Recognition & Rewards

Editor’s Note: Recognition for the Win

By Debbie Bolla

“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. Crea admits even she finds it “thrilling” to be called out on the online platform for doing great work. That feeling escalates as other colleagues “like” and comment on the achievement.

Step It Up also allows managers to link their recognitions to company core values. Aligning acknowledgments to desired outcomes helps to encourage others to repeat those behaviors. In fact, Globoforce and SHRM research shows that 88 percent of respondents feel corporate values are reinforced when employee recognition is connected to them, and 87 percent feel it increases employee happiness. Learn more about the program -and its results -on page 12.

How about tying recognition to company purpose -does that have an impact? Making the Connection argues it does, especially when the largest generation in the workforce, Millennials, strives to have purpose-driven lives. The story on page 32 offers specific ways organizations can link categories of purpose to recognition.

HRO Today recognizes how strategic recognition efforts impact engagement, productivity, retention, and more. That is why we plan on covering it in each of our 10 issues in 2018. Yes, I said, 2018! We’ve already finalized our editorial calendar for next year, and you can expect to learn how to build employee ambassadors through recognition and how to leverage it in internal mobility decisions. Find out more at

Tags: July-August-2017

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