The iPhone Triggered a Revolution in Employee Recognition Too

July 11, 2017
| ByMike Ryan

It’s hard to believe that it’s already been a decade since the first iPhone was sold. Steve Jobs said it would make history and boy was he right! The iPhone set the stage for a revolution. It propelled the advancement into what was about to become a more mobile and more social society.

Compared to today’s models, that first device didn’t do much. It combined a phone, a personal music player (iPod) and an internet communicator.

Even so, the evolution of the iPhone and the devices that followed it would disrupt a lot of utilities over the years. No one uses a camera anymore. Forget about paper maps and some of us text more than we talk. Today you can do almost anything on your phone. Turns out, there really was “an app for that” after all.

Smartphones consistently shatter our expectations of what’s possible. Mobile technology is progressing faster than ever. The “higher bar” extends to everything we do, from how we shop to how we get information. It’s changed how we live and how we work and of course, it’s redefined best practices across reward and recognition programs.

The best reward systems have always utilized the latest technologies to streamline the giving and receiving of employee recognition. Since the early days of the internet, enlightened companies have embraced tools that automate all of the routines involved, from eligibility determination, to approval adjudication and exceptions handling; to budgeting tracking and awards distribution. For a while, “control,” “convenience” and “consistency” defined best-in-class operating standards.

But the iPhone changed the game. Its groundbreaking influence created a new dimension. It eventually redefined the idea of being “social.” Users of smart devices stayed connected by texting, by building networks of “friends” and by sharing experiences in real-time through updates, videos, and selfies.

The social nature of connectivity influenced employee recognition as well. The best programs have shifted from operating within an almost exclusively top-down directed structure to becoming more democratic, and in the process, more meaningful for employees.

Phones also grew to become more user-driven. The inherent flexibility of each device (and the apps they supported) gave individuals the options they needed to manage how, when and under what circumstances they participated.

The best reward programs bring that same level of flexibility to the table. Maestro, for example, features a high level of configurability that lets users (from program sponsors to system administrators to employee participants) define the system’s features so they can benefit from them more. Maestro allows program sponsors and administrators to create, design and initiate all of their recognition and sales incentive programs within one branded platform. For employees, the system’s activity stream and leaderboard allows them to communicate and connect with colleagues of their choosing.

Where will mobile technologies be in another ten years? How will they impact your employee recognition program? With computer processing doubling every two years or so, the future scope of these devices and the range of what they will be able to do is almost unlimited. Pundits are already predicting a bonanza of new features like augmented reality, flexible screens, built-in projectors, 3D and hologram imaging, and seamless voice controls. Anything is possible.

One thing is certain, though. If you want to exploit the revolution, your success will come down to your choice of partners.

Madison has redefined what it means to be mobile. Our goal for the last ten years, and for the many decades to follow, was and always will be, to deliver the best employee recognition and sales incentive experience imaginable. No matter what the device is.

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