Employee recognition programs can be a competitive advantage and directly benefit your bottom line, especially if you stay current with the latest trends. Research has shown recognition programs can:
- Drive measurable business results
- Retain top talent
- Inspire employee engagement
- Build vibrant cultures
- Breathe life into your business results
That’s according to recognition/rewards company Globoforce in “Why Recognition?”
And in her post for HR firm TLNT, “Top 3 Employee Rewards and Recognition Trends for 2014,” Sarah White, founder and principal advisor at advisory firm Accelir, cites her company’s Rewards & Recognition: 2014 Trends Report.
“Low levels of employee engagement are plaguing companies today and improved rewards and recognition programs are the solution.”
Three 2014 Employee Recognition Trends
Employers providing formal programs see tangible benefits, including increased employee productivity and engagement as well as higher organizational and financial performance, she writes. The report identifies three trends for 2014:
- Service awards moving toward early recognition. Companies are implementing programs that reward employees as soon as one year of employment.
- Creating a culture of recognition. Executive leadership buy-in, manager training, and involvement of everyone in an organization, along with performance-based rewards, consistency, and a clear tie to core values are important components.
- Rewards and recognition with social media. Although social media offers easy, inexpensive tools for public recognition, and its use is increasing, Accelir estimates it will take another three years for widespread adoption and integration.
Nova Systems’ Comprehensive Employee Recognition Program
Nova Systems, an Australian provider of professional services, is one business with organization-wide employee reward and recognition initiatives. Its “Reward and Recognition” webpage says:
“At Nova we love to celebrate our success, and a part of this is to recognize the valued and often outstanding contributions made by our people.”
All year long, employees contributing at levels beyond expectation receive rewards—from cinema tickets to significant end-of-year cash bonuses. The company’s employee recognition program comprises five categories:
- Social Activities: To foster esprit de corps, Nova hosts social activities to bring employees and their families together in a fun environment and to thank people for their dedication. So far activities include camping, sports events, dinners, cocktail parties, barbecues, overnight resort trips, boating, fishing, and more.
- Salary Sacrificing and Staff Discounts: In what some nations call salary sacrificing, Nova allows employees to forgo wages in exchange for cars and other items—in the U.S., these pre-tax withholdings would lower employees’ taxable income (check with your accountant to see what’s allowed). The company also passes on discounts from business partners—such as software for home use and private health insurance—where possible.
- Employee Company Shares: To enable employees to share in the company’s success, Nova established the Nova Employee Company, through which qualifying employees can purchase shares.
- Annual Conference: To strengthen its internal networks of professional relationships, Nova hosts a three-day annual conference for all Australian-based employees.
- Candidate Referrals: Company experience shows the quickest and easiest path to high-quality new employees is through existing employees’ networks. If Nova employs someone through an existing employee’s referral, that existing employee receives a healthy referral bonus.
Accelir’s report concludes with several takeaways:
- Strategic, performance-based rewards programs create a competitive advantage for companies.
- Executives are starting to realize rewards and recognition programs can benefit both employees and organizations.
- Companies bolstering their programs need to consider the three trends the study identifies: early recognition, a culture of recognition and social media integration.
“By doing so, companies can increase productivity and return on investment as well as decrease employee turnover,” Smith writes.
How is your company capitalizing on the three trends Accelir identifies, and does your employee recognition program include the components Novus Systems has incorporated? It might be time to review your plan …
For more about workplace recognition and employee engagement, download our FREE Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.
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