Employee recognition programmes becoming 'stale and disconnected'

Employee recognition programmes are becoming outdated and disconnected, according to rewards provider O.C Tanner.

In its annual Global Culture Report, 45% of employees said they felt their recognition programme was stale and disconnected from what is important to their organisation.

The main reason cited was that the programmes do not change with the times - 43% of employees said the technology used for recognition at work feels outdated.

Almost half (49%) also said the programmes are used as compensation rather than recognition.

Quoted in the report Karen Ackerman, vice president of HR at Centra Health, said: “There is now the expectation that we appreciate great work.

“Appreciation has become a part of who we are. People use that word and talk about it. It’s part of the heartbeat of our organisation and it provides all of us hope when we see the good things people are doing across the organisation.”

As companies plan their pandemic recovery, reward and recognition has been found to be crucial to reengaging and retaining the workforce.

A separate study by Hossam Zeitoun and Paolo Pamini found that such programmes are a contributing factor to maintaining employee trust and weathering a recession.

O.C Tanner stated that employee recognition exists to help people feel more attached to peers, work and their organisation, especially key in challenging and uncertain circumstances.

Its report recommended that employers apply more modern technologies to update the recognition process - expediting it and making it easier for employees to use the schemes.

It also suggested that technology is a good way for accomplishments to be shared throughout an organisation.

Quoted in the report, Brian Kropp VP of the HR practice at global research and advisory firm Gartner, said: “Employees can do their banking on their phone, they can buy a car on their phone, they can get directions on their phone.

“But when they come to work, they often have to step back in time in terms of the dated technologies they’re asked to use.

"You don’t want your technology getting in the way of people’s ability to recognise one another.”

Further reading:

Lack of recognition is biggest barrier to engagement for UK workers

Reward programmes not effective say HR

Webinar: Should recognition be a strategic activity?