An effective recognition program can improve retention while reinforcing key organizational values.
By Marta Chmielowicz
As the war for talent continues, employersÂ are increasingly adopting human-centeredÂ approaches to drive business results and bringÂ more humanity to employeesâ experienceÂ at work. According to the 2018 SHRM and GloboforceÂ Employee Recognition Report, retention and cultureÂ management are two of the top challenges of todayâsÂ businessesâand a values-based recognition program canÂ help.
In fact, 80 percent of survey respondents say theirÂ organizations have an employee recognition program,Â and the majority say that this program helps with:
- organizational culture (85 percent);
- employee engagement (89 percent);
- employee relationships (86 percent); and
- organizational values (83 percent).
And values-based recognition has an even greaterÂ business impact; recognition programs tied to values areÂ 1.5 times more likely to be rated âgoodâ, and programsÂ not tied to values are six times more likely to be ratedÂ âpoorâ. HR leaders have begun to realize this impact,Â choosing to design their recognition programs withÂ values in mind in order to:
- empower employees to recognize and feel recognizedÂ across the organization (88 percent);
- create a positive employer brand (64 percent);
- reinforce and drive business goals (57 percent); and
- make recognition easier for employees (49 percent).
How can organizations create a recognition program thatÂ delivers on these benefits? Jeff Gelinas, vice president ofÂ product and people at Engage2Excel, recommends a four-stepÂ approach:
- Define the specific behaviors associated with companyÂ values. âRather than simply stating the value, defineÂ the value and the behaviors associated with that value,âÂ he says. âFor example, if integrity is a value, specifyÂ the actionable behaviors associated with acting withÂ integrity, such as doing the right thing even if nobody isÂ watching you or not covering up bad news.â
- Provide recognition visibility. Gelinas suggests thatÂ organizations enhance the recognition experience sociallyÂ through an intranet platform or leadership board.
- Use technology to ensure timeliness of the recognitionÂ moment. Research shows that more frequent and timelyÂ recognition is associated with better performance, moreÂ productive performance conversations, and a moreÂ supportive peer feedback environment.
- Adopt a rewards experience thatâs meaningfulÂ and relevant. In the interest of cost savings, manyÂ organizations deliver recognition without a monetaryÂ reward. However, the study suggests that investing just 1Â percent of total payroll can significantly improve results:Â Funded programs are 86 percent more likely to be ratedÂ as good or excellent.
Gelinas also suggests that organizations leverage theirÂ technology solutions to measure the performance of theirÂ recognition program and tailor it accordingly. âTodayâsÂ recognition and rewards providers provide reporting andÂ analytics to measure program effectiveness. However,Â itâs important that employers survey employees toÂ understand overall engagement levels throughout theÂ organization and pinpoint improvement areas.â
Metrics like program participation by demographic,Â frequency of recognition given or received, and theÂ source of recognition can be compared to employeeÂ engagement feedback in order to deliver a moreÂ personalized program that is customized to the needs ofÂ the organization and its employees.
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