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July 2017

Survey: Performance & Service Awards Most Popular Forms of Recognition

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The two most popular forms of employee recognition are Above & Beyond Performance and Service Awards, according to a new survey. Michael C. Fina Recognition, a leading rewards, recognition and incentives provider, announced the results recently from its third annual in-booth survey of more than 100 HR professionals at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) 2017 Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans. The survey respondents also reported that organizations should focus more on tying recognition into onboarding initiatives and on overall recognition program measurement.

Mirroring last year's survey results, Above & Beyond Performance and Service Awards are the most effective methods of recognition, garnering 38 percent and 21 percent of votes, respectively. In addition, more than half (52 percent) of respondents indicated they currently have a comprehensive recognition program with three to five initiatives in place.

"Service awards have always been the cornerstone to any recognition program," said Cord Himelstein, vice president of marketing and communications of Michael C. Fina Recognition. "But as the recognition space grows, we're seeing achievement-based programs like Above & Beyond becoming more and more essential."

Although 73 percent of respondents said they plan to make changes to their recognition program over the next year, 67 percent said they do not integrate employee recognition with onboarding activities. Dealing with limited budgets and/or resources was the number one challenge for HR professionals, according to nearly half of those surveyed (49 percent).

"Even with limited resources, organizations that build engagement at the beginning of an employee's tenure are more likely to have better long-term retention rates," Himelstein said.

Nearly four out of 10 survey respondents said they use employee surveys to measure their programs, but a near-equal amount said they do not measure the success of their recognition programs at all. This aligns with other industry research, as a recent WorldatWork study reported only 5 percent of recognition programs are measured for ROI.

"Measurement is an essential component of successful recognition. It is very hard to improve what you can't measure," Himelstein said.

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