5 Ways P&G Amplified Recognition for Greater Business Impact

January 7, 2019 Sarah Mulcahy


Did you catch the Wall Street Journal article last month about workplace perks? Here’s an excerpt that should make anyone in HR take note: “What will distinguish the most profitable companies from the rest in the coming year won’t be whether they offer foosball or free food. It will be whether leaders foster a workplace culture where employees feel a sense of belonging.”

Belonging is about connection with others. And if snacks and games no longer cut it, what will? A well-designed recognition and reward program that empowers everyone to show appreciation, not just managers, can foster a culture of connection. Gartner predicts, “By 2022, 70% of large and midsize enterprises will use some form of technology for recognition and reward. But less than 25% will leverage its full potential.”

Last month we hosted a webinar with Kevin Dalton, compensation leader at P&G, to talk about his company’s journey to leverage the full potential of its recognition and reward program – Power of You.

The impetus for refreshing Power of You came from a comprehensive analysis of the recognition data within the program. “Employees who are recognized through [Power of You] score higher on our engagement survey,” said Kevin.

P&G wanted to understand more about how the program was impacting employees and the bottom line. It found that people who received awards through Power of You were a third less likely to leave P&G. “I can invest $600 in one employee versus having to replace that employee when they leave. Replacing an employee is a really expensive proposition. The data was what really changed the minds, especially for our finance folks, that this is not an expense. It is truly an investment,” said Kevin.

Recognizing that Power of You was a strategic investment that drove engagement and protected against voluntary turnover, P&G decided to refresh the program to drive even greater business impact. Here are five changes it made:

  1. Re-frame Power of You as everyday appreciation. “This is about appreciating one another for the work we do every day, not just the above and beyond,” said Kevin. “And ultimately, that's going to drive engagement and productivity, and have a positive impact on the business.”
  2. Align recognition to key performance factors. Every time someone is recognized, that recognition moment is tied to predefined values that drive success across P&G.
  3. Allow everyone to show appreciation. Prior to this refresh, only managers at certain levels could send monetary awards. “We wanted to change that,” says Kevin. “We wanted to make this more of an inclusive culture of everybody appreciating everybody through [Power of You].”
  4. Publicize the social recognition newsfeed. Another important change was to allow everyone in the company to see award messages and share their congratulations. “This one in particular really amplified the recognition and appreciation culture that we're trying to build here,” says Kevin.
  5. Offer more reward choice. In addition to offering locally relevant gift cards, Power of You now also includes a merchandise catalogue for employees to browse when redeeming their awards.

Initial results from the Power of You refresh have been outstanding. P&G has seen a 300% increase in peer-to-peer recognition and more than 5,000 congratulations delivered through the newsfeed.

“The partnership with Workhuman is what enabled us to be able to take this huge step forward,” said Kevin.

Do you want to learn more about P&G’s recognition journey? I invite you to catch a replay of the webinar here.

And if you’re curious how other companies have used recognition to drive engagement and turnover, check out more stories from our customers.

About the Author

Sarah Mulcahy

Sarah is senior content marketing manager at Workhuman. When not writing and reading about all things culture, leadership, recognition, and appreciation, she enjoys iced coffee, running, and spending time with her daughters, Mabel and Eva.

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