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The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 14, 2017 10:01 pm

Survey: Employee recognition works

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

Employee recognition is becoming more of a core value among employers, results from a survey of executives suggest.

Almost half (46 percent) of organizations surveyed cited high turnover as a top challenge in 2016. Other top workforce management challenges for at least one-third of organizations were: employee engagement (36 percent), recruitment (34 percent) and succession planning (33 percent).

Improving employee recognition efforts could be one strategy to help organizations address those challenges, the Society for Human Resource Management said in releasing results from the survey last month.

"The majority of respondents indicated that their employee recognition programs had positive impacts on employee engagement, workplace culture, retention and employee happiness," a news release said.

The SHRM survey was produced with and commissioned by Globoforce, which helps employers with recognition programs.

Overall, 81 percent of organizations surveyed had an employee recognition program, and 60 percent said their program was tied to organizational core values, an increase from 50 percent in 2012.

"This increase is a positive development because HR professionals were more likely to rate their organization’s employee recognition efforts highly if the program was tied to organizational values compared with those that were not tied to values," said Tanya Mulvey, SHRM’s lead researcher on the survey.

Employers with programs tied to organizational values perceived greater benefits in areas such as maintaining a strong employer brand.

Additionally, when organizations dedicated at least 1 percent of payroll to recognition programs that were tied to their values, HR professionals were more likely to perceive greater impacts on financial outcomes such as cost-control goals.

The findings showed many organizations are making efforts besides employee recognition to influence workplace culture and create a more positive workplace, including:

• Health and wellness programs (81 percent).

• Learning and development programs (80 percent).

The survey of 798 SHRM members, conducted in April and May, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

SHRM represents 285,000 members in more than 165 countries.

More than a dreamer

What a visionary.

As we approach another holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., it’s another opportunity to reflect on the leader he was.

Not only did he have a dream, but King also had enough charisma and concern for people that he was able to build a dedicated coalition.

He didn’t just cast vision about equality, he engaged – a critical characteristic for leaders. King worked and walked alongside those who shared his vision, recognizing the challenges and sacrifices required.

Through it all, King was an optimist, quoted at least once as saying: "We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope."

To share a thought, a favorite quote or other wisdom about leadership, email Lisa Green at Lead On also appears online as a blog at