The State of Employee Recognition * SHRM/Globoforce Survey Tracker Results

Results from SHRM Globoforce survey

I greatly enjoyed leading a webinar with SHRM analyst Evren Esen yesterday, discussing the results of our 2011 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey Tracker.

Just a few interesting points we discussed are below.

The annual performance review ranked third out of four best ways to evaluate employee performance. First place at 42% went to a multi-source (manager, senior leader, peer) ongoing feedback program, including constructive criticism and positive recognition on a regular basis.  These findings match what we’re hearing from clients. There is a place for the annual performance review, but something else is needed to provided feedback and praise in a more timely manner. Strategic recognition helps to fill those gaps throughout the rest of the year.

Although 86% of companies track employee engagement in some way, the primary method of tracking it is through exit interviews at 71%, followed by tracking employee retention rates (65%). I found this result shocking, and not just because it’s too late to do anything about employee engagement at the point of the exit interview. Most alarming, just this week Mercer issued a study showing 32% of employees are looking to leave their jobs this year. Even more disturbing, 21% plan to stay, but are completely disengaged. This is very risky as organizations can be filling their ranks with employees who are just coming in every day and going through the motions.

The highest percentage of employees in 10 years, 55%, say recognition by management is “very important” to their overall job satisfaction. Evren explained this as indicative that employees need  recognition and acknowledgment that their work is important, valued and recognized.

Though 80% of organizations have some form of employee recognition program, the data suggests these programs could be more effective. Only 56% said employees are rewarded for job performance. Only 46% said managers effectively appreciate employees. Only 31% (startling) say employees are satisfied with level of recognition received.

This lack of program effectiveness isn’t surprising considering Years of Service programs were the most common (58%) with only 37% indicating behavior that aligns with organization values is recognized. While Years of Service is a fine way to acknowledge employee loyalty, it doesn’t move the needle on employee engagement as well as recognition tied to corporate values and the great work employees  do. This is similar to using the exit interview for measuring employee engagement. It’s after the fact and doesn’t focus employees on the future. A better, more strategic, and far more effective investment of a recognition budget would be in programs that recognize and reward employee contributions and achievements based on your company values and strategic objectives.

Be sure to listen through the questions at the end through which we dive into these points more deeply.

* Program measurement, tracking and reporting
* The importance of CEO involvement in recognition programs
* Setting an appropriate budget for recognition
* Tracking the ROI of recognition
* The impact of the current economic climate on employee attitudes and expectations for recognition
* Global recognition and rewards

You can also read the press release or download the detailed survey results. What’s your take on the state of employee recognition?

Derek Irvine (115 Posts)

As Globoforce’s Vice President of Client Strategy and Consulting, Derek is a seasoned, internationally minded management professional with over 20 years of experience working across a diverse range of industries. During his career he has lived in many countries including Spain, France, Ireland, Canada, Sweden, UK and the USA. In his role as a thought leader at Globoforce, Derek helps clients set a higher ambition for global strategic employee recognition, leading consultative workshops and strategy setting meetings with such global organizations as Avnet, P&G, Dow Chemical, Intel, Intuit, KPMG and Thomson Reuters. An authority on the topics of employee engagement and recognition, he has been a guest speaker at worldwide industry and professional group conferences.

While previously working with top-five management consultancy firm PA Consulting Group, he advised clients in corporate strategy, organizational behavior, marketing and corporate communications. Derek has also worked in consumer marketing for many years, working on the world-class brands of Johnson & Johnson and Jameson. Derek holds a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce and a Master of International Business Studies degree from University College Dublin.

Derek blogs daily on the powerful impact of strategic recognition on employee engagement, talent management, and performance at Recognize This!