With much research over the years highlighting the benefits of employee recognition programs, why does employee recognition even need to be disputed?

If you’ve found this article, it’s most likely because you feel your workplace team is not performing positively or productively and you feel that perhaps a lack of engagement may be the culprit. You’re not alone. 

Only about 34% of employees feel engaged or “enthusiastic” about coming to work, says a study that was conducted by Gallup. About 13% are actively disengaged, meaning they are completely dissatisfied with their job and wish they could be anywhere but at work. And the rest? Well, the rest are neither engaged nor disengaged, however, they do give their work the bare minimum in order to get the job done and are not noted as going above and beyond or directly relating with their employer’s values and purpose.

Only about 34% of employees feel engaged or “enthusiastic” about coming to work. About 13% are actively disengaged (Gallup).Disengaged Employee

As an HR leader, your job is to seek out new ways of retaining employees, building culture, and keeping your entire team satisfied – all while trying to remain within a strictly allotted budget. For years, employee recognition programs have been considered expensive and unnecessary “perks” that most companies can survive without. But is surviving really thriving? 

In today’s business climate, it’s essential for HR representatives like yourself to make the case for employee recognition so your organization can remain a strong contender in its market. 

Here’s how you can promote change and begin fostering the benefits of employee recognition in the minds of your C-Suite:

Find a way to align employee recognition with your organization’s brand goals. Each year, your brand has probably developed goals or objectives in which it hopes to accomplish. These could be anything from an increase in brand awareness, recognition, or developing a strong customer relationship management platform. Has employee engagement taken an essential role in solving any of these intentions?

Employee engagement drives customer satisfaction. When employees feel connected with the success of your brand (have a sense of belonging) and are motivated to deliver outstanding results that bring the company further to that goal, then customer relationships will be nurtured and respected.

In our article, Make 2020 The Year You Start Tracking Employee Recognition ROI, we discuss the SHRM study that indicated, “HR professionals with value-based recognition programs and a budget of 1% of payroll are more likely to perceive positive effects on the organization and its employees.” In fact, 90% of organizations running a value-based recognition program saw increases in employee engagement, while 75% saw an increase in employee productivity.

90% of organizations running a value-based recognition program saw increases in employee engagement, while 75% saw an increase in employee productivity
Employee Engagement

When delivering your case on the relationship between employee rewards and recognition and the success of the brand, be sure to use metrics, KPIs, and deliverables that can be measured accordingly, such as:

  • Lower employee absenteeism;
  • Higher employee retention due to the team’s encouragement to stay;
  • Increase in positive customer feedback;
  • Increase in sales numbers and productivity; 

If you can present these KPIs and their ability to positively impact the ROI of implementing an employee recognition program in such a way that your C-Suite can understand (using facts, figures, and numbers), you’re more likely to induce a confident reply from them as well.

Remind your C-Suite that recognition doesn’t need to be monetary. Money doesn’t buy happiness. You’ve heard this phrase throughout your life and so have we. CEOs and other executives may not understand that rewarding employees for their efforts doesn’t always mean giving them cash bonuses. In actuality, cash rewards can be counterproductive, and may end up not resulting in the expected increase in employee morale.

A study done by Wharton School revealed that only providing cash-styled rewards promotes:

  • Resentment from hard-working staffers who wind up earning less
  • Unhealthy competition between team members
  • Employees who cut corners, and
  • A lack of solidarity and unity among team players as many employees may only contribute to tasks that will result in higher rewards.

The truth is that in addition to compensation, most employees care equally (if not more) about being appreciated, feeling like their work contributes to something larger, being open to flexibility, and receiving opportunities to further their career and take on more responsibility.  How does this translate into recognition and rewards that employees actually want? Well, below are some key steps you can take to move towards an environment where employees feel appreciated and are more productive.

  • Implement a platform that incorporates peer recognition so coworkers can praise each other for their accomplishments
  • Encourage and enable frequent public recognition
  • Encourage and enable managers to show their appreciation 
  • Provide career advancement opportunities: Give employees opportunities to attend workshops, conferences, or trade shows

In addition to compensation, most employees care equally (if not more) about being appreciated, feeling like their work contributes to something larger…
Employee Recognition Program

Technology and employee rewards software has made employee recognition and rewards programs even easier. If your team is large enough, recognizing individual employees can be costly and time-consuming. It can also possibly result in team members being forgotten or grazed over for those who are overachieving. Employee rewards technology keeps track of all the numbers, organizes the entire team, and allows you and other managers to access and evaluate information quickly.  It’s why employee recognition tools have become an essential part of effective engagement strategies.

Interested in learning more about Online Rewards and how an employee rewards program can benefit your business? Reach out for a conversation today.