Just one click to tick good work, from me TuYu | Bizcommunity

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Looking for a better way of incentivising staff than with an annual ‘good work’ certificate or an impersonal ‘thumbs up’ icon tacked to a message? Then TuYu is for you, says MD Ruan Geyser, especially if your company’s on the digital track…

Rewarding your team members can be a costly process – especially if you find it hard to keep track of exactly who did what when – and who got what as a result. Geyser took this to heart in coming up with a way to revolutionise the old model and enhance the process. The aim isn’t to replace monthly or annual bonuses, but rather to keep employees motivated and productivity up throughout the year.

That sounds like a winning model to me. Even better? TuYu offers a self-service portal so that you reward staff directly on their smart and feature phones at the click of a button, making rewarding employees a quick and simple process. This is no small fry either, as employees can currently use their rewards at more than 55,000 till lanes, including the largest retailers in South Africa.

Intrigued, I delved into the details with Geyser…

1. Let’s start with the name – why was it chosen, and why the spelling of TuYu?

Geyser: As TuYu is a disruptive alternative to traditional rewards programmes, we wanted an unconventional name. Seeing that the rewards are delivered directly to the recipients’ phone, we ultimately settled on TuYu – To You. It’s a quirky name and people seem to love it.

2. Why did the way companies have traditionally incentivised and rewarded their staff and consumers need a rethink?

Geyser: Traditional reward programmes have been around for ages, and we wanted to offer companies a streamlined, innovative way to reward employees and consumers instantly, ensuring a quick turnaround time between achieving targets or goals, and rewarding appropriately.

Traditional reward programmes tend to have set criteria to qualify for rewards, and don’t really leave clients with room to make it unique to their business. Our goal was to develop a platform that is as generic as possible, enabling companies to run their own programmes that are directly linked to their business.

Reward and recognition programmes are the starting point of motivating employees to change their work habits and key behaviours to benefit any business.

The ideal programme should reward employee performance and behaviour. It’s easy to track performance because of the direct link between the company’s goals and the final outcome. Behaviour, on the other hand, is unique to each and every company. Employers need to ask: “what are the key behaviours specifically linked to us achieving our goals that I would like to reward my employees for?”

3. Tell us about rewarding staff directly to their mobile phones at the click of a button – are there any limits involved?

Geyser: It was key for us to develop our solutions to be compatible with all mobile devices, to ensure all recipients can claim their rewards.

Our distribution channels include SMS, USSD mobile wallet, iOS and Android mobile applications. Using our self-service portal allows companies to follow a seamless four-step process to reward. Select recipient, enter reward amount, selecting notification method (email or SMS) and then reward.

Staff rewards are in rand denominations and there are no restrictions. Consumer rewards are generally product specific, so could relate to a free coffee when you service your car, or an upgrade on your cellphone contract.

4. Your video says SA’s been lagging on this front, please elaborate.

Geyser: Companies in the US and Europe all have rewards and recognition programmes in place, due to the obvious impact it has on their staff and profitability. South African companies, on the other hand, tend to neglect rewards programmes as they’re often seen as an unnecessary expense, as opposed to a cost-effective tool to increase productivity and, in turn, maximise profit.

5. Tell us more about the fact that this is seen as a tax fringe benefit – what’s the implication for company and employee alike?

Geyser: All employee rewards, meals and incentives are classified as fringe benefits, which means that the employee needs to pay tax on the amount received. We provide our clients with the necessary reporting that is needed to seamlessly import it into their payroll system. Although the employee pays fringe benefit tax on the reward, the company gets the benefit of a tax deduction on the same amount.

6. What’s the impact of rewards of smaller amounts more often?

Geyser: Employers tend to get more out of their employees when they reward them more often – this is purely because of the fact that the reward doesn’t become an expectation, as it would when you only reward larger amounts, say four times a year. Seeing that our platform allows companies to reward seamlessly and instantly, it enables companies to reward daily.

7. Explain the process of developing your mobile apps…

Geyser: TuYu was formed in October 2013, purely as a staff rewards and incentives platform, and we’ve been developing our product ever since. We spent a lot of time developing our rewards platform and went to market with a prototype USSD string mobile wallet to test the scope of the South African rewards market. We quickly realised that we’re selling our solutions to large corporates that not only have a need to reward their employees but also their consumers, and there’s no easier way to reward your consumers than directly to their mobile phones. This ensures that companies build accurate databases of their consumers and employees. After a few very successful pilots, we started developing additional products that include our iOS and Android applications, which enables us to cater for the whole market. We’re currently busy with the second version of our apps, which brings a range of added functionality.

8. What’s the response been like?

Geyser: We’ve had a very positive response to our products, and the fact that TuYu alleviates the logistical and HR intensive solutions the market was used to helps us to grow monthly. We’re looking forward to the year ahead, as we are currently signing up clients from all sectors of the economy and are presented with opportunities to enhance and expand our product offering on a daily basis.

By Leigh Andrews.