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Opinion: Awardco-Hertz Case Study Demonstrates What’s Missing From Today’s Recognition: ROI Measurement

The case study of this Hertz recognition program advertised by Awardco, a recognition platform closely aligned with Amazon which recently received a major influx of capital from venture capital investors, exemplifies the opportunity in recognition to do a better job of measuring the impact on organizational results.
By Bruce Bolger

What Do Organizations Need More?—Better Recognition or Higher Performance?
What Should Recognition Emphasize: The Process or Organizational Goals?
Excerpts of Awardco-Hertz. Corp. Case Study

This Awardco-Hertz Corp. case study sheds light on the state of recognition today and how it can be elevated to create more organizational value and impact. There is no intention in this article to single out Hertz and Awardco but to make the point that this case study is emblematic of the state of recognition today: a greater focus on the process rather than on the core goals of enhanced employee engagement and experiences that leads to higher productivity, quality, willingness to refer, DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) effectiveness, wellness, and safety, etc.
Awardco recently raised a major round of funding from Silicon Valley investors. See RRN: Does Awardco Funding Signal Round 3 of Investor Interest in the IRR Business?
If the goal of recognition is to have smoothly operating, easily customizable recognition platforms that make life easy for the administrators and employees, this is an effective case study. What if the goal goes beyond that: to enhance organizational performance by focusing people on the organization’s purpose, values, and goals in a way that can be measurably linked to key financial and cultural objectives, such as higher retention, productivity, quality, willingness to refer, DEI effectiveness, etc.

What Do Organizations Need More?—Better Recognition or Higher Performance?

In its current social media campaign, Awardco proudly hails the success of its international recognition program with Hertz Corp., a prized account in the field of recognition given that it has 24,000 employees in 12,000 cultures, with 14 different recognition programs. The question is: by what measure is success determined? Like most recognition program case studies, there is little concrete information on how the effort has produced measurable results demonstrating value creation beyond an “increase in employee engagement scores and inclusive use of the technology platform.” Like many programs of its kind throughout the world, there is no talk of measures, such as demonstrated commitment to organizational purpose and goals; willingness to refer; turnover; productivity and quality; DEI (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion) effectiveness; wellness and safety, etc.
That Hertz and Awardco consider this program worthy of holding up as an example in a marketing campaign suggests that the recognition field remains focused on recognition as a process rather than as part of a strategic means to an end led by the CEO. The person quoted in the case study is the Manager of Human Resources Projects and Recognition Manager, with no mention of high-level support for her efforts.

What Should Recognition Emphasize: The Process or Organizational Goals?

Obviously well intentioned, the focus of the Awardco case study is clearly on the process of recognition; there is no talk of organizational purpose, objectives, strategy and process design, alignment with organizational goals, communications, training, or use of measurement, any specific impact on organizational purpose, values, goals, and objectives.
Click here for the full case study or read these verbatim extracts below to draw your own conclusions. This is an impressive undertaking, but is this the best the recognition field can do to add value to organizations?  

Excerpts of Awardco-Hertz. Corp. Case Study

Since its inception, Hertz has always known that providing the best customer experience meant taking care of their employees first. Engaged, happy employees were the foundation for the service customers had come to expect from Hertz over their 100-year history. Though Hertz had a small recognition program focused on about 3,000 employees within the US, it wasn't quite enough. High-performers received recognition and rewards often, but most front-line employees were unfortunately overlooked.
This didn’t sit well with Hertz.
“We think a lot about our front-line employees. They’re the ones that make us who we are and drive our business, and we wanted to make sure they knew we appreciated them,” says Annasuela Fritz, Human Resources Projects and Recognition Manager at Hertz.
Widening their focus from a few of their best employees to all their 24,000 plus employees was a big task, but Hertz was determined to make their recognition program as rewarding and inclusive as possible. To do so, Hertz needed two things:
A rewards network that met the needs of their large workforce: small catalogs were not cutting it.
The ability to create, run, and manage multiple different employee recognition programs on one platform—and with different budgets.
“Now, three years after implementing Awardco, Hertz has gone from one small, localized recognition program to 14 different global programs running simultaneously, some ongoing and some seasonal. Overall employee engagement has increased worldwide, as well as employee inclusion and participation in recognition programs across the globe. Awardco even provided support through a very difficult time brought on by the global pandemic.”
“Awardco offered Hertz the ability to use Amazon in their rewards and recognition programs, which meant they could provide a consistent experience across all their business centers, whether for Dallas or Dubai. The ability to develop multiple programs in the platform without having to go through frustrating hoops or multiple rounds of implementation was incredibly helpful, too. The Awardco employee recognition platform came with the capability to create different programs and set different budgets, and nobody else offered that.”
As Hertz began with Awardco, they found even more benefits in a reduction in administration time and a boost in program adoption that skyrocketed because of the simplicity of the platform. The ease of setting up new programs and the speed at which employees caught on was an added-bonus that changed the way Hertz managed rewards and recognition in their organization.”

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Education, Certifications, and Information to Activate
Brand Media and Enterprise Engagement 

A complete learning, certification, and information program and a course syllabus for educators.
Resources: The Brand Media Coalition, the only guide to the story-telling power of brands and where to source them for business, event, promotional gifting, and rewards and recognition. Enterprise Engagement Solution Provider Directory. The only directory of engagement solution providers covering all types of agencies and tactics as well as insights on how to select them.
Communities: The  Enterprise Engagement Alliance and Advocate and the  Brand Media Coalition free resource centers offering access to the latest research, news, and case studies; discounts, promotions, referrals, and commissions, when appropriate to third-party solution providers from participating coalition solution provider members.
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Enterprise Engagement Alliance Education: Certified Engagement Practitioner; Advanced Engaged Practitioner, and Certified Engagement Solution Provider learning and certification programs on how to implement Stakeholder Capitalism principles at the tactical level. 
International Center for Enterprise Engagement: The only training and certification program for ISO 30414 human capital reporting and ISO 10018 quality people management certification. 
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The EEA offers a complimentary course syllabus for educators.
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10-minute short course: click here for a 10-minute introduction to Enterprise Engagement and ISO standards from the Coggno.com learning platform.
•  The Engagement Agency at EngagementAgency.net, offering: complete support services for employers, solution providers, and technology firms seeking to profit from formal engagement practices for themselves or their clients, including Brand and Capability audits for solution providers to make sure their products and services are up to date.
•  C-Suite Advisory Service—Education of boards, investors, and C-suite executives on the economics, framework, and implementation processes of Enterprise Engagement. 
•  Speakers Bureau—Select the right speaker on any aspect of engagement for your next event.
•  Mergers and Acquisitions. The Engagement Agency’s Mergers and Acquisition group is aware of multiple companies seeking to purchase firms in the engagement field. Contact Michael Mazer in confidence if your company is potentially for sale at 303-320-3777.
Enterprise Engagement Benchmark Tools: The Enterprise Engagement Alliance offers three tools to help organizations profit from Engagement. Click here to access the tools.
•  ROI of Engagement Calculator. Use this tool to determine the potential return-on-investment of an engagement strategy. 
•  EE Benchmark Indicator. Confidentially benchmark your organization’s Enterprise Engagement practices against organizations and best practices. 
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•  Gauge Your Personal Level of Engagement. This survey, donated by Horsepower, enables individuals to gauge their own personal levels of engagement.
For more information, contact Bruce Bolger at Bolger@TheEEA.org, 914-591-7600, ext. 230.

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