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Reward programmes not effective say HR

Many HR professionals don’t think their organisation's rewards and recognition programme is up to scratch, according to research from Reward Gateway

Its survey found that 84% of HR workers agreed that an effective recognition and reward programme helps drive business results, and 85% agreed it has a positive effect on employee retention.

However, almost half (45%) don’t think the recognition and reward programme currently offered by their employer is as effective as it could be.

The top frustrations cited by HR professionals were that: employees aren’t motivated by the rewards (37%), moments of recognition aren’t seen or celebrated by other people (35%), and it doesn’t allow for continuous or immediate recognition (27%).

To overcome these challenges and improve their programmes almost three-quarters (73%) said they would be likely to invest in recognition and reward within the next year.

The research also asked managers how well-equipped they felt to give effective recognition. Only 16% strongly agreed that their company provides tools and guidance on how to recognise their colleagues effectively.

This suggests manager capability is another barrier to embedding successful recognition programmes, with more than a quarter (26%) of managers agreeing that they struggle to find the time to give out thanks and praise. Additionally, just 20% of managers strongly agreed that their organisation praises or thanks employees for the good work they do based on their company’s values.

When employees were asked what they want from a rewards programme, 61% would rather work for a company where people were praised and thanked regularly for doing good work than for one that paid 10% more but offered no praise or thanks.

Speaking to HR magazine, Doug Butler, CEO at Reward Gateway, said that poor employee recognition is a common problem.

"Our research and experience tells us that insufficient employee recognition is a widespread problem, and the reasons behind it include managers not taking the time and generally not having the tools or training to give recognition effectively. This is often a reflection of their businesses and leadership not appreciating the value of strategic employee recognition and not investing in or prioritising technology or training to support these initiatives,” he said.

"We know that employees crave three things to be motivated and engaged at work: respect for what they do; purpose in what they do; and strong relationships with their colleagues, managers, and companies. Meeting these needs through effective and strategic employee recognition improves employee engagement, promotes high performance cultures and can positively affect targeted business results like employee retention, productivity and overall financial performance."

Butler added that HR professionals must persuade executives to get involved in this: "HR needs to convince leadership to lead in this area as having executive champions, especially the CEO, is a powerful driver of adoption. CEOs and leadership shouldn’t dictate their company’s culture, but they should work with HR to guide and nurture it in a way that aligns with a company’s mission and values. Having a formal recognition programme with effective training that is endorsed, utilised and communicated to all employees by leadership on a continuous basis will drive employee engagement and improve business results."

Censuswide surveyed 150 HR workers, 250 managers and 500 employees for Reward Gateway in May 2019.