Employee Recognition Programs Tied to Organizational Goals More Likely to be Rated Highly, SHRM-Globoforce Survey Shows

Jun 22, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Eighty percent of organizations responding to a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) survey said they recognize their employees through formal programs, and those that tied programs to their organization’s values were more likely to report a positive impact on employees.

SHRM’s Employee Recognition Programs—2015 Survey, which was produced in collaboration with and commissioned by Globoforce, showed that 58 percent of employers with employee recognition programs tied them to organizational goals. Of these organizations, 78 percent of HR professionals rated their programs as excellent or good, compared with 41 percent of organizations where programs were not tied to values.

Overall, respondents said employee recognition programs had a positive impact on employee happiness and workplace relationships, but the impact was perceived to be greater for those with values-based programs. Ninety percent of respondents said their values-based programs had a positive impact on employee engagement, compared to 67 percent of respondents with nonvalues-based programs.

Employee recognition — which can range from celebrations and gifts to personal acknowledgement — rewards top-performing employees and reinforces organizational goals.

The survey also showed that employee retention/turnover and employee engagement were cited as the most important organizational challenges being faced by HR professionals.

“A company’s culture and values are a competitive differentiator,” said Evren Esen, director of SHRM’s survey programs, who encouraged organizations to track the effectiveness of their employee recognition efforts. “Based on the survey results, we now know companies that not only have a recognition program in place, but have a recognition program that incorporates its core values, are more likely to report greater benefits overall.”

“The strengthening job market means that companies are facing a growing challenge to retain valuable talent,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “By encouraging employees to appreciate, recognize and reward behaviors that are aligned with values, companies can not only reinforce the right behaviors for better employee performance, but create a best-in-class culture that will make employees want to stay.”

More than 800 HR professionals in organizations with 500 or more employees were polled in January and February. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points.

The survey also found:

  • At three-quarters of the organizations (74 percent), any staff member could nominate or recognize a colleague.
  • 90 percent of the organizations celebrate an employee’s fifth year with a service award, and 28 percent celebrate employees’ first anniversary at the organization.
  • 32 percent provide employees with merchandise from a catalog/website for their service award, while 21 percent have an in-person event or award presentation and 17 percent give out pins, plaques or company logo items.
  • 35 percent of respondents thought their service anniversary programs could be improved by providing a more inspiring experience. About 1 out of 5 said the program would be more effective with more participation from senior leaders (22 percent) and more participation from managers (21 percent).

“Recognition by senior leaders can be one way to strengthen employees’ feelings that they are respected and increase the trust between employees and senior management — two factors that SHRM research shows are critical to employee job satisfaction,” Esen said.

For details, visit http://www.shrm.org/research/surveyfindings/articles/pages/shrm-globoforce-employee-recognition-2015.aspx.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and Kate.kennedy@shrm.orgor Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and Vanessa.gray@shrm.org.

About the Society for Human Resource Management

Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional 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 SHRM Online at www.shrm.org and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

About Globoforce

Globoforce is a leading provider of social recognition solutions, helping companies build strong cultures of engaged employees through the power of thanks. Named one of the Best Workplaces by the Great Place To Work® Institute, Globoforce is trusted by some of most admired companies in the world to inspire and energize employees and create best places to work. Our award-winning SaaS technology and proven methodologies empower HR and business leaders to take a modern, more strategic approach to recognition programs. What results is measurable business success, qualified by increases in employee engagement, retention, and productivity. The company is the creator of the HR conference WorkHuman, designed to help organizations unlock the power of the human workplace. Globoforce is co-headquartered in Southborough, Mass., and Dublin, Ireland. To learn more, visit www.globoforce.com and follow us on Twitter @Globoforce.


Job Finder

Find an HR Job Near You
Post a Job


The SHRM Member Discounts program provides member-only access to discounts on products and services you can apply to your life and career, and share with your company.



Find the Right Vendor for Your HR Needs

SHRM’s HR Vendor Directory contains over 10,000 companies

Search & Connect