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Problems With Not Having Strategic Employee Recognition Programs

Posted on July 13, 2015
Debbie SuttonWritten by Debbie Sutton | Email author

As organizations review or implement employee recognition programs, we sometimes forget to look at the impact these programs have on an employee’s feeling of success and value within the organization.  Just providing rewards is not enough for employees.  Particularly those programs that focus on tenure only and not performance.  Surveys have shown companies that have recognition programs tied to corporate values, also known as strategic recognition programs, tend to have employees who feel more empowered to succeed and less tempted to leave the organization.

strategic employee recognition programsWhat Do We Mean By Strategic Recognition Programs?

Strategic recognition programs link the actual performance being recognized directly to the organization’s core values and strategic objectives.  Therefore, by tying recognition to your organization’s objectives and then measuring that activity, you are not only better able to manage the company culture and the talent of the organization, but you are providing on-going feedback, which can be lacking in many organizations.

In other words, strategic recognition is:

  1. Tied back to your core values and goals;
  2. Measured, recorded and analyzed;
  3. Universal, consistent and centralized for easy reporting; and a
  4. Clearly defined process for recognition.

Furthermore, these types of programs allow employees to have a better understanding of organizational objectives and they feel better able to achieve those objectives.  These programs also allow for feedback that normally an employee would not receive from management. As an added bonus, companies have reported that their turnover rates have dropped significantly.

The Best Ways to Measure Employee Recognition Programs

The best way to measure your return on investment of your employee recognition program is by looking at specific metrics such as:

  • productivity;
  • customer/employee retention;
  • employee engagement;
  • return on profit margin; and
  • return on equity.

Organizations that use these metrics when analyzing their recognition programs found an increase in these metrics and overall in how engaged the employee was in the organization.

Star EmployeeIt is highly recommended you keep in mind what employees really want from these programs, and more importantly employees want to feel valued for a job well done by those they respect and admire.  Overall what employees want from work depends on the person of course, however that said, employees typically want fairness, clarity and consistency when it comes to employee recognition programs. If this does not exist in your recognition program, you will not see positive results and employees will “lose faith” in the value of the program and any feedback that comes with it.  Therefore, recognition programs need to be thought through with a clear purpose and guidelines of what is expected in order for an employee to receive recognition. In addition, these programs should be available to all employees.

As mentioned before, having your rewards tied to the mission and values of the organization will motivate employees to be more engaged.  The key to creating a truly effective program is to ask your employees what they want from work and what type of rewards engage them.  You will be surprised at how many simple and inexpensive opportunities employees will suggest!

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