Surprise! Survey Shows How Employee Recognition Landscape is Changing

The fifth research report in an annual partnership between SHRM and Globoforce (the 2015 Employee Recognition Survey) was published this week. And, interestingly, there is a surprise.

It’s that retention/turnover is the top challenge reported by nearly 1,000 SHRM members. This is a surprise top challenge compared to the last two years – and it makes sense.

With the economy and hiring improving, businesses are wise to become concerned that the “grass is greener” syndrome may take hold of their very best employees — the employees who are super marketable as job opening grow.

(In full disclosure mode, I should mention that I am the former Chief Operating Officer of SHRM and am currently Chair of Globoforce’s WorkHuman advisory board.)

Engagement is dropping – and a top challenge

In 2013 and 2012, the SHRM/Globoforce surveys identified employee engagement and succession planning as the top HR concerns. Perhaps the fact that retention/turnover are the top concerns is fueling the fear of escalating talent wars due to economic growth, demographic shifts, globalization and a workforce that believes they can have it all: meaningful work, career growth, leaders they trust, equitable pay, and appreciation for their efforts.

The concern is that employee engagement is down, with 47 percent of respondents citing it as a top challenge compared to 39 percent in 2014.

That’s a big delta, and potentially, a big deal.

globoforceshrm-june-23-2015

Recognition adds to the bottom line

The other surprise for me in the survey results is the data-backed understanding that values-based employee recognition is seen as contributing significantly to bottom-line organizational metrics. This is surprising for two reasons:

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  1. The culture conversation is becoming rooted in values; and,
  2. HR organizations are using data to create business cases for culture/values as a quantifiable business imperative.

The strength of values-based recognition behaviors and programs is growing, as you can see here:

  1. globoforceshrm-2-june-23-2015

 

Tying employee recognition to organization values seems a no-brainer and the data are proliferating that building employee programs and leadership behaviors on foundations of values-based culture are not only winning the war for talent, they are winning the competitive wars for revenue and growth, innovation, collaboration, and profitability.

The report is a fairly quick read and if you’re interested in learning about how recognition, values and culture are impacting the workforce today, the nearly 1,0000 SHRM members who took the survey have interesting insights to share.

This originally appeared on China Gorman’s blog at ChinaGorman.com.

China Gorman is a successful global business executive in the competitive Human Capital Management (HCM) sector. She is a sought-after consultant, speaker and writer bringing the CEO perspective to the challenges of building cultures of humanity for top performance and innovation, and strengthening the business impact of Human Resources.

Well known for her tenure as CEO of the Great Place to Work Institute, COO and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, China works with HCM organizations all over the world to enhance their brands and their go-to-market strategies. Additionally, she serves on the Executive Committee of the Board of Jobs for America’s Graduates as well as the Advisory Boards of Elevated Careers, the Workforce Institute at Kronos, and WorldBlu. Addtionally, she chairs the Globoforce WorkHuman Advisory Board and the Universum North America Board. China is the author of the popular blog Data Point Tuesday, and is published and frequently quoted in media properties like Fortune, TLNT, Huffington Post, Inc., Fast Company, U.S. News & World Report and many others.

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