A recent survey from research firm Bersin & Associates finds that higher turnover rates are experienced by companies if they don’t offer recognition and rewards programs. Companies either lacking a program or implementing one rated as sub-par have an average attrition rate of 10.5 percent, 3.3 percent higher than that rate at companies with highly rated programs. The survey also found that programs focused on tenure were not very effective. That is, handing out a gold watch for a 20 year stint isn’t cutting it with employees. Instead, employees expect recognition and rewards for meeting business goals or by demonstrating company values. Despite the clarity of the data, 87 percent of participating HR professionals reported that the recognition programs used by their companies were focused on tenure.
In addition to the 573 HR pros participating in the study, Bersin also polled 261 employees to find out just what they want out of recognition programs. The poll identified two key findings:
• Employees highly value recognition that honors a specific action they took over praise for performing well at their job in general.
• Managers do not have to be the sole bringers of recognition. Polled employees said that recognition is still impactful when it comes from co-workers.
Bersin also recommends companies remove bureaucratic obstacles to meting out praise by eliminating paperwork and mandatory upper-level approvals. The easier a company makes the recognition process, the more positive results they will receive out of their program.