• Culture

    4 things we’ve learned about employee recognition

    July 11, 2019
    2 min read

    How to boost engagement and loyalty in a very real way...

    We live in an age where every industry now recognises that its people are its most valuable asset, and where employee expectations are constantly evolving alongside technology, business and society as a whole. 

    A growing part of our business at huggg is focused on, well, huggg for businesses. We believe that there’s a huge psychological impact in saying ‘thank you’ with a real-life treat in the workplace, which is why we’ve taken the time to explore the principles and trends of employee engagement.


    We’ve brought together four of the most important things we’ve learned about recognising employees in the messaging age.


    Lesson 1: The employee recognition market is big business 📈

    Like, bigger than we ever imagined back when we developed Huggg. According to a recent report by The Starr Conspiracy, the total addressable market for companies above 2,500 employees is $46BN. 

    Recognition makes up a huge part of employee engagement, for which there’s long since been a strategic business case. Recognised, engaged employees mean lower voluntary turnover, higher revenue per employee and a lower customer churn. 

    Lesson 2: Peer-to-peer recognition is becoming the norm 🤝

    Social rewards are much more prevalent in 2019 as we move away from a top-down recognition system. This isn’t just common sense, but rather a paradigm shift brought about by the new value systems created by social media. 

    Real-time recognition from the people we work closest with holds more value than that from an authority figure who we’re six degrees removed from*. Employees who are empowered to recognise other employees at their organisations are twice as likely to identify themselves as highly engaged.

    *Unless it’s Kevin Bacon, of course.

    Lesson 3: The workforce is becoming experiential-focused 💡

    There’s an increased focus on employees’ personal experiences of work. Understanding what employees are thinking and feeling enables workplaces to better cater towards nurturing, productive environments. Workspaces that reflect their employees’ values, and that also recognise that the boundaries between home, work, retail and leisure spaces are dissolving, are bound to boost productivity. 

    Recognising experiential-focused workforces is about thinking through the moment of reward. What feeling will the rewardee take home with them? Is the recognition Instagram-worthy? It’s easier to measure that you’d imagine, with the right tools. 

    Lesson 4: Businesses need to innovate their recognition 🚀

    In the future, rewards will be as unique as the people that receive them. At Huggg we’re proud to run a fundamentally human business – we iterate our products constantly, based on the ongoing dialogue we have with our customers. We keep this engagement transparent in order to produce the most effective results, and we can see similar parallels in the way businesses reward their employees. 

    There’s no such thing as one-size-fits-all recognition; modern employee recognition is most effective when it’s specific and timely. According to Forbes, tenure-based rewards programs have minimal impact on organisational performance, but they represent 87% of all employee recognition programs. Today’s employees are more likely to respond to regular, personalised recognition than a lump sum at the end of the year – even if the cash value is higher, it’s less meaningful in terms of employee engagement.  

    The most important thing to emphasise is that the employee recognition market is currently evolving. It’s a huge new market opportunity, which will be steered first and foremost by developments in workforce engagement software. Not least of which will be messaging software, we believe!

    At Huggg, we plan to be part of the new school of employment recognition, with instant, personalised and measurable rewards that put real products at the heart of everyday communication.