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Measuring the Impact of Employee Recognition

Written by
George Dickson
George Dickson

How would you rate the impact of your employee recognition program?

Most organizations would rate theirs well without having any objective measurement in place. That's a dangerous assumption to hold.

A dangerous assumption? Yes. Really.

Josh Bersin, of Bersin & Associates explains why:

87% of companies have some type of tenure-based reward program. That means you get rewarded for "sticking around." Our research found that these programs drive very little value at all, and in fact only 58% of the employees we surveyed even know that their company has such a program.

With such a large investment at stake, it behooves everyone in the organization, from the new hire to the CEO to have an effective employee recognition program in place. Many leaders believe that the programs they have in place are effective, but sadly, employees voice the opposite opinion in most objective studies.

Despite recent advances in the approach companies take on culture and recognition, there is still a massive discrepancy in many companies between management's perspective on the effectiveness of employee recognition initiatives, and that of the employees.

The Society for Human Resource Management shared some stark statistics in its recently released 2015 Employee Job Satisfaction and Engagement: Optimizing Organizational Culture for Success.

It showed a mere 24 percent of employees were satisfied with management’s recognition of employee job performance. That's less than one in four.

Why this is crucial

Most organizations wouldn't accept a 24 percent customer satisfaction rating, so why accept a 24 percent employee satisfaction rating?

As the modern workforce evolves, the importance of building a strong employer brand increases.

Just like any brand catering to customers, an effective employer brand needs a solid value proposition. This can help attract and retain great employees, and provide the environment they need to stay engaged and produce their best work.

In a recent publication, Towers Watson did an excellent job of summing up this Employee Value Proposition, or EVP, in one sentence:

"the employee value proposition (EVP) defines the 'give and get' between the organization and the employee"

An effective employee recognition program is part of a strong, diverse EVP; but how do you know if yours is effective?

Measuring the success of employee recognition

There are tools and techniques you can use to measure the effectiveness of your employee recognition program, and make sure the things you're putting in place are helping to improve the value proposition you're offering your employees.

One of the easiest ways is to simply ask.

Soliciting employee feedback through regular surveys is an excellent way to keep yourself apprised of your employees' thoughts on the programs you're providing in your office environment. There are several ways to accomplish this.

You can, of course, do this manually, but tools like Officevibe can make this process easier, and can help improve accuracy by providing anonymity and a simple, low-overhead approach.

There are also tools that can provide that information directly.

Bonusly Analytics is a tool we've developed to provide a comprehensive view into the effectiveness of your employee recognition program. It allows you to easily see your team's level of engagement in aggregate, or drill down to see which of your employees are standing out as champions of recognition and engagement.

You can gain valuable insights into who is being recognized most frequently, and what they're being recognized for. It's also easy to see the relationships between the money you're spending on employee recognition, and its direct results.

The information provided by Bonusly Analytics can tell you a lot about the effectiveness of your employee recognition program and help you to make proactive decisions to improve it.

Want to learn more about employee recognition and company culture? Check out this resource:

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Originally published on May 27, 2015 → Last updated July 11, 2019

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George Dickson

George is dedicated to strengthening organizational cultures with thoughtful leadership and frequent recognition. George formerly managed content and community at Bonusly.


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