Make engagement through recognition your top priority: join over 50% of HR pros

The Power Of Employee EngagementWith staff engagement being top of the list for HR professionals as the most important issue to address, is it about time to turned your eye to recognition programmes that drive engagement?

More than half (56%) of HR professionals see engagement as the top priority for their department, according to recent research. The CEB Global Assessment Trends Report is based on a survey of more than 1,400 HR professionals worldwide.

Employee Engagement WhitepaperHigh levels of employee engagement are crucial if businesses want to make the most of the economic recovery to grow.
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Recognition is underutilised

Recognition is one of the key tools in any business to help improving employee engagement but, according to a recent audit conducted by P&MM, many recognition schemes are due for a review.

The audit of 30,857 employees across insurance, financial services and manufacturing sectors, highlights that 63% of the UK’s workforce were recognised at least once in the past 12 months, when a formal scheme is in place. This recognition typically fell into one of three categories:  a non-monetary ‘thank you’ (30% of staff received this type of recognition); a low level monetary award (58%); and a high level monetary award (12%).

However almost 4 out of 10 staff are not getting any recognition at all. This opens up the possibility of poor performance, high staff churn, and low employee engagement levels.


What can you do to improve your recognition scheme?


Consult with employees

Take the time to review your current recognition scheme, so you can maximise and improve its performance. Consult with your employees through questionnaires, meetings and feedback sessions, so that you can understand the key drivers of behaviour, and what rewards would have the greatest positive impact on motivation. Ask them how they would improve your existing scheme both in terms of the rewards, communication, nominations and processes.


Involve other departments

The HR department, who are experienced in managing such schemes, traditionally manages such programmes. However, involving other departments such as marketing can really boost your scheme, especially when it comes to elements such as the on-going communication and promotion. They can help develop a comprehensive on-going communication plan, as well as publicise those who have received rewards.


Set clear guidelines

Clearly defining the reward criteria requires a lot of thought, but it’s crucial that this is considered at the very start of your recognition programme. It is also important that you understand the behaviour or performance that you’re seeking to recognise. The criteria you set should be explicit enough that employees know what they must do to earn such recognition. Ultimately you need to be able to both clearly answer and communicate the question, “what must an employee do to receive an award?


Use peer-to-peer recognition

Peer To Peer RecognitionPeer-to-peer recognition is, in my opinion, the most powerful form of employee recognition. And when you add in technology such as mobile apps, internal social media and 24-hour access, it becomes even more powerful. Modern technology makes it really easy for co-workers to say thank you to each other, and that in turn adds more value to the recognition, and drives the behaviour you’re looking to achieve. Employees also become inspired to ‘pay it forward’, and this results in better working relationship and a positive working environment.


A little appreciation can go a long way, as the facts show us. Businesses that link recognition programmes to their company values, utilise peer-to-peer recognition rather than top down recognition, and invest approximately 1-2% of their payroll budget into recognition, can see increases in retention, enablement, engagement, and even financial results (according to a Globoforce study). Perhaps it’s now time to review your recognition scheme?


See how other organisations run their recognition schemes

Recognition Video Case Studies

Aviva, Virgin Media and Siemens recognition videos 



John Sylvester

John is responsible for the motivation division of p&mm ltd and a Director on the board of the IPM. Specialising in developing, implementing and directing many large scale staff motivation, recognition and employee communications programmes.
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