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Recognition Programs, Engagement & the Bottom Line

Recognition Programs Improve Engagement and the Organization’s Bottom Line

SHRM and Globoforce released their twice yearly survey on November 15th. The topic of this survey happened to be one of my favorites – recognition programs. The results of this survey indicate that recognition programs continue to consistently improve engagement. This comes as no surprise, when tracked, the success rate of recognition programs is generally high. 82% of survey respondents said their recognition program has improved employee engagement. That’s huge! As we all know, engagement is something that every company struggles with from time to time, and it’s a hard battle. There’s no easy, spelled-out way to keep employees engaged and productive. Recognition programs serve as a tool to help in the
battle of engagement. A rewarding atmosphere should be part of your organization’s core culture, no program alone will help instill that.

Bottom LineOnly 54% of participants reported that their recognition program had helped retain employees.  While that number could certainly be higher, over half is still very significant. Increasing retention would be a great way for recognition programs to prove their fiscal worth.  Engagement is great, and can lead to better productivity, but all of this is far less tangible than retention. Perhaps the results would be better if the retainment levels had actually been tracked, as opposed to asking HR pros whether or not they thought the programs helped retain employees. That’s a fairly subjective approach, so it’s hard to say what the less than half (49%) of those who responded to the survey said that it helped the companies financial bottom line.

There’s a huge disconnect between people who think recognition helps with engagement (82%,) and those who think it helps with finances(49%.) In all honesty, I am a little bewildered by this. We all struggle to keep employees engaged, because engaged employees tend to work harder and be more productive, right? And more productive employees are more profitable employees, right? So how can there be a 33% gap in people who think recognition programs help with engagement, and people who think they help the companies’ finances? Perhaps I am mistaken, but I think some HR executives may need to realize engagement and profit are correlated.

 Recognition programs are a good idea, period. Surveys like these continue to prove that they are effective in improving employee loyalty. Everyone likes to feel that their hard work is appreciated and noticed, otherwise, what’s the point? Scott was right when he said that recognition needs to be in your organization’s DNA in order for it’s results to be successful. So don’t just get a program, get with it! Start letting your employees know how much their hard work and dedication means to you.

Today’s guest blog post was from Emily Manke.  Emily is an Outreach Coordinator at onlinehumanresources.net. You can read her regular blog here.

Image courtesy of jscreationzs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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