Corporate recognition, reward strategies essential in companies, say HR professionals

By Linda Orajekwe

On Thursday, March 7, leading rewards, loyalty and gifting company, SureGifts (a subsidiary of SureGroup) put together The Human Resources Workshop created for corporate personnel and HR managers across Nigeria.

L-R: Ibiyomi Ogunbiyi, Head HR Operations and Performance Management, Airtel, Ajibola Oyekunle, Reward Manager. East & West Africa, Unilever Nigeria, Funmi Glover, Head of Human Resources, DHL International, Adesina Ogidan, Country Manager, The African Talent Company, Mofoluwaso Ilevbare, Senior HR Manager, West & East Africa, Procter & Gamble, Adora Ikwuemesi, Director, Kendor Consulting’, Funmi Bucknor, CEO HR Madam Consulting at the HR Workshop powered by SureGifts

The event themed A Networking Workshop on the Rise of Digital Revolution in Human Resources took place at Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos and saw the attendance of key HR figures across various industries.

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It was an insightful day for personnel managers as their pain points and yearnings were addressed by heads of human resources departments of international and local companies such as Funmi Glover, Head of Human Resources, DHL International, Bunmi Simoyan, Head of Human Resources, SureGroup, Adora Ikwuemesi, Director, Kendor Consulting, Ajibola Oyekunle, Reward Manager, East and West Africa, Unilever Nigeria, Adesina Ogidan, Country Manager, The African Talent Company (Jobberman), Taiwo Judah-Ajayi, Senior Director of People, Andela and many more.

The HR Workshop focused on using today’s inventions to solve day-to-day issues within the corporate employer sphere like employee retention, dealing with millennials in the workplace, employee appreciation and recognition, types of rewards and loyalty initiatives, best practices for employee recognition among other topics.

Co-Founder and Director of SureGroup, Adeoye Ojo explained the importance of people managers placing the employees first in every organization.

“Today marks an important date in our story as a young company which launched 5 years ago. We are excited to share our journey with you, our achievements over the years and more importantly, we are proud of a day like this – where we get to enlighten and educate the ecosystem of Human Resources professionals and executives on the importance and benefits of rewards and recognition within our corporate organizations.

“As Sir Richard Branson says, “Clients do not come first. Employees come first. If you take care of your employees, they will take care of the clients.” “

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During his keynote speech at the event, Head of People Experience at Letshego, Emmanuel Michael noted the need for HR executives to stay on top of digital trends and reinvent their daily processes by taking advantage of technology.

He went further to explain how most personnel managers had knowledge of only rudimentary HR practices and how the industry is transforming due to innovations in form of digital tools and platforms.

“If we are not ready now for the future that has come upon us, we will simply become victims and the future will leave us behind”, said Michael.

Speaking during the first panel session tagged Why Employee Recognition Should Be Part of Your Company’s Global Growth Strategy, CEO HR Madam Consulting, Funmi Bucknor explained that what individuals say or remember about companies beyond the confines of the working environment should be what is most important to the human resources manager because every employee is an ambassador of the organization, even after leaving. Employee retention was noted as a key issue in today’s world as millennials are taking over the market but are not willing to stay in a company as long as their older counterparts.

Head HR Operations and Performance Management, Airtel, Ibiyomi Ogunbiyi implored the audience to latch on to innovations like SureGifts’ voucher system and gift card technology for implementing employee retention and appreciation strategies seamlessly.

Having sold over N5 billion worth of gift cards to corporate organizations and individuals, created an ecosystem of over 500 merchants across Nigeria and Kenya in 5 years, SureGifts has been able to build Nigeria’s first fully integrated corporate gift card platform that enables digital and physical gifting.

Kolawole Ladejobi of SureGifts delivering a power presentation on the impact of rewards and recognition at The Human Resources Workshop

The new platform named SureGifts Business was showcased at the Human Resources Workshop and included beneficial features that displayed empathy for both the sender and receiver of gift cards (employers and employees in this case). According to the Managing Director of SureGroup, Omolara Awoyemi, the platform was established to eliminate logistics and inflation inconsistencies that beget traditional gifts.

“A gift card is a proven effective financial way to reward and motivate employees. It is perfect for benefits and occasions such as birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, holidays, long service rewards and end of year bonuses.

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“With our voucher system and gift card technology, we build custom loyalty solutions for companies and employers that are tailored to meet business needs. We equally integrate with existing loyalty solutions for point-voucher conversion and redemption.”

On the second panel session titled Every Employee Matters – Suggestions for Best Recognition and Rewards Practices, Head Talent & Organizational Development, FBNQuest Merchant Bank, Nkechi Runsewe advocated that it is best to take up reward systems that work for the unique structure of an organization.

She posited that it was the responsibility of the HR manager to have a broad representation of employees in order to address needs individually considering their age and period of life; knowing that what will be important to Generation X employees won’t be the same to millennials.

This is why SureGifts exists. SureGifts Business is shaping up the future of corporate gifting in Nigeria and is making plans to expand to Rwanda, South Africa and Ghana.

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