On Technology and Authenticity: Our Latest Workforce Mood Tracker Report

May 20, 2014 Darcy Jacobsen

punctuationTechnology in HR has changed exponentially over the last few years. It’s made us so much more powerful and given us incredible tools for measuring and managing talent and culture.

But the onslaught of new technology options and approaches can be confusing and misleading for many, because it isn’t always clear which technologies are make sense for HR and where they fit and where they don’t. We need a thoughtfulness and responsible approach to integrating technology. Without it, we can be set adrift in a sea of “cool-kid” bells and whistles, or paralyzed by choice–sticking with our grandfathers’ approach to HCM.

What is required for success is both a willingness to question assumptions and swim against the tide when necessary. You also need an ability to look beyond the shiny new toys and evaluate carefully just what works and what doesn’t.

In our most recent Workforce Mood Tracker study, which is out this week, we looked carefully at what aspects of technology work and which don’t, and asked U.S. workers some tough questions about what makes technology authentic and powerful. We turned up some interesting data about some of the technology assumptions we make, and we also found some gaps and opportunities for companies.

Here’s what we found:


  1. Recognition makes employees happier—at work and at home. Employees report that recognition has a direct impact on their happiness at work and in general. That impact is magnified with frequent recognition tied to company values.
  2. Traditional years of service programs are not delivering results for today’s changing workplace. Employers deploy milestone programs to increase engagement and loyalty, but those programs are failing to meet the needs of the modern workforce.
  3. Strong disillusionment typically follows an employee’s first work anniversary—but can be alleviated by engaging employees through recognition. Many employees experience a honeymoon period for their first year of employment, followed by a significant drop in engagement, happiness and job satisfaction. When employees experience values-based recognition, they are less disillusioned overall.
  4. People find gamification to be inappropriate for use in recognition. Employees do not believe that gamification (badges and leaderboards, etc.) is a positive addition to recognition. They say it is not motivating when recognizing others, and it does not motivate them to work harder.
  5. Only 4% of employees find eThanks (award without gift or monetary value) to be a memorable form of recognition. Employees indicate that a thank you that comes with an associated gift or reward is the most powerful and lasting form of recognition, but eThanks without a gift are unsatisfying in this regard.

Download your copy of the Spring 2014 Globoforce Mood Tracker Report here.

I found this data fascinating to analyze, so I hope you feel the same about the findings. Please share your thoughts, below!

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