Employee recognition programs are largely considered a 'workforce investment'
- A new WorldatWork survey found that 50% of employers see their employee recognition programs as an investment in their workforce. The survey, Trends in Employee Recognition, measured types of recognition programs and their effect on the workforce.
- WorldatWork defines recognition as a "spontaneous gesture of thanks" or a structured recognition program that acknowledges employees reaching goals. Most companies (89%) have recognition programs, a percentage that has changed little since previous WorldatWork surveys. The common reasons for not having a recognition program are senior management's lack of support (28%) and the cost (26%).
- The survey identified the top recognition programs, which are based on length of service (85%), exceptional performance (77%) and motivating specific behavior (51%). These same programs also topped the list in 2015.
Employers know the value of recognizing workers. Executives, and even some HR leaders, view recognition as a cost, rather than an investment. When recognition is seen as "nice to have," employers look for ways to reduce the cost as much as possible, a Globoforce study shows.
The same Globoforce study reveals that the cost of recognition is 1% of payroll for many employers. The low cost and high value of employee recognition programs is likely the reason small organizations tend to offer them and why workers in small work environments are reportedly happier than those in large organizations. It's also easier to recognize a worker's contribution when the company is small and everyone knows each other.
Recognition programs can be effective recruitment tools, as employees who are consistently recognized for their contributions are more likely to tell others of their positive experience at the company. Recognition doesn't have to be complex; sometimes it is as simple as a "thank you" card after a job well done.