A major challenge of HR is sustaining effective employee engagement with things like employee recognition programs according to the Society for Human Resource Management. In the rush of everyday business operations, it can be easy to put employee recognition on the back burners and lose it in the business of doing business. Often, the key to sustainability is proving the ROI of recognition programs to gain upper management buy-in, funding and long-term commitment.
SHRM’s “Employee Recognition Programs, Winter 2012” survey showed that companies that measure the ROI of recognition efforts feel more strongly about the importance of these programs. Use these top research findings to help frame your argument to management of the value of recognition programs.
1. An Engaged Workforce Drives Business Results
“Recognition makes a measurable impact on important business metrics such as retention levels, productivity and overall financial results”
SHRM’s findings show that tracking the results of employee recognition is one of your strongest selling points. Research has shown time and time again the positive business impact of an engaged workforce. You can measure the impact of engagement through surveys, retention levels, absenteeism, productivity, safety and financial results. If you have issues in any of these areas, argue for the need to focus additional recognition and engagement efforts. Metrics should be tracked annually with the benefit of providing tangible data for skeptical management.
2. The Failure of Traditional Annual Performance Reviews
“Traditional annual performance reviews fail to provide the engagement produced by structured recognition programs”
Some companies feel that an annual performance review should be sufficient to recognize employees. However, leading HR professionals have realized annual performance reviews don’t actually create any motivation or engagement. Convince management that a better idea is to conduct an annual employee survey asking employees how they feel about their jobs, their employers and their work-life. Over time, this can be an effective tool to showcase the importance of recognition programs to business success.
3. Are You Staying Competitive?
“Aligning recognition with core values makes better managers too”
If current information from SHRM’s survey about the failure of annual performance reviews and the effectiveness of tracking recognition programs doesn’t convince the management at your company that recognition is worth it, have them look at other companies. Look at your industry leaders; chances are they invest in recognition to have a winning business. Another good place to look is the recent Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For. The winners are a wealth of insights into building a great company culture and there are hundreds of examples of business building recognition programs thanks to the efforts of Great Place to Work.
Ultimately, you get what you reward. Invest in building a culture of appreciation, respect and gratitude. You’ll have engaged, motivated and happy employees and the business results to prove it.
To learn more about building workplace recognition, downloading our free guide to “Workplace Gratitude”.
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