Understand how recognition links to culture and how that connection drives better organizational performance.
Learn about the nuances of recognition and how they link to retention, recruitment, and all manner of key HR practice areas.
Hear more about why authenticity, embeddedness, and individualization are key parts of an effective recognition strategy.
With so much going on in the world of work, and with business leaders often distracted by other big-ticket items, it can be hard to get them to understand the importance of having a world-class recognition strategy. However, getting recognition right can drive better engagement, wellbeing, retention, and business performance — as well as saving millions every year. So it’s important HR can verbalize this argument.
Therefore, to understand more about what a good recognition strategy looks like, what pillars to build it around, and how to make the argument to leaders for investment in this area, Kate Graham, Head of Content Labs and Insights at UNLEASH, is joined by Derek Irvine
SVP, Client Strategy and Consulting at Workhuman, Mel Amphlett, HR Lead, UK&I Hotel Operations at IHG, and Helen Cantrill, Director, Total Reward at SNC-Lavalin to discuss the latest research into this important area and what tips and tricks can help HR straight away.
People must be recognized at the right level with the appropriate monetary reward — that goes a long way.
Mel Amphlett, HR Lead, UK&I Hotel Operations at IHG
Watch on-demand to:
- Hear about Workhuman’s and Gallup’s latest research into recognition and performance.
- Get the latest on what an effective recognition strategy looks like — with insights from HR leaders.
- Learn how you could save your organization $16 million by bettering retention and engagement.
Recognition can be better
According to recent Workhuman and Gallup research, only one in four employees strongly agree that they feel connected to their culture. Worryingly, only one in three feel like they belong. As UNLEASH’s Kate Graham started the webinar by saying: “It can be better.”
For this to happen, Workhuman’s Irvine told attendees that HR has to get its head around the fact that not all recognition is equal. He explained that peer-to-peer often comes out trumps as the most effective recognition tool because employees like to be noticed by those they work alongside. They also liked to be noticed often and they like to be noticed as they complete tasks successfully. However, recognition has often been hierarchical, bureaucratic, and traditional — such as employee of the month awards — which is a far way away from an instant, crowd-sourced, hyper-effective model. And although Irvine explained that traditional recognition levers have a role they often don’t benefit the bottom line and have less impact on key business metrics.
To get past this, suggested Irvine, a modern recognition strategy should be interested in frequency, visibility, and digitalization. But to get there, HR has to be able to make an argument for this way forward.
Benefits of a modern recognition strategy
As laid out during the webinar, and taken from Workhuman and Gallup’s survey of 13,000 employees, an effective recognition strategy can boost key HR and business metrics. Wellbeing is improved: 70% of employees who have good recognition experiences at work rate their lives more positively overall. Retention is also boosted: with 77% of employees who get the right recognition feeling more loyal to their employer. And turnover is boosted, too: with the research finding that an organization of 10,000 people can save $16.1million a year when recognition works well.
Irvine explained that with a recession looming, it is these kinds of numbers that should get HR thinking about the need to invest here, especially as the up-front cost is often less expensive than in other areas of investment. Furthermore, recognition is an area that has clear room for improvement. Currently, only one in five employees feel like they get the right amount, only one in three feel it is authentic, and only 10% feel like that recognition is individualized.
If HR can get ‘modern recognition’ right, Irvine explained there are countless benefits. It allows better corporate storytelling — which many in HR know is great for engagement and retention — as well as amplifying behaviors and allowing better coaching. It can also give better data to the function, drive better work-life balance, drive better developmental opportunities, and is more likely to organically boost the corporate brand. This comes alongside all manner of benefits for talent management, too.
What does recognition look like on the ground?
It’s all well and good to understand the benefits of effective recognition, and where it has been going wrong, but it’s important to model that, too. In practice, Amphlett told the webinar that at IHG they make sure that recognition isn’t given out for reaching career milestones or undertaking actions that would obviously lead to promotion but simply for embodying corporate values and being competent in a role and manner that benefits colleagues.
The hospitality giant also uses a digital recognition platform to encourage peer-to-peer recognition in a way that can be seen by a wide audience. This approach has seen recognition take off, which benefits the culture and builds its momentum, too. And, it boosts recognition equity: as recognition is centered on a digital platform it ensures that remote and hybrid workers don’t get left behind.
For Cantrill, digital recognition has also played a central role. Understanding that in a global organization not everyone will get sight of who is being recognized — or even be able to give out recognition — Cantrill explained that SNC-Lavalin moved towards a digital model to ensure that recognition is more public, benefits the culture, is more transparent, and aligns with traditional HR performance management operations.
When SNC-Lavalin rolled out, in some key areas, a new recognition strategy they halved voluntary turnover, improved recognition rates, and improved the manner and structure of their workplace culture. Importantly, they now also have recognition data which can drive further executive buy-in — something that all in the HR function know can be difficult to get.
In this way, as the speakers on the webinar showcased, making technology and data a central part of the movement towards better recognition practices can then be a reinforcing facet that can then underpin leadership buy-in towards even more effective recognition. This, as the webinar showcased, benefits employees, the business, and the leaders themselves.
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