Imagine a day at work. Your employee, a software engineer, puts his heart and soul in solving a customer’s problem that you know means a lot to the project and to you. And finally, after a whole day of research, coding, testing and debugging, he finally deploys it and it works! Everybody is happy – your customer, your employee and of course you. That’s Karma! Don’t you think so?

In the end you’re thinking  – “If only there were a way to give some recognition for all his hard work”

This is probably the scenario common in all the organizations these days. A recent study shows that organizations with effective recognition program have 31% lower voluntary turnover than those without it. And organizations with strategic recognition programs exhibit 28.6% lower frustration levels than those without recognition programs.

Employees don’t just work for pay, they also need recognition for their hard work, and at Engazewell, we have a tool just for that – Karma

What is Karma?

Simply put, it is a quantitative measure of an employee’s efforts at work to achieve the organization’s goals. In my recent blog Engaging Disengaged Employees, I described the prime indicators of engagement  – Purpose, Participation, Transparency and Trust. What Karma does is that it gives a quantitative measure for all these indicators.

How can Karma help?

There are many ways to build Karma at work. Let’s look at each indicator of engagement and see how Karma helps

Purpose1

 

 

Purpose is everything. We are built to do more than just exist in the universe and more often than not, each of us questions ourselves – what is my purpose here? This is also true when it comes to our work. Hence, when an employer acknowledges a software engineer, who fulfilled his purpose of developing an awesome payment module for a customer’s application, he/she feels happy about contributing to the overall purpose of the Customer, the Employer and himself/herself. Isn’t that Karma?

The important part here is the “acknowledgement” and when an employer is able to give it a measurable parameter, like, reward points for the hours spent by the developer in delivering that payment module, it instantaneously gives a value to the developer’s efforts and that’s what matters the most!

Each business has it’s own key results that indicate the success or failure of its efforts towards achieving the organizational goals and Karma helps in measuring that achievement. Be it billable hours on a project, quality of delivery, identifying potential talent for the organization, the end result is taking the organization one step closer to it’s goals and this “effort” is what we measure with Karma!

Participation

Now that we have identified and measured the Purpose, it is time to identify ways to engage employees beyond their committed duties. For example, a software engineer who works on a project for 8 hours a day will do so as his role expects him/her to, but in those 8 hours (or sometimes beyond) he/she spends time learning a new technology, solving a fellow team member’s problem, organizing knowledge sharing session on a new technique to solve a common problem, etc., hence contributing or “Participating” in more than just the job.

When these gestures of “going the extra mile” are rewarded, especially when such reward comes not just from his/her manager, but from anybody that gained value from it, the level of satisfaction or elevation that the employee feels for instant recognition of his contribution is beyond comparison. This is where Karma helps!

An organization may have it’s own definition of “going the extra mile” and the idea of being able to identify such initiatives and reward employees for their participation is the true measure an organization’s success.

Transparency

Engagement is a two way street. While being an employee, his/her contribution to the success of the employer is vital, it is also the responsibility of the employer to communicate it’s values and business goals from time to time. Most disengagements are caused due to lack of communication and transparency between the employer and the employee, where the latter feels lost and does not have clear goal for his/her role.

Goal setting, that aligns with the overall business goals is one way of making sure that the required level of transparency is maintained in the organization. Another way to ensure continuous engagement is with Karma.

When an employee sees that his/her Karma is linked to the organization’s values and its goals, there is instant engagement happening, even as he/she about fulfilling the routine everyday responsibilities.

Karma categories, the parameters set by an employer to measure an employee’s contribution, should be aligned with the goals of the employer. For example, a quality analyst doing a day to day job of identifying bugs in a solution may be subconsciously contributing to one of the Company’s values of maintaining high quality of delivery. So, by defining these categories or parameters employer is not only being transparent but also giving a sense of engagement to the employee. It’s a win-win!

Trust

Every relationship is built on trust. Be it Employee – Employer, Customer – Service Provider, Product – End User. Trust is what connects them and the more one nurtures the trust, the more engagement is built.

When an employer seeks to build a culture based on trust, a certain level of autonomy is expected to be shown on behalf of both sides. For example, a recruiter working on filling a critical open position trusts the interview panel to do a fair job in evaluating a candidate that he/she proposes, or a software engineer is trusted by his team lead to be able to independently deploy a build in an application. In each of these scenario a cycle of trust is built and when this trust is quantified by Karma, it instantly gives a sense of pride to both the parties for sharing and achieving the common goal.

Today, individuals at all levels in an organization seek to be recognized and be able to recognize the help they do or seek from fellow team members and when an employer provides such a platform, like “peer feedback”, “cross functional feedback” or “instant karma”, the engagement grows stronger and in turn helps build a culture of trust.

To sum up, building high performance teams through proper recognition should be the primary goal of any organization seeking success in the long run and Karma is an effective tool that will help organizations to achieve their goals.

Want to know more? Or need our help?

Write to us, or, call us

We’re listening!

Shivani Ohol

With more than 12 years of core Human Resources experience in IT/ITES industry, Shivani has worked with small to mid-sized to large organizations in the HR function spanning almost all the functional areas such as Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Compensation & Benefits, Statutory Compliance, Training, Organization Development, Performance Management and Management Reporting.

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