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Reward programs help firms close gap between technology and employee skills

To remain competitive, businesses need their employees to be efficient, and many organizations are turning to technology to generate results.

To remain competitive, businesses need their employees to be efficient. With this in mind, many organizations are turning to technology to generate results.

Forbes notes that bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policies are quickly becoming common in the workplace. These practices allow workers to use personalized mobile devices to increase their flexibility and access to information. However, just having a smartphone is often not sufficient to deliver results. FierceCIO reported that there are skill gaps preventing companies from maximizing the benefits of mobile devices and file-sharing solutions.

Citing a study by Corporate Executive Board (CEB), the source states that just 38 percent of workers know how to use data effectively to make informed decisions. Employees now have more access to information than ever before, but few can properly turn data into actionable intelligence. Employee reward and recognition programs allow organizations to create corporate cultures that encourage the use of data analysis in everyday decisions. By linking rewards to specific metrics, companies can motivate workers to use various measurements to check their progress. The more data analysis tools are used for this purpose, the easier it becomes for employees to use them in other aspects of their work.

Boosting collaboration 
Creating an environme
nt in which data is used to guide decisions can engender long-term change within organizations. Reward programs could also be adjusted to address other areas of weakness, such as communication. The CEB study found that only 20 percent of workers are effective at collaborating with other departments. The push for additional efficiency has kept staffing levels to a minimum in most organizations, but technology has made it possible to share information and files across departments to boost productivity. However, the survey suggests that additional steps are needed to help staff members realize the value of these tools. Employee reward programs allow businesses to encourage cooperation between departments by creating companywide incentives. Recognizing teams that have shown strong communication skills gives other staff members examples to follow.

Incentive programs are a valuable tool for building a strong corporate culture. These initiatives reinforce values that shape the office environment. With additional collaboration between departments, companies are able to deliver better products and services for customers without increasing staff numbers. When employees understand the significance of core values, they are more engaged and willing to take on additional challenges. Motivating workers to develop new skills or implement new practices lets organizations shape their cultures in more positive ways. BYOD policies  provide additional flexibility to staff members, while employee reward programs help employees use smartphones and tablets to boost productivity.

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