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9 Predictions For Where Employee Recognition Is Going In 2022

By Erika Miller
Image grid of headshots of all the contributors of this blog.

What is one prediction for where employee recognition is headed in 2022?

To help you understand where employee recognition is headed in 2022, we asked top HR managers and business owners this question for their best insights. From visible leaderboards to global programs, there are several predictions that may help you update your employee recognition program for the new year!

Visible Leaderboards

Public recognition is a powerful tool to utilize with your team. Leaderboards are perhaps the most well-known illustrations of this, encouraging a friendly level of in-house competition, and allowing workers to track their personal progress in relation to their colleagues. Leaderboards are not only for sales-driven job roles, customer relations, and service promotions are served equally well, as are team goals.

Saskia Ketz, Mojomox

The Thanksmatters Card

In 2022, Motivosity launched the "ThanksMatters Card". Plaques, trophies and MVP awards no longer feel like meaningful recognition for most people anymore. Instead, team members want to be recognized consistently, frequently and want to be able to choose how they're rewarded. The ThanksMatters Card increases how often employees are recognized and means they can spend their rewards literally any way they want!

Logan Mallory, Motivosity

Personalized and Tailored Recognition

In 2022, recognition will be more personalized and tailored to the individual. Rather than a one-size-fits-all approach, employers will use data analytics to determine what type of recognition works best for each employee.

This trend is already beginning to take shape. For example, many companies now offer employees the ability to choose their own rewards from a catalog or online store. And some companies are even using artificial intelligence (AI) to tailor recognition recommendations specifically for individual employees.

Claire Westbrook, LSAT Prep Hero

Rewarding Self Care

With everything that has happened in the last two years, celebrating and rewarding self care will be crucial to employee retention and company long-term success. Recognizing employees for taking care of themselves while also evangelizing the need for intentional wellness and self-care is a trend that will ensure companies are actually taking care of their employees and driving long-term benefit.

Sentari Minor, evolvedMD

Peer Recognition Will Reign

image with text - Peer recognition will be critically important in 2022.

Recognition has always been important, but peer recognition will be critically important in 2022 as employees continue to re-evaluate the companies they work for. The great resignation has shown us alarming stats that the disengaged and “actively looking” numbers are on the rise. Peer recognition makes the employee feel valued and part of the team. Having a system of frequent feedback and recognition can help keep employees engaged, especially if it’s from their trusted peers. There are tools like tinypulse.com that specialize in peer recognition or even a weekly team meeting geared to provide employee “shout-outs” like we do at Markitors.

Jenn Christie, Markitors

Find What Really Motivates

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, companies are going into 2022 with a focus on motivating and retaining their existing employees. In order to do this well, employers will need to have a flexible, varied approach towards employee motivation.

image with text - A solid recognition program begins with understanding what makes employees feel valued and appreciated.

My prediction is that this year companies will spend more time and effort finding out exactly what motivates each of their employees. Some employees are more motivated by financial incentives, while others need to feel valued and that their contributions matter to the organization. Whatever the reason, a solid recognition program begins with understanding what makes employees feel valued and appreciated.

Dave Rietsema, Matchr

Less Tangible Rewards

One prediction for where employee recognition is headed in 2022, is that the focus might turn towards less tangible rewards. As more millennials enter the workforce and become managers, they are likely to value things like self-expression, unique experiences, and flexibility. This is because employees are looking for more recognition from their employers - it's not enough to receive a piece of paper and read a meaningless, generic quote from their boss. Employees who feel appreciated show higher levels of productivity, so we're likely to see employers moving in this direction. Millennials are demanding a more collaborative workplace too, so we can expect to see a shift towards non-hierarchical structures and a focus on process over results.

Ben Miller, Focus On Digital

Kras and Work Systems

In the past, employee recognition initiatives have worked in isolation. Most of these awards are the result of managers and team leaders submitting nominations based on their qualitative evaluations of their employees' accomplishments and performance in light of predetermined criteria for recognition. By 2022, there should be a greater emphasis on strengthening the connections between KRAs, recognition criteria, and the recognition act itself. Work systems like CRM, PMS, and LMS will become more integrated with employee recognition platforms. If the conditions are met, the recognition system will recognize achievements or performance measures recorded by these systems. As a result, the entire recognition process will be data-driven, transparent, and real-time. As a result of this, employees will be able to focus their efforts on exceeding their goals, knowing that they will be rewarded and recognized once they do so.

Sumit Bansal, TrumpExcel

More Global Programs

The rise of hybrid and remote working has resulted in a greater level of collaboration between individuals in different locations. These days, companies are looking at worldwide reward and recognition programs that can be implemented regardless of where employees are located. By leveraging digital platforms and maintaining worldwide recognition programs, companies can do so without putting too much administrative effort into the process. These platforms also allow for a significant amount of localization, including language, currency, and reward options, to take care of cultural nuances.

Kathryn Smithson, PathSocial

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