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number of organizations are relying on employee recognition programs that help
drive organizational results, according to a new report, Trends
in Employee Recognition,
released in May 2015.
specific behavior continued to be among the top five goals, which also included
singling out employees’ length of service, above-and-beyond performance,
peer-to-peer recognition and retirement.
are from a survey conducted in February and March 2015 that found that employee
recognition programs remain an important part of the total rewards toolkit, with
89 percent of organizations having such programs in place.
conducted the survey with 489 of its members in the U.S., Canada and other
the report identified:
prevalence of written strategies for employee recognition programs has
• 68 percent
of organizations have between three and six different recognition programs. The
average number an organization offers has been trending upward since 2013.
biometric indices through wellness initiatives debuted as sixth on the list of
top goals for recognition programs. More than two-thirds of organizations with
such a program have had it in place for one to five years.
been No. 1” as a means of recognizing employees since the inception of the
survey in 2001, said Rose Stanley, CEBS, senior
practice leader at WorldatWork.
percentage of organizations offering recognition programs that motivate specific
behaviors has grown steadily since WorldatWork began asking about it—from 25
percent in 2008 to 34 percent in 2011, to 41 percent in 2013 and up to 51
percent in 2015.
seeing organizations becoming more thoughtful about linking the behavior they’re
looking for to drive the results” they want, she noted.
to be responsible for administering the majority of recognition programs, but
Stanley pointed out that it’s HR’s role to help mentor managers to understand
how they can use those programs with the employees they oversee.
out the recognition?” Stanley asked. “It’s not HR, it’s managers. [Once]
managers understand how they use those recognition programs in order to drive
behavior ... then you start to see some results.”
12 percent of organizations provide formal training for managers in using
prevalence of written strategies has increased as the number of result-driven
recognition programs in use has climbed. Fifty-three percent of organizations
reported having a written strategy behind their recognition programs, and nearly
all (97 percent) said their recognition program strategies align with the
seeing is that organizations are trying to be very strategic in their
recognition,” Stanley said.
identified and analyzed four kinds of result-driven programs—above-and-beyond
performance programs, peer-to-peer recognition programs, programs motivating
specific behaviors, and programs to improve biometric indices through wellness
initiatives—to understand their effectiveness.
[organizations] don’t have any of these types of recognition programs in their
strategy,” Stanley told SHRM Online, “they really need to start putting
them in.” That’s because
recognition “plays a role in creating an atmosphere of higher engagement,
motivation and overall job satisfaction,” she noted in a news
percent of organizations responding to the survey offer all four of these
result-driven recognition programs and around one-fourth offer one to three such
every additional result-driven program offered, “there appears to be a
connection to the perception that these programs, in general, are meeting goals
or objectives,” according to the report. “Reports of success go up by 6 to 12
percentage points each time the number of programs used goes up.”
if that is because there is greater clarity around result-driven programs and so
they are better communicated and easier to measure than programs such as
“Employee of the Month,” WorldatWork noted in the report.
Gurchiek is the associate editor of
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