How To Use Praise To Retain Top Talent

Meet Jayashree Venkataraman, CEO and Founder of Appreiz. Appreiz is a social recognition platform that helps colleagues and clients recognize a job well done via an intuitive interface.

Venkataraman is an HR technology veteran, with the likes of industry giants Microsoft and GE filling out her resume. Now she’s out to redefine talent management using social recognition as a key performance indicator. We connected with her to find out more about her latest venture and what it means for HR.

The motto of Appreiz is “redefining talent management.” So what exactly does that mean?

“Typically when you give someone a good reference or leave a review on LinkedIn, you give broad, non-specific endorsements like ‘so-and-so is a great manager’ or ‘so-and-so was lovely to work with,’” she says. “But that doesn’t quantify anything.”

Appreiz, on the other hand, allows you to show appreciation to your co-worker, peer, manager, or anyone in an organization. The key, though, is that you must appreciate them based on demonstrated values, role-based competencies and skills. The praise must be tied to a specific accomplishment.

Research shows that employees who receive praise on a regular basis are more productive, more engaged and more likely to stay with their organization than those who do not.

And there’s another benefit — built-in data that can be harnessed by management.

“Appreiz captures the precise skills a person demonstrated, building analytics for the employer in the process. It’s directly tied to your job performance,” says Venkataraman.

Appreiz works both internally — colleagues leaving praise for one another — and externally, for clients and contractors. Instead of sending a customer survey that more often than not will go unanswered, Appreiz can pull feedback from multiple platforms clients are already using to leave reviews, including Facebook and Twitter.

Having a tool like Appreiz in place gives employees a sense of purpose for their hard work and helps the company itself hold onto its best people.

Praise in Succession Planning

Aside from the “warm fuzzies” associated with giving praise and feedback, there’s a deeper layer of importance for employers: succession planning.

Capturing employees’ demonstrated capabilities and skills on a regular basis with a tool like Appreiz makes a company’s succession planning much easier. Managers can easily look at which skills a certain employee is being praised for most frequently to see where the next logical step in their career might lead.

If they’re being praised more frequently, it could be another important indicator — they’re job searching and have been seeking referrals. If you want to retain your top talent, this could mean it’s a good time for a conversation about pay or a promotion.

Finally, the systematic gathering of praise and feedback helps you identify your top performers.

“If one person keeps getting praised by many different team members, you know it’s important to retain that person. They are valued by their peers,” says Venkataraman.

Increasing Adoption

As with any new piece of technology, no matter how useful, the biggest challenge lies in getting people to widely adopt it. Venkataraman is working to make Appreiz as intuitive as possible, incorporating it into a user’s regular workflow.

For example, if you’re writing an email to a co-worker and say ‘great job on that task!’ you’ll receive a notification prompting you to send Appreiz to your colleague,” she explains. “It becomes an ordinary step in the workflow, with triggers in multiple places.”

She hopes Appreiz and its report-card-style ‘Appreiz Graph’ (like a resume built by feedback from your peers) will become a standard piece of the modern workplace.

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