Survey: Revealing Key Practices for Effective Recognition

December 12, 2012 Darcy Jacobsen

Today we released the results of our most recent research survey: the Globoforce Workforce Mood Tracker Report for Fall 2012. (Click here to view it.) The report, which is subtitled “Revealing Key Practices for Effective Recognition”, compliments the survey we do with SHRM twice a year, but instead of looking from HR’s point of view, it asks the employees themselves about their views on recognition, retention and engagement.

In this report, we surveyed 742 employees across the United States to gain more insight into workers’ attitudes and perspectives on recognition, engagement, and performance. We looked at trends in the two years we’ve run the survey, but we also expanded our question set this time out, including questions on new touchstones like enablement and alignment with core values, and delving into timely questions like the pros and cons of e-thankyou cards.

Here is a little teaser chart, and below it, the six main report findings:

Chart of top reasons for leaving company

1. Over the past two years, employees are growing more satisfied in their jobs as their satisfaction with recognition grows.  When we compared trends over our past three surveys, we found that both employee satisfaction and their satisfaction with recognition are making steady gains in the workplace.

2. Employees are jumping ship because of a lack of recognition. 42 percent of surveyed employees plan to look for a job in the next 12 months. We asked those employees why they were leaving and found the exodus is largely fueled by a lack of effective recognition.

3. Strategic recognition reinforces core values and organizational objectives. Employees in companies with recognition programs tied to core values are far more aligned with organizational objectives. Employees who are in touch with those core values are also more engaged and happy with their jobs.

4. Frequent, ongoing recognition engages and motivates employees. The more frequently they are recognized, the more engaged and satisfied employees become.

5. Recognition is good for engagement—and values-based recognition is even better. The benefits of recognition increase significantly when recognition occurs in structured recognition programs that are tied to organizational core values.

6. eThanks have significantly less impact than recognition that includes a tangible reward. Employees see eThanks as less fulfilling and meaningful than receiving a thank you that includes some sort of gift or reward.

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