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Taconomics: Focusing on Employee Recognition to Create Engagement in the Workplace

Estimated Reading Time: 3 minutes

What do video games, merit based economy, and employee engagement have in common? …Tacos!

🎮+🏅+ 🙋= 🌮🌮🌮

We hear you scratching your head while reading that, so let us explain further. One of the fundamental principles in economics is that people respond to incentives. So we’ve taken one of our core communication tools, added in video game style achievements, and made tacos the currency to produce increased employee recognition and engagement.

Employee Recognition is Vital

To start, one of SecureTech’s strategic objectives is to have happy employees. We believe happy employees take better care of each other and our customers. As humans, we require feelings of belonging and accomplishment. Being recognized and appreciated when you do something that supports the team or the company, is an important piece of feeling happy and fulfilled in your work. Knowing that the extra effort you put in is valued by your teammates immediately elevates your mood, improves your day, and motivates you to continue to take care of each other!

Maintaining Engagement Through Technology

At SecureTech we’ve been using the technology that most of us already have through our Microsoft 365 subscription, Microsoft Teams! If you’re not already utilizing Teams but have Microsoft 365, we can help you get setup. It has been central to our efforts to stay engaged and be available to each other remotely through video, calls, and chat. If you’re curious about other ways we’ve managed to increase engagement remotely by utilizing technology, check out our tips here.

HeyTaco! is an app that can be found in the Microsoft Teams Store that you can integrate into your Teams setup. Each member is granted 5 🌮’s a day to award team members as they feel appropriate. Some of our members will award a taco because they received a quick response to a request, offered help when another teammate is struggling, or (to use the old adage) they go above and beyond in a super impactful way. You can give one taco at a time, multiple tacos to one person, or one taco to several people at once.

Make it fun and add a level of competition by using the Leaderboard to follow everyone’s ranking.

Every person in our company has their own style of taco giving. Some are generous with their tacos and some more precious. Its up to each person how they want to use the HeyTaco! app, but at it’s core it’s a fun and engaging way to show appreciation for your teammates and everything they do, no matter how small or great.

The activity feed displays all of the awarded tacos in one place so everyone can see all the great things happening in the company.

So I have virtual tacos…now what? 🌮🤷

Now you might be thinking, great….virtual tacos. Why do I want virtual tacos? Well here’s the best part, HeyTaco! has a marketplace where you can cash in your earned tacos for different rewards! To make sure we have coveted prizes, we take polls and requests to add items that our team members find valuable and really want! We add those as redemption options in our rewards marketplace and decide upon the value of our taco rate of exchange. Tacos as a currency! We call it… TACONOMICS!!

One of the most frequent comments we get is, “If only these were real tacos!” So we made one of our rewards tacos! If you earn 50 tacos, you can exchange them for an order of actual, edible tacos!

As simple as the idea of HeyTaco! is, the recognition of our team members’ contributions has had a giant impact on our company engagement!

If you’re interested in introducing Taconomics into your company’s culture, we’d love to show you how!