Report: Values-Based Recognition Programs Are Highest-Rated, Most Effective

March 8, 2018 Emily Payne

Year after year, the SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey finds that values-based recognition programs are more effective and empowering for employees, in addition to reinforcing business goals and creating a positive brand.

The 2018 survey is no different: Values-based recognition programs – where employees are recognized and rewarded for behavior that exemplifies a company’s core values – are more highly adopted (70%) than recognition programs not tied to a company’s core values (30%). Programs tied to values are also more than 2x as likely to be focused on reinforcing and driving business goals; 33% more likely to be focused on empowering employees; and 29% more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand.

The results also show that HR professionals are 1.5x more likely to rate their recognition program as “good” if it is tied to values. Programs not tied to values are nearly 2x as likely to be rated “fair,” and 6x as likely to be rated “poor.” No respondents rated their program as “excellent” if it was not tied to values.

So, why don’t all organizations choose values-based recognition programs? According to the survey, the lens through which a company views recognition – either strategically or tactically – can have a significant impact on how the program is designed.

Respondents were asked about the reasons driving the design of their recognition program. Programs tied to values are more than two times as likely to be focused on reinforcing/driving business goals, 33% more likely to be focused on empowering employees, and 29% more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand.

Conversely, recognition programs not tied to values are much more likely to be designed as cost-cutting measures with no associated business goals.

The survey went further to uncover which awards have the most positive impact if the recognition program is designed with associated employee awards. Employee choice is important: 94% of surveyed professionals said points or a certain dollar value that allow for employee choice – such as experiences, merchandise, or gift cards – have a very positive or positive impact on employee motivation.

Finally, HR is nearly 6x as likely to rate a program as excellent if it’s integrated with their overall people/talent strategy, compared to a program that’s only somewhat tied to a company’s people/talent strategy. The best way to craft an excellent program is to not have it stand alone, but have it incorporated as a key piece of its organization’s overall people goals.

HR leaders should treat employee recognition as not just a program, but a management practice that has very real business impact. And the way in which the program is built is important – tie it to company values, associate it with choice-driven rewards, and integrate it into an overall people strategy.

The 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Report explored what constitutes a human workplace by surveying 738 HR leaders in multiple organizations. To download the full report, click here.


Report: Values-Based Recognition Programs Are Highest-Rated, Most Effective
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