SHRM-Globoforce Survey Shows Recognition Efforts More Likely to Be Successful When Tied to Organization’s Core Values

December 14, 2016

Alexandria, Va., Dec. 14, 2016 — As employers look for ways to deal with the challenges of low employee retention and high turnover, a new survey released today from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce shows more organizations are tying employee recognition efforts to their core values.

SHRM's survey Influencing Workplace Culture Though Employee Recognition and Other Efforts, which was produced in collaboration with and commissioned by Globoforce, showed that respondents considered employee retention/turnover the top workforce management challenge in 2016. Almost one-half of the surveyed organizations (46 percent) cited it as a top challenge in 2016.

Other top workforce management challenges for at least one-third of organizations were: employee engagement (36 percent), recruitment (34 percent) and succession planning (33 percent).

Improving employee recognition efforts could be one strategy to help organizations mitigate these challenges. The majority of respondents indicated that their employee recognition programs had positive impacts on employee engagement, workplace culture, retention and employee happiness.

Another key finding showed that more organizations are tying employee recognition efforts to their core values with good results.

Overall, 81 percent of organizations surveyed had an employee recognition program, and 60 percent said their program was tied to organizational core values, an increase from 50 percent in 2012.

"This increase is a positive development because HR professionals were more likely to rate their organization's employee recognition efforts highly if the program was tied to organizational values compared with those that were not tied to values," said Tanya Mulvey, SHRM's lead researcher on the survey.

Those whose programs were tied to organizational values perceived greater benefits in a variety of areas, including:

  • Return on investment —70 percent versus 38 percent.
  • Instilling and reinforcing corporate values — 88 percent versus 57 percent.
  • Maintaining a strong employer brand — 80 per cent versus 49 percent.

Additionally, when organizations dedicated at least 1 percent of payroll to recognition programs that were tied to their values, HR professionals were more likely to perceive greater impacts on financial outcomes such as cost-control goals and ROI.

The survey findings also showed that many organizations are making other efforts besides employee recognition to influence workplace culture and create a more positive workplace, including by using:

  • Health and wellness programs (81 percent)
  • Learning and development programs (80 percent)

 The survey polled 798 randomly selected SHRM members who hold a title of manager or above and are employed at organizations of 500 or more employees. Conducted in April and May, the survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

 For additional findings, visit

Media: To learn more or to schedule an interview, contact Sundra Hominik of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6273 and or Kate Kennedy at 703-535-6260 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world's largest HR professional society, representing 285,000 members in more than 165 countries. For nearly seven decades, the Society has been the leading provider of resources serving the needs of HR professionals and advancing the practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter and Instragram @SHRMPress



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