May 26, 2010

Employee Recognition Solution Firms - a new kind of HR services firm?

I recently had a fascinating conversation with a senior from XLRI, Jayanth who joined a firm called Rideau as its Asia Pacific head.

We setup a call as I wanted to understand what is this new kind of firm and how does it fit in the overall scheme of HR consulting and services.

Jayanth shared that while the employee recognition industry is a relatively young one (barely about a decade old) the firms themselves have been around from a long time.

Most of them originated as organizations that manufactured gifts that became corporate gifts - and slowly they built the expertise to manage the recognition program for large corporations. As Jayanth shared "Most organizations budget about 2.5% of their payroll costs on employee recognition schemes - whether they be tenure based, or JIT performance or team rewards, but they are not managed very well"

I could relate to that :-) When I was a HR manager in the IT industry I used to spend quite a few hours following up with line managers on whether they have used the budgeted amount given to them or not.

Jayanth says "and freeing up HR generalists' time is not all. Since we maintain the centralised data organizations are asking us for that data during performance appraisal time to bring that as a measure also in the overall performance discussions."

What impressed me was that this industry already has a certification program and a think tank institute too.

The interesting thing Jayanth shared what that they deploy a social tool within their clients to get a 360 degree view of recognition.

You can keep a track of Jayanth's blog on employee recognition here.