Employee Engagement Tops HR Concerns, Recognition is Key

Jun 23, 2011

One in 10 HR pros now track employee social media comments about the organization to keep tabs on engagement

Alexandria, Va. – Employee engagement is the top human resource challenge organizations anticipate facing in the next three to five years according to a survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The concern ranked “very important” and topped a list of four challenges with 69 percent of human resources professionals citing it as the top challenge followed by 63 percent who noted employee retention.

A little more than half, 53 percent, of human resource professionals said employee recruitment is a “very important” challenge they will face during the next three to five years, closely followed by 51 percent who pointed to managing the organizational culture, or culture management.

The findings are highlighted in the survey, “Employee Recognition Programs,” conducted by SHRM and commissioned by Globoforce, a leading provider of solutions for recognizing and rewarding employees.

The survey shows that recognition is key—80 percent of human resource professionals said their organization has an employee recognition program in place. The 87 percent who said their organization does not track the return on investment, or ROI, of such programs did not diminish the practicality of employee recognition programs.

“Employers are recognizing typical areas of performance that are extremely important when it comes to maintaininghappy workers who in turn are likely to remain highly engaged in their workplace,” said Evren Esen, manager, Survey Research Center at SHRM.

When asked of the most common employee recognition areas, human resource professionals responded as follows:

  •       58 percent said – years of service;
  •      48 percent said – going above and beyond with an unexpected (not regular) work project;
  •      43 percent said – successful performance resulted related to the organizational financial bottom-line;
  •      37 percent said – exemplary behavior that aligns with values;
  •      nine percent said – completion of regular work projects with high quality results;
  •      two percent said – completion of regular work projects at a faster than usual pace; and
  •      three percent said – other.

Methods used to track employee engagement also tend to reflect the practical. Roughly seven in 10, or 71 percent, of human resource professionals said the employee exit interviews are a key tool. The second most used tool is the employee retention rate said 65 percent of respondents, followed by 43 percent who said vendor-administered employee engagement surveys/analysis.

Notable, though small, is the 11 percent of respondents who said their organization follows employee social media activity—employee comments on internal and external company forums—to track employee engagement.

Surveyed were 745 HR professionals from SHRM’s membership who are employed in organizations with 500 of more employees.

For details, visit the survey section of SHRM Online at http://www.shrm.org/surveys. Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

: For more information or to schedule an interview with a human resource expert, contact Julie Malveaux of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6273 or Jennifer Hughes at 703-535-6072 and jennifer.hughes@shrm.org.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 250,000 members in over 140 countries, the Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China and India. Visit SHRM Online at www.shrm.org. Follow us on Twitter at: @SHRMPress

About Globoforce

Founded in 1999, Globoforce is the world’s leading provider of SaaS-based employee recognition solutions. Through its social and global technology, Globoforce helps HR and business leaders elevate employee engagement, increase employee retention, manage company culture, and discover the power of real-time performance management. Today, more than 1.7 million employees across the world are living their company values and achieving peak performance through the Globoforce platform. A private corporation, Globoforce is co-headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts and Dublin, Ireland. To learn more, please visit www.globoforce.com or the Company’s blog at http://globoforce.com/globoblog.


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