by Alex Palmer | December 03, 2012
A new report finds that a strategic recognition program can make a major impact on company culture and employee performance. The Employee Recognition Survey from Globoforce and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) found that strategic recognition programs that are tied to corporate values lead to less frustrated and more empowered employees.

The survey, which is published twice a year, drew on the responses of 815 human resources leaders and practitioners about the challenges they are facing and the strategies that help them overcome those challenges. The fall 2012 edition found that the top three challenges faced by respondents are succession planning (according to 41 percent of respondents), employee engagement (40 percent), and culture management (30 percent).

Looking specifically at the organizations’ recognition programs, the survey found those with strategic plans in place where the awards connect to corporate values, found 28.6 percent lower frustration levels than companies without these programs. Additionally, those with recognition programs were 25.4 percent more likely to have a clear understanding of their organizational objectives. Employees reported feeling 21.5 percent more enabled, and the organizations enjoyed a turnover rate 23.4 percent lower than those without recognition programs.

The study emphasized that the recognition programs must be strategic, rather than disconnected from any broad corporate efforts.

“The fact that these programs consistently reinforce company goals and give real-world modeling of desired behaviors may explain their higher impact on things like engagement and satisfaction,” wrote the study’s authors. 

Specifically, 62 percent of respondents with such programs in place reported that performance reviews in their organization were an accurate assessment of performance, while just 50 percent of companies without strategic recognition said the same. Similarly, 37 percent of companies with strategic programs reported higher percentages of workers with high engagement levels, while just 25 percent of companies without such programs had the same response.

“By transforming existing recognition into strategic, social programs that yield measurable data, HR leaders are beginning to see positive shifts in metrics that matter,” wrote the study’s authors.