new job opportunities in 2024. For companies actively hiring, this is welcome news. However, for the 57% that are worried about talent and institutional knowledge walking out the door at a time when the competition to innovate is fierce, retention is key. And this is an area where HR tech can play a pivotal role.

With a Majority of Workers Seeking New Jobs, Retention is a Priority

According to a study by Equifax Workforce Solutions, 40% of turnover occurs within the first six months of an employee's job. According to Eagle Hill Consulting, employers can expect more employees to leave in 2024, particularly during the first six months. 

Industrial-organizational psychologists often point out that we spend one-third of our lives at work, which means our jobs can have profound impacts on all other areas of our lives. A Gallup study revealed that only 25% of employees report having meaningful connections with their coworkers. The study also suggested that HR tech can bolster employee recognition and significantly enhance the culture and productivity of businesses.

In her article for Forbes, Laurel Donnellan explored the situation further: “According to a Glassdoor survey on appreciation, 53% of employees would stay longer at their company if they received more appreciation from their boss. Furthermore, 81% of people report that they experience greater motivation when they receive appreciation from leadership. Opportunities for recognition in the workplace are growing. A 2023 Garner article states, ‘46% of HR leaders are planning to increase investments’ in HR technology and recognition platforms. Recognition and appreciation rhythms are essential tools for compassionate leaders to have in their toolbox.”

Exceptional management, according to data from Boston Consulting Group, is “the most powerful lever for delivering key emotional factors, and accounts for a 72% reduction in attrition Risk, a 3.2x increase in employee retention, and a 13.9x increase in satisfaction.”

How HR Recognition Platforms Achieve Key Objectives

Recognition lies at the heart of the candidate experience, and it begins during onboarding. From there, performance management, regular communication, and routine updates inform the overall journeys of talent during the course of their employment. HR recognition platforms help satisfy all of these objectives.

Employee Onboarding

  • Prompts for peer-to-peer recognition: Platforms suggest ways for colleagues to welcome new hires, like sending messages, joining virtual coffee chats, or offering support with specific tasks. This fosters early connections and integration.
  • Automated onboarding journeys: Personalized messages, task checklists, and resource recommendations guide new employees through the process, increasing engagement and reducing overwhelm.
  • Micro-learning modules: Bite-sized learning content embedded within the platform reinforces company culture, values, and expectations, accelerating understanding and integration.

Performance Management

  • Automated performance check-ins: Regular prompts remind managers and employees to provide and receive feedback, reducing reliance on time-consuming meetings.
  • Goal setting and tracking: Shared, measurable goals within the platform ensure alignment and transparency, empowering individuals and teams to stay on track.
  • Recognition tied to performance: Achievements and milestones can be celebrated with public or private recognition, reinforcing desired behaviors and motivating employees.
  • Peer-to-peer feedback: Encouraging employees to recognize and appreciate each other's contributions fosters collaboration and strengthens team dynamics.

Personal Updates

  • Dedicated channels for personal milestones: Platforms offer spaces for employees to share personal news, like birthdays, new pets, or graduations, fostering a sense of community and belonging.
  • Life event recognition programs: Recognition for personal achievements extends beyond work, showing employees their whole selves are valued.
  • Employee-driven content: Opportunities to share hobbies, interests, or passions outside of work humanize individuals and encourage deeper connections.
  • Inclusive and respectful environment: Platforms prioritize a safe and respectful space for personal sharing, ensuring everyone feels comfortable participating.

Overall Impact

  • Increased employee engagement and motivation: Recognition and connection go beyond traditional top-down models, leading to happier, more engaged employees.
  • Improved communication and collaboration: Regular feedback and peer-to-peer interactions foster understanding and teamwork, boosting overall performance.
  • Stronger company culture: Recognizing different aspects of employee life creates a more vibrant and human-centered work environment.
  • Reduced turnover: Feeling valued and connected makes employees less likely to leave, saving companies time and resources.

Of course, the effectiveness of HR recognition platforms ultimately depends on implementation and company culture. Clear communication, training, and encouragement are crucial for successful platform adoption and impact. These platforms should also complement existing HR processes rather than replacing them. Beyond technology, there are still best practices to leverage when strategizing on comprehensive retention initiatives. 

  • Improve the hiring and onboarding process
  • Provide opportunities for employee development
  • Create a safe and inclusive work environment
  • Offer mental health resources
  • Evaluate compensation package competitiveness
  • Implement a financial wellness program
  • Establish clear career pathways
  • Implement robust recognition and rewards programs
  • Use a top-down and bottom-up retention strategy

At a time when layoffs have become the norm and experts continue to warn that AI could be used to automate folks out of jobs, it’s important to embrace technologies that enhance a company’s culture and commitment to its talent. By understanding how HR recognition platforms address these key objectives, business leaders can make informed decisions about their potential benefits within their organizations.

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