Dale Carnegie once said: « People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards« . Surfing on the trend of « well-being at work », lots of companies have started to realize that a happier team is a more productive one. In this regard, sticking foosball table in a colorful office with inspiring quotes on the walls is not sufficient. What seems to be particularly essential is employee recognition. But classical ways of rewarding employees seem to reach their limits. This has paved the way for new alternatives, with tools helping companies build their culture.

The startup Briq launched by eFounders is one of them. It created a digital currency (“briqs”) to express recognition at work. This allows people to say « thank you », « congratulations », « welcome »… or any other kind words to their colleagues, via Slack or through Briq’s Chrome extension. After receiving briqs, you can then exchange them to buy gifts or snacks in a customized “bootiq”. Briq can be seen as a « like » button applied to the corporate world.

We interviewed Laurent Van Basselaere, CTO of Briq to get a better understanding of how its product can deeply impact the philosophy of a company. In a context of talent war characterised by a high turnover, many companies are looking for an effective way to boost engagement. And reintroducing « recognition » in the office seems to be one of the keys.

THE POWER OF RECOGNITION IN THE WORKPLACE

When it comes to corporate culture, defining common values is not that hard. What seems more complicated is to find how to infuse this culture effectively. How to create a kindly team spirit that makes people collaborate and be more productive?

First, make your employees feel involved. Second, give them a daily dose of motivation. Laurent reminds us that most companies tend to give their employee recognition only once a year: in a closed room during their annual performance review. This is not how engagement works.

The 5 pillars of an effective recognition are:

1. Frequent
2. Personalized
3. Public (everybody knows)
4. Given for a specific reason
5. 360° and not only top-down (involving managers, team members, colleagues)

With Briq, team members get a certain amount of « rewards » to spend on Slack. Jason closed a deal, Marina helped me on an issue, Yann brought cookies in the office: all these situations are good reasons to give some briqs out. Consequences: people care more about each other, individual and collective wins are publicly praised, daily shots of motivation are circulating through Slack. Briq matches all the requirements of an effective recognition at work.

→ Integrating an engagement tool to a company platform (like Slack) is a good way for a team to scale daily collaboration.

SHARING IS CARING

How can a solution like Briq succeed in translating a human attitude into a tech tool? Laurent and his team worked on different features, related to the « recognition » process described above. With Briq you can give, share, praise and refer. The fact that these rewards are public creates a powerful virtuous circle : happiness – emulation – motivation – productivity.

Give – “Don’t keep your positive feelings for yourself, make your team happy.”
Send your colleagues briqs to show your colleagues appreciation, interest, esteem… or fun.
Share –Stop saying that you will share this article on Facebook: do it with Briq.
Everytime you share social media posts via Briq, you get automatically rewarded.
Praise – “Give team members’ milestones a higher reach”
Celebrate achievements publicly across the whole company.
Refer Help HR make the company grow”
Briq can be plugged on the ATS (Applicant Tracking System): if you refer somebody for an open job position, you receive briqs as long as the candidate stays in the process.

→ There is not a single way to improve metrics like turnover or talent retention. However, changing the way people live and act in the company is part of the solution.

A TOOL FOR EVERYBODY

Building a strong corporate culture is not only about happiness at work. It goes way deeper, impacting the whole development of a company. « Employee disengagement can have a very negative impact on growth. Ensuring alignment on the company’s mission is a critical issue, » Laurent told us.

Management style, company size, industry, policy regarding remote work: many factors can influence a corporate culture. Small companies with a very solid team are less likely to suffer from disengagement. People choose to work there to join an adventure, to be fully involved in a project. This is the kind of clients Briq started to work with. As Laurent told us, startups and product-centric companies are an easy go-to-market. They already have a very proactive way of building a strong company culture and quickly become “briq-friendly”.

However, as companies grow and the number of projects increases, it becomes harder and harder to maintain both widespread alignment and a true sense of belonging. We can take the examples of large corporations or agencies where an engagement solution like Briq can bring a lot of value, » Laurent explained. It’s up to companies to choose which apps (give, share, praise, refer) they need during the product onboarding. They fully customize the solution according to their values. They also define the kind of products available in the « bootiq »: Amazon vouchers, fitness sessions, movie tickets or even charity gifts or even pranks between colleagues.

→ Beyond culture, tools like Briq help with ensuring alignment across a whole company.

FINAL THOUGHTS

While there is no one-size-fit-all answer to enhance happiness at work, employee recognition looks like one of the keys. Engaging products like Briq are great examples of how a tool used internally can change the way people work together. It can even be first step before implementing remote work, as it reassures employees regarding employee engagement. Opportunities are huge. “Companies install Briq to improve collaboration and productivity at first. But they realize over time that it can also give them precious insights on their teams,”, explained Laurent. As instinctive as it can be at work, we don’t recommend you to do this at home with your family though.

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