The Importance of an Inspiring Recognition Program for Employee Engagement

The Importance of an Inspiring Recognition Program for Employee Engagement
February 14, 2023 HR Fit
inspiring recognition program

HR Fit can help with employee engagement (as well as other strategic HR consulting services). Often workplaces need improvement in employee engagement. While recognition programs can be a hefty budget line item, it’s worth it. Industry data shows a strong link of engagement with recognition and a company can tie its recognition program business case directly to employee retention. In fact, uninspiring workplace recognition programs have minimal impact on employee engagement. Some recognition programs are so uninspiring that employees do not even realize their company has a program. Employee recognition and reward programs often fall flat because they don’t actually inspire employees. There are three primary drivers of this:

  1. Perceived as Unfair – When a workplace lacks a strong employee engagement strategy, this results in employees perceiving a disparity in how they are recognized and rewarded. This damages the company culture and branding as a company they want to work for.
  2. Impersonal & Transactional – Recognition and rewards need to come across as sincere gratitude, truly making employees feel valued. All too often workplaces attempt to show gratitude with rewards that are impersonal and transactional, such as gift cards or cash.
  3. Fails to Drive Performance – Recognizing and rewarding employees in an inconsistent manner actually damages motivation. If it does not meet employee expectations, recognition and rewards can lack any true positive impact on employee morale and motivation.

Your employees do great work every day, but too often feel undervalued.

Let’s start with some easy to implement ways to make employees truly feel valued. First, simply acknowledging and celebrating birthdays and work anniversaries is easy to do and shows your employees that you care about them as real humans, demonstrating authentic gratitude. Employee engagement team-building exercises, like staff events or games, are also easy to implement and go a long way in creating a culture of employees that feel valued.

Recognize and reward employees in powerful ways.

Recognition programs are more powerful when they offer an exciting menu of items and experiences. Letting employees choose their reward item or experience results in a recognition program that cannot be called a one-size-fits-all program. When employees can’t wait to talk about their reward item or experience with coworkers, it creates a recognition ripple effect. While 84% of the global workforce is not working at its full potential (ADP Research, 2018), a truly inspiring recognition program can improve that performance. Employee recognition done right offers a clear path to a more fulfilled and engaged workforce. Companies with a highly engaged workforce achieve a 41% reduction in absenteeism, a 17% increase in productivity, and 59% less turnover (Gallup, 2017).

Recognition and reward has great impact that’s worth the cost.

Employee recognition programs that truly inspire result in a workforce that performs better across the board. From better customer service to developing marketable concepts, a high-performance workforce drives company profitability. On average, it costs a company 150% of an employee’s one-year salary or more (depending on their level of expertise), when they leave your company. Good employee retention lowers costs of recruitment, lost productivity, and training. HR Fit helps companies develop an inspiring recognition program resulting in the company becoming a “Best Place to Work”.

Ready to implement an employee recognition program? HR Fit can help. Learn more about employee engagement and other strategic HR consulting services or call us at 309.863.1202.