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Survey: Employee Recognition Key to Corporate Goals

A September 2003 survey, conducted by WorldatWork and the National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER), shows employee recognition continues to be important to organizations and they are making it an integral part of their business and people strategy.

Of the companies surveyed, 87 percent use recognition programs as part of their human resources strategy and four out of 10 said they are doing more with recognition than they were a year ago. Of those companies with a recognition program, 65 percent have a written strategy and 97 percent of those feel it links directly to their overall goals as an organization.

The most common objectives for having recognition programs include:

  • Create a positive work environment (80 percent)
  • Create a culture of recognition (76 percent)
  • Motivate high performance (75 percent)
  • Reinforce desired behaviors (75 percent)
  • Increase morale (71 percent)
  • Support organizational mission/values (66 percent)
  • Increase retention/decrease turnover (51 percent)

Two-thirds of the companies surveyed measure the success of their recognition programs. The most common metrics are employee satisfaction surveys (67 percent) and the number of nominations (50 percent).

"This survey clearly demonstrates that companies are thinking more strategically than ever about recognition and the positive impact it has not only on employees but also the overall success of the organization," said Greg Boswell, manager of Performance Recognition at O.C. Tanner Recognition Co. and pst president/current board member of NAER.

The most common types of recognition programs include adherence to safety, length of service, "above and beyond" performance, useful employee suggestions, outstanding sales, employee of the period (month, quarter, year) and attendance.

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