Summary: Employee recognition programs tend to make workers happier and therefore probably more productive.
- Employee recognition programs can be effective in reducing employee turnover.
- They tend to be under-utilized, but they can be implemented and managed cost effectively — sometimes with very good results.
A recent survey of 742 workers at companies with 500 employees or more found 67% said they believed they were appreciated which was an increase of seven percent from last year. Also, about ten percent more said they loved their jobs.
Not surprisingly, employee recognition programs to tend to make workers feel more content with their jobs and workplaces. The Globoforce survey showed about 78% of employees who were recently appreciated for their work said they loved their jobs. Only 49% of those workers who had not been appreciated at work said they felt that good about their jobs.
Another telling finding was that 56% of the workers that were appreciated said they saw themselves as very engaged. Only 33% of the workers who did not receive any recognition said they were engaged at the same level. If this difference doesn’t sound that significant, consider that it has been estimated under-performing workers cost the US economy over $300 billion dollars a year in lost productivity.
A finding similar to the engagement vs. dis-engagment trend was that workers who receive recognition were quite a bit less likely to consider leaving, and employee turnover can be costly for organizations. Recruiting, interviewing and training can consume a considerable amount of resources. Disruption of workflows when employees leave also can reduce productivity. Employee turnover typically also reduces worker morale. So, employee recognition programs not only contribute to worker happiness and productivity, but they can also reduce turnover and the associated costs.
Another recent survey found when organizations spend one percent of payroll on employee recognition they have many more engaged workers.
Surprisingly, the number of organizations with consistent, effective employee recognition programs may be very low. Another survey this year found just about 17% of the employees studied said their companies had strong programs for appreciating employees.
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