Top Employee Recognition Trends for 2014A tough economy, record unemployment, and a competitive job market might seem like enough to make anyone who is gainfully employed happy to have a job. But job dissatisfaction and employee engagement are reflected in the Bureau of Labor Statistics finding that people are staying less than five years at jobs.  Furthermore, Gallup research shows only 30 percent of U.S. employees are engaged at work. Findings like these reinforce the continued importance of employee recognition to retain and motivate employees.  Let’s start new year planning with looking at top employee recognition trends.
Findings of a recent survey, the Accelir Rewards and Recognition: 2014 Trends Report, argues there are three top trends to pay attention to:  early service recognition, creating a culture of recognition, and continuing slow acceptance of social media for rewards and recognition.  Let’s dig in further.

Early Service Recognition
Service awards are the most common type of recognition program employers use. Accelir’s survey shows that more than 91 percent of the companies in the survey use them. Traditionally, employers have recognized longevity and loyalty with service awards at five, 10, and 20 years of service.
The trend for 2014 in service recognition is earlier recognition to get the attention of and develop loyalty from newer and younger workforces. The Accelir Report cites a survey by FutureWorkplace that found that more than 90 percent of Millenials (employees born between 1977 and 1997) do not expect to stay at their jobs for more than three years. This kind of expectation of shortened tenure is a concern for employers who need a dependable workforce to build and grow their businesses. Earlier recognition makes good sense.  It gives employers an opportunity to engage workers who may not have planned on staying long or developing their careers in their current positions.
Creating a Culture of Recognition
At gThankYou!, we spend a lot of time talking about the value of building a culture of recognition and gratitude.  The trends for employee recognition in 2014 are finally shifting toward building recognition into every aspect of the work, not just singular (maybe stale) programs such as employee of the month or traditional service awards. It will be important in 2014 to create a culture of recognition by identifying and rewarding specific performance achievements as they occur.
Worth noting, the Accelir Report shows that fewer than 25 percent of companies surveyed felt managers were prepared for a change from annual reviews to building a culture of recognition and also that leadership in their companies wasn’t involved enough in recognition to create a sustainable culture of recognition.  There continues to be a need to train managers in effective recognition.
Ready to start building that culture of recognition today?  Not sure where to start?  We can help.  Download the gThankYou! Free eBook, “The Ultimate Guide to Employee Gift-Giving.  Don’t be dissuaded by the title, it’s full of recognition and reward best practice learning and tips for building a successful culture of recognition.

Continuing Slow Acceptance of Social Media for Rewards and Recognition
While the importance of peer-to-peer recognition continues to grow, utilizing social media awards as the means for this type and other on-the-spot recognition has been surprisingly slow to catch-on.  The trend towards social media for recognition is expected to continue to be slow and not gain traction for another several years, seriously lagging behind using social media for recruiting for example.
The Accelir Report recommends that companies that want and need to introduce or improve employee recognition pay attention and adapt to these three top trends. Creating strategic recognition requires top management participation and support, plus funding to make programs sustainable. The investment pays off though – including measurable increases productivity and engagement and a competitive edge in recruiting and retention.
What key trends in recognition do you see for 2014? 

About gThankYou, LLC

Turkey Gift Certificates and Turkey Or Ham Gift Certificates by gThankYou! are two of America’s favorite employee gifts and can be redeemed for any Brand (Turkey or Turkey Or Ham), at virtually any Grocery Store in the U.S.
gThankYou, LLC provides company leaders with a variety of easy, meaningful and affordable ways to recognize and reward employees, holiday time or anytime.  gThankYou! Certificates of Gratitude and our free Enclosure Cards are personalizable including incorporating your company logo. And, nearly all orders ship same day.
gThankYou, LLC ( is based in Madison, Wisconsin.  Contact:  Rick KileyChief ThankYou! Officer, gThankYou, LLC at or 888-484-1658.
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