by Matt Alderton | January 26, 2018
There's no question: Money motivates. And yet, salary isn't the only reason people go to work every day. They also show up at the office to feel connected to others and to embrace a purpose larger than themselves. For that reason, employers who want to attract and retain top talent should offer not only competitive compensation, but also a "human-centered workplace," suggests a new report published this week by performance management company Globoforce and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM).

The 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Report -- titled "Designing Work Cultures for the Human Era" -- is based on a survey of 738 HR leaders, 47 percent of who cited employee retention and turnover as their top workforce management challenge, marking the third consecutive year that retention has topped HR leaders' list of concerns. Second and third on their list are recruitment and culture management, respectively.

So, what can HR leaders due to allay their concerns? Human-centered approaches such as ongoing peer feedback, frequent performance reviews, and values-based recognition are an effective option, SHRM and Globoforce assert. Among their key findings:

• HR leaders say employee recognition programs help with employee experience (89 percent), employee relationships (86 percent), organizational culture (85 percent), employee engagement (84 percent), and organizational values (83 percent).
 
• Values-based recognition programs -- where employees are recognized and rewarded for behavior that exemplifies a company's core values -- are more than two times as likely to be focused on reinforcing and driving business goals; 33 percent more likely to be focused on empowering employees; and 29 percent more likely to be focused on creating a positive employer brand.
 
• Recognition programs funded at 1 percent or more of payroll are more likely to be rated highly than underfunded programs or programs with zero budget.
 
• Although only half (51 percent) of HR leaders feel their current performance appraisal process is accurate, those who conduct more frequent reviews are 1.5 times more likely to agree they are an accurate appraisal of employees' work, compared to organizations that only conduct annual reviews. The former are more likely to use peer feedback and check-ins, which 89 percent of HR leaders agree has a positive impact on their organizations.

• Employees are nearly two times as likely to agree their company is a good place to work when they are very or somewhat satisfied with how life events (e.g., getting married, buying a house, having a child) are celebrated in the workplace (64 percent), compared to those who are very or somewhat dissatisfied with the celebration of life events (35 percent).

Said Derek Irvine, vice president of strategy and consulting at Globoforce, "Continuous peer feedback and recognition, as well as a supportive feedback environment, have the power to help organizations drive employee growth and development. As our study shows, HR professionals are still dissatisfied with the accuracy of traditional performance reviews. Reward and performance strategies need to be reimagined so they help fulfill employees' basic human needs of appreciation and connection. Social recognition programs alongside more human-centered practices have the power to not only strengthen relationships between employees, but also employees' overall connections to the companies they work for."

The 2018 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Report is available for download from Globoforce's website.