I recently had the opportunity to explore the benefits of employee recognition through a study designed by EBG’s Corporate Programs Division, which includes TicketsatWork, Plum Benefits and Working Advantage.
The survey unveiled that 94 percent of employers believe that employee recognition programs are an effective tool for engaging employees and two thirds of employers place high priority on rewarding, which indicated to me that recognition programs truly affect an organization’s bottom line.
HR professionals also noted “making employees feel valued” (90 percent), “creating a positive work environment” (81 percent) and “increasing employee happiness” (73 percent) as the top three goals of their recognition programs.
Is anyone else starting to see a pattern here? Through recognition programs, HR professionals aim to increase employee engagement and productivity by fostering a positive, happy work environment that makes their employees feel valued and appreciated.
While some companies have mastered the art of employee engagement, many others find the process daunting or believe their programs have room for improvement (65 percent to be exact.)
No matter where your company falls on that spectrum, it is important to remember that recognition programs – similar to any other business objective – need a strategic plan with set goals in order to have long-term success.
In a series of posts, I am going to focus on three key components of a successful recognition program – accountability, benefits and culture.
Accountability – Managers, executives, and HR professionals need to hold their employees and themselves accountable in order to reach YOY business goals. They must seek to inspire and challenge employees to take on more responsibility, while guiding them to achieve success. By creating a work environment that focuses on empowerment versus entitlement, employees will not only become more engaged in their work but also with one another and the organization. Incorporating an element of accountability within a recognition program is the first step to success – it helps to set goals and boosts morale through performance feedback.
Benefits – In order to become a loyal, vested member of an organization, employees need to feel that their personal and professional goals are being met. This is why a robust benefits program is vital, particularly benefits that support a practical and sustainable work-life balance. Beyond the actual benefits, business leaders and HR professionals should make it a priority to learn about the benefits that are most important to their employees. Understanding what benefits or rewards have the most meaningful impact, and constantly reevaluating what providers offer is essential in keeping a recognition program current and engaging.
Culture – Many people believe a strong corporate culture is as an outcome of high employee engagement. However, engagement simply cannot exist without a culture that supports employee happiness and facilitates social relationships. I argue that a culture of engagement must have an intentional strategy that allows for organic growth and personal connections. A successful recognition program will become an integral part of a company’s culture, rather than just being a means to an end.
Be on the watch for next week’s post, which will dive deeper into the first key component of building an effective recognition program – ACCOUNTABILITY.