Performance Management & Rewards

What Gets Recognized Gets Repeated

Horizon achieves desired behaviors and outcomes through a values-based, social recognition program.

By Debbie Bolla

Ask Marie Crea, director of HR for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, how she would describe the organization, and she would tell you that it’s employee-centric. The healthcare insurance provider is in the business of ensuring quality service for its members, and that level of service is literally in the hands of its employees. So when engagement scores fell a hair under benchmark level in 2013, Crea knew it was time for HR to step it up and roll out a modernized, socially-driven recognition program with the same name.

Employee recognition has been a part of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey’s core strategy during the entirety of Crea’s 12-year tenure at the company.

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Making the Connection

By calling out employee efforts that tie to company purpose, organizations can drive loyalty.

By Gary Beckstrand

When anthropologists evaluate groups of people and try to define cultures, the first characteristics they look for are mutual purpose and vision, and with good reason—a unified purpose is what connects people and separates distinctive groups.

Purpose is growing increasingly relevant, especially to corporations trying to define company culture. Today, purpose in and outside of the workplace is a large part of the collective consciousness. Millennials—73 million strong in the U.S. and the largest population in the workforce—are particularly focused on living purpose-driven lives and finding meaning in their work, according to a recent study from Gallup. They want to feel connected to a greater good that transcends a steady paycheck and health coverage—as do the rest of the generations in the workforce.

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Recognition for the Win

“What we need to accomplish as an organization is a challenge, and we know we have to do that through our employees.”

This is what Marie Crea, director of HR for Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, told me when we were discussing some of the drivers behind implementing their highly successful recognition program, “Step It Up.” Crea clearly has a solid understanding of the impact employees have on an organization’s bottom line and the impact that recognition has on the workforce. Research from Globoforce shows that 86 percent of employees feel recognition programs make them happier at work and 85 percent more satisfied with their jobs. Happy employees mean happy customers.

There are two keys to Horizon’s Step It Up program, which is delivered through the Achievers platform. One is its social aspect that allows peers to recognize other peers based on different tenants, including teamwork, problem solving, and everyday leadership.

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A Rewarding Experience

Organizations can maximize the impact of their recognition programs by offering experiential rewards.

By Christa Elliott

The research is clear—employees want to be recognized at work, and according to a 2016 Gallup poll, only 51 percent of workers are satisfied with the recognition they receive at work. But when approaches such as social recognition or monetary rewards aren’t resonating with employees, there is another option. Using experiential rewards can be an effective way to engage employees through a personalized approach, proving to them that their employer values what they bring to the table.

Often leveraged by the consumer sector to enhance loyalty programs, experience-based, non-cash rewards are now a popular employee recognition tactic. The Incentive Research Foundation’s 2016 Trends in Incentive Travel, Rewards, and Recognition study found that when it comes to large awards, most employees cited experiential travel rewards as their number one preference.

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Reaching New Heights

Going through a company transition? Here’s advice on how to ensure the best from employees.

By Chatelle A. Lynch

When our organization made the decision to become an independently-owned and dedicated global cybersecurity company, we were given only six short months to transition. What made this situation even more unique is that just two years earlier, our employees had already undergone significant transformation. This was during a yearlong integration effort following an acquisition.

In April 2017, a new organization manifested with more than 7,500 employees that required new contracts, PCs, onboarding documents, benefit and compensation plans, and much, much more. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a few sleepless nights during this period. How could HR make this as seamless as possible for employees and customers—again? Employees had just been through a significant transformation project a couple of years before. How could HR keep them engaged and focused on their business and limit distractions? In what ways could HR get employees excited about the opportunities ahead? Organizational culture—who we are and why we do what we do—served as the foundation for many of these decisions.

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Real-time Recognition

Today’s technology allows organisations to provide instant feedback and help improve company culture and employee retention. By Jo Faragher Building engagement is a top-ten priority for HR, with almost 80 per cent of executives rating employee experience as very important, according to Deloitte’s Human Capital Trends research for 2017. If organisations want to improve productivity and business results, a “culture of recognition”—with regular feedback to employees and clarity on their goals—is a step in the right direction. “With multinational models, multigenerational workers, and digital acceleration, the workplace has grown increasingly complex,” explains Vanessa Brangwyn, vice president of customer success at reward and recognition company Achievers. “By providing a meaningful employee experience, companies reduce flight risk, stabilise morale, and diminish recruiting costs.

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The Business Case for Recognition

Data and technology are helping to provide the ever-elusive return-on-investment metrics for incenting employees.
Marta Chmielowicz
Can recognition programs deliver business results that directly impact the bottom line? This question has preoccupied HR professionals for years, but with the recent surge and accessibility of data, the answer is closer than ever before. And it comes not a moment too soon, for the current state of the U.S. economy and workforce is making the stringent measurement and effective use of recognition increasingly critical to good business. “Because of the 2008 economic meltdown, more emphasis has been added to determine investment effectiveness throughout all aspects of corporate management,” says Jim Costello, managing director of incentive engagement at Continue reading →

Problem-Solving With Internal Mobility

Promoting top-performers may be the best way to fill difficult vacancies.
By Josh Tolan
“I’ve accepted a position with another company.” Those are the words that no one wants to hear from a top performer, but if it happens, managers wish the employee well, tell them they will be missed, and reupload their job description online. Next comes weeks of reading faceless applicants’ resumes and meeting the best candidates for interviews. Eventually, a replacement surfaces, and as they begin their onboarding process, one can only hope that they’ll catch on quickly and fit in with the rest of the staff. Only time will tell if this outsider will work out, but what other options are there? A better choice might have been overlooked: a current employee. Although existing employees have proven track records with their company, most hiring managers look outside of their organization when trying to fill a position.

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Accolades Drive Success

Recognition can be a complex task but implementing an effective programme has multiple benefits. By Belinda Sharr Ambitious employees—no matter where they work around the globe—want their accomplishments highlighted. Recognition is an important part of the employee experience at a company, and studies have indicated that recognition is tied to great things—increased employee engagement and retention, and better business results. And what does this mean for the bottom line? In 2015, studies from Aon Hewitt found that a 5 per cent increase in employee engagement is linked to a 3 per cent increase in revenue growth in the subsequent year. Productivity goes up as well. When employees receive recognition, they tend to perform better, says Alexandra Bode- Tunji, programme lead of people transformation at Transport for London. "Employee engagement surveys indicate higher levels of engagement for teams where recognition is used regularly," she says. "Staff members see recognition as a form of feedback and we [have noted] the need to step up recognition using leadership contact forums such as breakfast meetings with the managing director.

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More Than Just Rewards

2016 EMEA iTalent Competition winner Rideau revolutionises recognition with its Vistance platform. Marta Chmielowicz Picture this: It's 2030 and your company is struggling to grow, not because the services you provide are unnecessary, but because you simply cannot find the right employees to fill your most important positions. According to Rainer Strack of The Boston Consulting Group in a recent TED talk, this scenario may become a reality. The workforce is aging, and by 2030, there won't be enough workers to fill jobs and keep major economies growing, says Strack. Once the last of the baby boomers retire, there will be a major deficit in the global talent pool that may cause an overall labour shortage in many of the world's largest economies and a huge skill mismatch that can't be abated with technology. Strack says that a solution to this impending problem is a major shift in company culture towards appreciation and recognition. A survey conducted by the BCG found that the No.

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