The Role of Awards in Developing and Setting Standards   
Africa Jobs & career

The Role of Awards in Developing and Setting Standards   

In a fast-paced and ever-changing business world, it has become increasingly important for employees to be heard and recognized, to give them a sense of purpose, and help them know that their contributions are being noticed.

They want to know that their skills are still relevant, useful and that they are making a positive contribution towards the organizations they serve.

To date, many organizations are still grappling with the negative effects of the Covid-19 global lockdown.

Due to the closure of many businesses, shift in working modes, work hours, workloads and some changes in salary, many employees are struggling to cope with these changes resulting in various mental health challenges.

Companies that have survived the onslaught of the pandemic are those that tried to look after their employees and showed empathy.

In return, the employees, despite the hard times, have found it worthy to look after the customers and clients of the organisation.

Human resource scholars assert that employees will most likely not feel respected and empowered if they sense that their workplaces are not empathetic to their situations.

Aware of what was going on within its workforce, Prudential Uganda brought its tagline to the fore, joining its staff, as well as clients, in Facing Life Together just like what it has always done for more than 100 years – standing with employees and clients in both good and bad times.

In partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers, Uganda Investment Authority (UIA), Private Sector Foundation Uganda (PSFU), Human Capital International, BrighterMonday, and the Federation of

Uganda Employers (FUE), Prudential Uganda launched the ‘Prudential Best HR Practices Survey 2021.’ This survey is meant to highlight best employment practices and recognise organisations championing the best employment practices in the country.

The effect of the pandemic on the workplace prompted Prudential to investigate ways in which employers can measure and share among each other the best practices so that, collectively, they can make the lives of their employees better and get the most out of life.

Some of the thematic areas the survey is looking at are; diversity and inclusion, flexible performance management, talent development, employee empowerment, wellness, collaboration and communication, reward and recognition of employees, quality, innovation and several other areas that impact employees in the world of work today.

It is from such practices that companies are able to retain the best talents in the field as they seek to maximise their set goals and benchmarks.

Offering prizes for reaching certain benchmarks for performance or even better, set up a system where employees can demonstrate their understanding of industry topics, sharpen their skills, and then receive recognition and rewards for meeting certain goals.

Employees too can benefit from improving themselves professionally, which is also likely to keep a company moving forward.

According to data provided by Blackhawk Engagement Solutions, 89% of employers assume that employees leave for a higher salary at a different company.

However, only 12% of employees actually earn more at their new jobs, suggesting that their reasons for leaving have very little to do with financial compensation.

Even something as simple as passing your company’s accolades along to your employees can say a lot about how much you value your team.  

Employers ought to boost the best performer practices in order to establish themselves as pillars of the community.

The results in brand awareness are more likely to win customers and contracts. A modest ‘thank you for a job well done to an employee can show them how much they are appreciated. At the end of the day, it is a win-win for both the employer and employee.

Eighty-six percent (86%) of businesses have employee recognition or awards programme in place.

Awarding employees for exemplary work is a great way to recognise team members committed to your company’s values and your intended business direction.

The awards strategy can take just about any form. You know what you look for in a model employee, so it only makes sense to reward your workers when they live up to those standards.

Often, putting a little extra time and money into employee recognition boosts your company’s reputation.

It is a relationship based on trust that inspires employees to perform. When a company is mindful of managing and concurrently implementing personal growth, not just responsibility, inclusion and employee empowerment, among others will certainly jump-start a company’s ability to earn trust with the employees and inspire their performance.

When you trust someone, you believe in them. People are inspired when they know that their leaders believe in their capabilities to deliver.

The survey is expected to offer an opportunity for employees to promote and highlight the good employment practices of their employer.

It is also hoped that the survey will share new innovative practices among employers on critical issues for employees in the workplace.

Is it possible other employers can take a leaf out of the book of staff of other organisations? Is it high time organisations re-assessed to know whether their HR policies could actually lead to their downfall?

Is it not in order that organisations learn about emerging global practices – global practices viewed from a local perspective to fit in the local context? These are questions whose answers we are waiting for with bated breath.

Juliet Najjuma
HR Manager, Prudential Uganda.