Archive for the 'employee recognition programs' Category
As mentioned in last week’s post, many formal recognition programs are designed to recognize employees for reinforcing corporate values, but often miss the mark. Literally millions of dollars are spent each year for recognition awards but when asked to quantify the results, the analysis of results given is woefully suspect.
Recognition efforts are usually planned and implemented properly, but as they are more and more tied to corporate culture, they are difficult to measure and quantify.
Recognition of employees is an integral part of culture management, and there is also a need to be able to explain to senior management the impact that culture management has on the bottom line. It just makes sense to be able to manage your recognition efforts so you can show the bottom line results for those as well.
Everyone seems to be searching for reliable ways to measure and gauge culture and culture change but as yet, no one has come up with any completely reliable ways to do it. Up until just a few short years ago, the annual employee attitude survey was the most used method of measurement.
In working with clients we can find various ways to tie the recognition awards to hard numbers. Structures that incorporate suggestions, improving safety behaviors, presenteeism, on-time project completion, customer retention, employee referrals, and the like can all have solid measurement that lead to bottom line results.
Don’t short change your recognition efforts by not including these types of objectives. They will strengthen your overall program and even add incremental budget support to make the program even stronger.
Let us show you how you can add to the success of your recognition efforts with meaningful measurement. We can be contacted above.
It may seem obvious that you should tie your recognition programs to your corporate values, but from our experience many companies just don’t take the time to do that. Most formal recognition programs are initiated with that objective only to miss the mark in the end when they don’t have an effective way to measure that performance.
Late last year, SHRM in conjunction with Globoforce conducted an employee recognition survey with some interesting results. Key findings from that survey include:
- When recognition program awards are tied to strategic corporate values “employees feel enabled and empowered to succeed.” They also have a stronger understanding of corporate objectives and can see how their own job can impact those objectives.
- Recognition programs yield actionable data “enables companies to better manage and measure those areas.”
- “Companies that have implemented peer-to-peer recognition perform better…with greater impacts on their financial results.
- “Companies that allocated 1% or more of payroll to recognition see higher engagement levels, better retention and better financial results. They also have employees with stronger ties to company values.”
Recognition can play a critical role for HR leaders. Employee recognition when structured and measured properly can provide quantifiable business results.
This is the best article we’ve seen yet on how to measure employee engagement programs (also employee recognition programs). Problem is, while more & more effort is given to this subject, there is still no real definitive approach to proving that these types of programs actually produce bottom line results.
Certainly, there are a lot of correlations by and between many different sorts of measurement, but too many of the measurements are based on results of surveys to the program participants, which is not much an objective measurement.
Still, this approach goes far beyond any we seen prior, but we must also understand that without financial results directly tied to the program details, we are still in limbo with regard to executives given absolute approval on using these strategies as acceptable means to gain results.
With this in mind, it does make a lot of sense to follow the guidelines mentioned here, especially with establishing your base line metrics before (we would add during) and at the end of the program. But its never going to be easy to quantify the results as completely belonging to the program in question. There are too many other market and internal conditions that can affect it. And there is too much terminology like “easy measures”, “involvement”, “conservative financial assumptions”, “causality”, “linkage”, “monitoring feedback,” and “predictive analysis” that makes dependent on subjective views, done of course in an objective way.
Still, as mentioned, this is much better than in the past when the only form of measurement used was employee attitude surveys.
Do you take as much time deciding what to say in appreciation for a job well done as you do in determining what recognition award to give?
Think about it this way. When you give flowers or some other gift to that special person do you accompany it with the kind words or a phrase sharing your feelings and thoughts?
Flowers and gifts have a very limited vocabulary. About the best they can say is that you remembered.
Remember those hopefully long forgotten days when we had bosses who thought that your pay check was “all the thanks you need?” We’d like to think that they are long forgotten, but unfortunately we hear every day that attitude is still very much present in today’s managers. Maybe it’s the times, maybe it’s just we hear the exceptions (there are a lot of great managers out there) but maybe not.
We are in the “Thanks” business, it’s what we do, and we believe it because we know it works. But it seems that for every one of us, there is a boss out there who defends the philosophy of not thanking employees. As social beings most of us intuitively know that thanks, praise and recognition is good for us. We can’t recall a time when an employee every told us that they hated it when someone thanked or praised them for their effort. They may have been embarrassed about how it was done, but a different issue. The American Psychological Association in a paper entitled Journal of Personality and Social Psychology showed simply that a little gratitude does go a long way and motivates increased pro-social behavior.
To not foster a culture of thanks we feel is foolish, it lacks judgment and we think it’s unwise. It’s surely at least counterproductive for everyone involved. Paychecks are great; it’s why they come to work, but it’s only half the contract. It’s just paying what you owe, it’s not showing appreciation.
We’ve heard most of the reasons why managers say they withhold thanks:
- No one thanks me
- Thank people and they’ll only expect more
- If you thank one you have to thank them all
- I thanked an employee one time and he said ‘put it in my paycheck’, who needs that kind of guff
- Thank people and they’ll get false confidence
- I can’t thank people who need to improve
To these managerial types we say get over it. It isn’t about you. If your people expect more appreciation give it to them, they will deliver more to others and your workplace will warm up. You don’t have to thank them all, but once you start you will naturally just thank more and more and it will become a habit. And forget about the snarky ones, those are often malcontents who are looking around the corner at the next job move.
By simply choosing your words carefully it doesn’t mean you have to rise to the level of praising them, and then formally recognizing them. But it is does start that cycle, that will result in a more engaged and productive workforce.
Thanks for taking the time to read this post.