Employee EngagementRecognition & Rewards

Editor’s Note: Pulse on Recognition

By Debbie Bolla

In the last few years, it has become very clear that recognition has become an important tool in the HR arsenal to recruit, engage, and retain employees. It has the power to inspire the workforce to go above and beyond for their organizations, increasing productivity and the bottom line alike.

To get a current pulse on the market, IRF’s new study, 2019 Voice of the Market: The Use of Non-Cash Rewards & Recognition, looks at what is top priority when designing, implementing, and executing recognition programs. The research finds that variety is key in order to accommodate a spectrum of worker preferences. Some of the most common rewards include:

  • team celebrations;
  • gift cards;
  • trips;
  • redeemable points;
  • cash;
  • merchandise, including branded items;
  • additional time off;
  • complimentary lunches; and
  • professional development opportunities.

As the market and programs mature, organizations are taking a more strategic approach to incentivizing their employees. The study found that companies are customizing their strategies to align to company culture, business objectives, and desired outcomes.

Long-term and short-term initiatives are both considerations of today’s recognition programs, the study finds. Longer-term programs often seek to improve retention, customer satisfaction, and overall morale. Shorter-term programs have the opportunity to course correct, resulting in more immediate improvements to a business challenge, like poor sales or an underachieving department.

The IRF study also reveals a key aspect to any HR initiative: the best way to measure the results and impact. According to the report, broader organizational programs that are striving to boost morale and reinforce company culture can lack traditional metrics. But gathering employee feedback through engagement surveys or focus groups can help to shape the future of these types of programs. On the other hand, performance-based programs, including sales, safety, and productivity, are measured by the outcomes they drive.

For those organizations looking to expand their program options, be sure to see our 2019 Baker’s Dozen rankings of the top providers in recognition. Because investing in recognition is an investment in the future.

Tags: July-August-2019, Magazine Article, Recognition

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