HR professionals in organizations where an employee recognition program is linked to the organization’s core values believe the program produces a better return on investment (ROI) and can help reduce employee turnover, according to published survey today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and Globoforce.
The survey, conducted in conjunction with and commissioned by Globoforce, a Southborough, Massachusetts-based social recognition solutions provider, found that worker retention was the number one workforce management challenge facing workers. employers were faced.
Almost half (46%) of the 800 or so employers surveyed cited retention as their top concern. The other challenges at the top of the list were employee engagement (36%), recruiting (34%) and succession planning (33%).
But a majority of HR professionals agreed that effective employee recognition programs can have a positive impact on these types of challenges, and more and more companies are associating these programs with company values.
More than 80 percent of organizations surveyed had employee recognition programs, and 60 percent said their programs were linked to core values, up from 50 percent in 2012. Linking recognition efforts to core values can help organizations. employees understand organizational goals and motivate them to work. towards these goals. Another 21 percent said they had a recognition program that was unrelated to organizational values.
“This increase is a positive development as HR professionals were more likely to perceive positive impacts from employee recognition when the program was linked to organizational values, compared to those who were not linked to values.” said Tanya Mulvey, SHRM talent management researcher. and the skills of the workforce and the principal investigator of the survey.
Link recognition to values
How is this link most often made?
Some organizations require that a person appointing an employee for recognition cite examples of how the person has upheld the organization’s values. Other companies might highlight a specific value each month and reward employees whose work specifically reflects that value. Some also associate their organization’s values with a formal performance appraisal process.
The survey found that 88% of organizations that linked employee recognition to core values said their programs help instill and reinforce those values, compared to 57% of organizations that did not. And 80% of organizations that combine recognition and values said the programs helped maintain a strong employer brand, compared to just 49% without those connections. Two-thirds (67 percent) of organizations with the link said their programs helped meet their financial goals, while 41 percent of employers whose programs were not linked to values cited this benefit.
Larger employers (those with 10,000 or more workers) and public for-profit employers were more likely than medium-sized employers (500 to 2,499 employees) and government agencies to have recognition programs based on values.
Organizations with values-based employee recognition also found their programs to be more effective when their companies spent more money on them.
HR professionals whose organizations invested at least 1% of payroll in a values-based recognition program were more likely to say that the programs helped the employer attract new candidates, meet business goals. learning and development, achieve cost control goals and retain employees.
Recognition programs were just one way for HR professionals to assert that their organizations were trying to influence workplace culture and support employees. The most common were programs that support health and wellness, improve relationships and teamwork, show employee appreciation, provide opportunities for growth and learning, and improve communications and transparency.
These efforts are most often led by HR departments. But senior leaders, management teams, unit heads and individual employees would also have played a role.
The survey also looked at what organizations do to manage employee performance. Most employers (71 percent) conduct performance reviews on an annual basis, while 17 percent do so on a semi-annual basis and 5 percent do so quarterly or more often. But HR professionals are also divided on whether such reviews provide an accurate assessment of employees’ work, with 41% saying they do and 40% saying they don’t. Another 19 percent were unsure.
A common technique for improving performance that can be difficult to implement effectively is coaching. More than half of organizations said they have a system that encourages managers to coach employees, and nearly three-quarters of HR professionals agreed that coaching was very or somewhat important. Yet more than 9 in 10 HR professionals said managers need more training on how to coach employees effectively.
These results suggest that organizations may need to invest more in training their supervisors, especially as skills shortages and the retirement of many experienced employees could lead to an increased need for learning, on-the-job training and coaching.
The survey of 798 human resources professionals randomly selected from SHRM members with a managerial designation or above and employed in organizations with 500 or more employees was conducted earlier this year. The results have a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.
Daniel Weintraub is a freelance writer based in Sacramento, California.