Selling an Employee Recognition Program

We can all agree that everyone likes to feel appreciated and recognized for their efforts. But some may question the relative business value of an employee recognition program or think they already have enough in place, as informal as it may be. Let’s walk through a few common arguments against implementing an employee recognition program…

“We already recognize good work.”

Annual, Monthly, Even Weekly performance reviews and team meetings aren’t enough. Hearing happy birthday a week later isn’t as nice as hearing it on your special day. Just as having your name highlighted in a team meeting, maybe along with a list of others, also isn’t as nice as being recognized in the moment, when you’ve just done all the hard work. People want to feel appreciated as they are doing the work. It makes us want to work harder. It gives us the extra motivation to cross the finish line and makes us happy at night.

“Managers should recognize good work on their teams.”

Managers should recognize good work on their teams, but they should not be the only ones. Managers have a lot on their plates. Often they either don’t see or hear about the good work being done or forget to recognize it. Instead of relying on a subset of the organization, empower everyone to recognize good work as it happens. Research shows that peer-to-peer programs are 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager only recognition. [i] It will bring teams closer together and make everyone more mindful of all that is happening around them.

“The ROI isn’t there.”

Research highlights that regular recognition makes employees happier, more engaged and satisfied with their jobs and therefore less likely to leave. After implementing a peer-to-peer recognition program, JetBlue saw that for every 10% increase in people reporting being recognized, there was a 3% increase in retention and 2% increase in engagement. Estimates put the cost of replacing an employee to be between 50 and 150% of salary. So, a 3% change in turnover can represent millions of dollars depending on the scale of the company. Another study by Globoforce and a Fortune 500 company found that recognition alone could create half of the engagement boost of a salary increase but at only 5% of the cost. Clearly, the financial benefit is there.

With a credit card-free trial and no new tools to learn and onboard, there’s only upside to a MahaloHR trial. Who will you say Mahalo to today?

[i] SHRM/Globoforce Fall 2012 Employee Recognition Survey


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