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McKenzie Stephens
Solutions Strategist

The Dos and Don’ts of Employee Reward Portals

Today, it seems as though every workplace has an employee portal. Some companies are using portals to provide employees with access information about employer provided health insurance; others opt for portals that work to provide service awards, incentives, or recognition programs. However, the prevalent use of portals does nothing to ensure that they are being implemented and run as efficiently as they should. Portals must be carefully developed and managed if they are to be an effective engagement, performance and rewards tool.  Here are just a few of the Dos and Don’ts to consider when it comes to rewards portals.


The Top Dos and Don’ts of Employee Rewards Portals


Do differentiate between merit and performance rewards.

This is a big Do in the employee rewards world. Differentiating between salary, or merit, and performance, or rewards, is important to creating a rewards program with a long lasting employee affect. Where many rewards portals can falter is failing to clearly communicate rewards as a means to push company goals and achievement.

Bonuses can often become a merit-based reward for employees and something that is counted in their annual salary. Instead, leveraging impactful rewards liked physical or digital gift cards allows companies to reward excellence or achievement, while combating employee complacency or expectancy. Using rewards programs like MI’s PPM Suite® Express allows managers to offer immediate rewarding options. A quick turnaround between achievement and reward is another way to reinforce the long-term value of your rewards program.


Do utilize peer input.

It’s pretty safe to say that your managers don’t know everything about your employees. Adding a peer-to-peer component provides greater insight into your workforce. Peer input transfers some responsibility for rewards and recognitions to your employees, giving them a chance to recognize their peers. Your managers might be surprised at what is revealed, like an employee’s great customer service skills or noteworthy sales tactics. A peer input component also gives more people in your rewards program a voice, making it more inclusive across the organization.


Do make rewards quantifiable and regular.

Make sure that your rewards are quantifiable against your goals and consistently distributed. Goals can include wellness goals, sales targets, or increases in employee engagement levels. It shouldn’t be a mystery to your employees how to earn a reward or when earned rewards are handed out. If you are using rewards to help boost your wellness program, every employee should know what the success metrics are to qualify for a reward and when the rewards are calculated. A well-designed portal is a valuable tool for engaging employees in the process of understanding, measuring, and delivering on accomplishments.  And a simple recognition and redemption portal, like the MIGiftCards® Portal, offers choice for your employees and ease of use for administrators.


Don’t reward the wrong things.

A good rewards program takes more than slapping a portal in place and generating excitement among your employees. A key part of implementing a successful rewards program is identifying the goals for your company. Establishing goals, like increasing team productivity or encouraging cross-department collaboration, allows companies to use rewards to enforce positive behavior for organizational success.

If your company sets a goal to increase teamwork but rewards personal growth, you won’t achieve the desired results from your rewards portal. Spend time to set up the right goals for your company and then determine what achievements line up with those goals. Then, clearly communicate how you’ll reward those achievements. Don’t forget to ensure that your rewards portal has reporting in place, so that you can start tracking the results of your rewards against goals.


Don’t create a program that isn’t mobile friendly.

The world now operates on smart phones. The ubiquitous presence of the smart devices means that implementing an employee portal that isn’t mobile friendly is a big Don’t. Accessibility is an important factor in the adoption of an employee rewards portal. Choosing one that can adapt to any device ensures that your portal administrators can access it on the go from any device.

These are a few of the guidelines that we use for our clients when implementing a rewards portal at their organizations. If you are interested in learning more about a rewards portal and what it can do to help your business, contact us.