November 9, 2012

Employee Recognition Programs Generate Strong Business Results

connecting peopleBersin Associates announced the results of its survey The Employee Recognition Maturity Model: A Roadmap to Strategic Recognition, which indicates that companies with successful employee recognition programs are, on average, 12 times more likely to generate strong business results than companies with weak or non-existent programs.

“Nearly 80 percent of organizations unfortunately focus on ad-hoc or tenure-based recognition programs that fail to reinforce consistent messages or make a strategic impact,” said Stacia Sherman Garr, Principal Analyst, Performance Management, Bersin Associates, and author of the research. “Used correctly, employee recognition is an important talent management tool that can help guide employee performance, maintain increased employee engagement, reduce employee turnover, and ultimately drive business performance.”

The model used to measure employee recognition program efficiency was based on a list of best practices, including the following:

• Senior leaders adequately communicating expectations so that employees can more easily understand the business’s greater goals.

• Creating clear criteria for meeting performance levels worthy of recognition. Successful programs typically recognize accomplishments for special projects, meeting company goals, and demonstrating company values.

• Using technology to make recognition easier and more frequent. Effective technology integration is important for making recognition more accessible and flexible in meeting different business needs resulting in more frequent opportunities for recognition.

• Using a multifaceted approach to recognition, including a combination of employee-recognition software, special assignment to special project, verbal praise, certificates, trophies, and token awards convertible to reward items.

• Providing high-quality rewards, such as items with high financial value, of which recognized employees have a choice. Rewards must be perceived as prestigious.


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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.