Study offers tips for determining metrics and effectiveness of employee awards programs.
By Debbie Bolla
In an economic environment where all companies are asking their employees to do more with less, a recent study found that now is a critical time to reward the hard work of current staff members.
According to “Measuring Recognition: How to Build the Business Case for Strategic Recognition in a Recession,” a survey conducted by Globoforce, an employee recognition program provider, senior executives reported that failure to recognize employee achievements ranks as the factor that has the second most negative impact on employee morale (communication was cited as No. 1).
The survey also garnered statistics that favor these programs and their results: Intel found a 26-percent increase in employee commitment to the company; Symantec saw a measurable culture change in six months; and Dow Chemical experienced a 20-percent increase in satisfaction scores. However, many companies fail to track the effectiveness of their recognition programs. The Charted Institute of Personnel and Development’s annual reward management survey revealed that 68 percent of organizations do not assess the impact of their reward practices. To determine and track the effectiveness of employee recognition programs, here are five steps for measuring success:
Determine Metrics of Recognition Success. Metrics of success vary per organization, but Globoforce found some universal program metrics. Use company values and strategic objectives as reasons for recognition. Measure productivity and performance impacts by amount of retention, absence rates, and productivity per employee. Institute program-reach metrics to understand the percentage of employees who are awarded, geographic and demographic penetration, and frequency of awards.
Establish a Performance Baseline for Recognition. A baseline can illustrate the current status of employee morale, productivity, and performance. It also gives a benchmark to which future success can be compared.
Measure Regularly and Consistently. Results can be obtained through the program itself and through employee surveys. A successful policy should provide reporting functionality for budget spend, reasons for recognition by team, and program reach. Effectiveness of adoption and cultural impact can be determined by an annual staff survey that outlines employee understanding of the reason for recognition and the influence it has on their work.
Analyze Results and Look for Trends. Results help determine what is working and what is not. Any disparities between the program and employee surveys can provide insight into a communication disconnect. In some cases, managers may be missing an area of the company that deserves attention or recognition of employees. Trends can also point to productivity improvements where recognition has increased.
Report to Target Audiences in a Way That Matters. Communicate the results to different levels of staff appropriately. Positive feedback, demonstrated appreciation, and continual investment in the program should be communicated to employees. Managers will benefit from stories of individual success as well as hard metrics and dashboard reporting. Executives profit from program cost savings; understanding values and objectives; and improvements in morale, productivity, and performance. Measured recognition can help organizations map future objectives and better institute the company mission.