SHRM-Globoforce Survey: Companies Need to Fine Tune Employee Recognition and Engagement Efforts


April 12, 2012

Alexandria, Va. and Southborough, Mass. – Roughly nine in 10 human resource managers say employee engagement is a top staffing challenge yet only four in 10 companies track it according to a new survey from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), commissioned by Globoforce®, the world’s leading provider of employee recognition solutions.

Even fewer organizations—15 percent—measure the return on investment, or ROI, for their employee recognition programs, a key component in keeping workers engaged.

“Effective employee recognition programs can spread positive energy across the organization and may lead to increased profit margins, customer retention, productivity, and more,” said Mark Schmit, vice president of research at SHRM.

The findings are detailed in the SHRM-Globoforce “Employee Recognition Programs” 2012 winter survey, the second in a semi-annual survey program.

Employee engagement topped a list of five workforce management challenges marked “very important,” followed by employee retention, effective performance management, employee recruitment, and managing corporate culture. Added to responses marked “important,” the numbers top 90 percent and indicate priority concerns, with engagement instrumental to all.

HR leaders responding to the survey said:

Very important


Employee engagement

63 percent

31 percent

Employee retention

57 percent

34 percent

Effective performance management

51 percent

44 percent

Employee recruitment

49 percent

44 percent

Culture management, e.g. corporate culture

45 percent

45 percent

Though the survey does not indicate why 58 percent of organizations do not track employee engagement programs, the findings do show the positive benefits of using metrics.

Among companies that measure engagement versus those that do not, HR respondents report:

  • More employees are rewarded according to their job performance (69 percent vs. 49 percent);
  • Managers and supervisors are more likely to effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees (56 percent vs. 46 percent); and
  • Employees are more likely to be satisfied with the level of recognition they receive for a jobwell done (37 percent vs. 23 percent).

A closer look at responses from HR leaders who report using metrics to determine ROI shows:

  • Employee productivity – increased – said 63 percent;
  • Employee engagement – increased – said 61 percent;
  • Return on profit margin – increased – said 58 percent;
  • Customer retention – increased – said 52 percent;
  • Employee retention – increased – said 51 percent;
  • Return on equity – increased – said 50 percent; and
  • Return on assets – increased – said 42 percent.

Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce said: “In addition to the positive impact employee recognition has on engagement and retention, the survey also found that HR leaders are using recognition in new, innovative ways to augment performance management. With recognition, HR leaders can fill the knowledge gap with insight on an employee’s true performance and relationship with others.”

SHRM surveyed 770 HR professionals from its membership, employed in organizations with 500 of more employees.

Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Follow SHRM news announcements and more on Twitter @SHRMPress.


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 more than 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 and follow us on Twitter @SHRMPress.

About Globoforce

Founded in 1999, Globoforce is the world’s leading provider of employee recognition solutions. Through its social, mobile, 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, employees across the world are living their company values and achieving peak performance through the SaaS-based Globoforce platform. A private corporation, Globoforce is co-headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.

To learn more:




Twitter @Globoforce



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