Modern Employee Recognition Programs & Trends for 2022

Date: January 5, 2022
employee recognition tips

The past two years have seen unprecedented changes in the workplace. The pandemic didn’t just turn the world of work upside down, it acted as a catalyst that accelerated the pace of change across every aspect of our operations. As a result, business is changing, fast. And the world of employee rewards and recognition is no different. In fact, over the past two years, we’ve see how modern employee recognition programs have emerged to keep teams connected, boost morale and improve productivity in the world of remote working.

As we head into the new year we have an opportunity to reflect on the unprecedented challenges we’ve faced in recent years, and plan ahead to ensure that we continue to engage people and boost business. So what are the key trends in employee recognition for 2022, and how might these impact the way that HR teams manage people for the next 12 months and beyond? 

1 - Digital first 

The continuing rise of remote teams and hybrid working has meant that organizations have adopted more and more digital solutions to help them manage day-to-day tasks. From Zoom to Microsoft Teams, digital is now a part of our everyday lives - and as we move into 2022 the same will be true for employee recognition programs. 

Modern platforms make it easier than ever to reward your teams and help them to feel connected to your company’s core values. Efficient, highly effective and specifically designed for the modern fast-paced world of work - platforms like Bucketlist are set to become even more commonplace in 2022 as more and more businesses look to bring their employee recognition into the 21st Century. 

rewards and recognition

2 - People power

With the arrival of the Great Resignation, 2021 proved to be a challenging year for businesses as HR teams scrambled to fill roles in an ultra-competitive marketplace. The bad news however is that experts are predicting that the trend will continue into the new year and beyond. Some research even suggests that more than 85 million roles could go unfilled by 2030, costing the global economy more than $8.5 trillion.

With these numbers in mind, it’s more important than ever for organizations to make sure that they create a culture that attracts and retains the very best talent. One of the biggest trends we’ll see in 2022 is companies customizing their employee recognition to match their culture. Instead of outdated “Employee of the Month” awards, businesses will instead specifically design their recognition to connect their people with their culture. Whether it’s rewarding people who go above and beyond to support their team, those who deliver exceptional service, or simply someone who shares the best GIF - we’ll see a growing trend in programs that are as unique as the companies they’re employed in.

rewards and recognition

3 - Gamification 

From the app you use to track your steps to the rewards program at your favourite coffee spot, there’s a good chance that you’ve experienced gamification at some point in your life. So what exactly is it? Put simply gamification is the process of incorporating typical elements of game playing - such as point scoring, competition and leader boards - into other areas of life. 

Done right it can encourage engagement and make even the most menial of tasks seem fun. That’s why it’s set to be one of the hottest trends in employee recognition for 2022. Enabled by the growing number of digital programs, gamifying your employee recognition program will not only enhance your employee experience, it can also encourage friendly competition that will bring your workforce together. 

rewards and recognition

4 -  Peer to peer 

By far one of the most popular trends we’re going to see over the next 12 months is peer-to-peer recognition. That means instead of managers handing out awards, your teams are encouraged to recognize one another’s achievements and efforts. This may sound like a small change but it can add up to make a big difference. Indeed, by empowering your staff to recognize their peers you will not only make your people feel more connected to each other but also more connected to your company’s goals and values. It’s a simple but effective tool that high-performing organizations will use to foster more cohesive teams.

rewards and recognition

5 - Tangible rewards

Employee gifting is nothing new, indeed for years bosses have been using employee rewards programs in order to build a strong culture and create happy, motivated employees. But since the onset of COVID-19 and the rapid shift towards remote working, gifting has become an incredibly valuable tool for employers, and one that will continue to soar in popularity during 2022. 

The reason for the enduring popularity of this kind of reward is because it’s tangible and employees can easily see how it adds something to their lives. In our remote world, this kind of physical gifting also adds a personal touch that can help to create connections even when your workforce is spread far and wide. 

rewards and recognition

Employee recognition will be more important than ever in 2022 

Whatever approach you decide to take, one thing that’s clear is that employee recognition and rewards will be more important than ever in 2022. To succeed in this ultra-competitive market, organizations must not only recognize the power of their people but harness it to create engaged and cohesive teams that succeed in the post-pandemic hybrid landscape. 

This is where Bucketlist can help. Bucketlist’s employee rewards platform is customizable to your business, making it easy and fun for managers to recognize and reward your peoples’ milestones, achievements and hard work. 

To find out more visit Alternatively, you can contact us for a free demo to find out how Bucketlist’s employee reward and recognition software can help you keep your workers happy and engaged.

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