How do you know Your Employee Recognition Program is Accomplishing Anything?

executives shaking handsPerhaps the only tangible part of an employee recognition program is the awards themselves. Whether you give your team engraved awards for top sales, plates on perpetual plaques for employee of the month, or desk accessories like engraved pens for accomplished goals, you might find it hard to quantify exactly what all those awards and recognition gifts are accomplishing. Are we shelling out part of our budget to give what is essentially participation ribbons? Or are we improving QOL, productivity, and the general vibe at the office?

The good news is, there’s a ton of research on this subject, because keeping employees and keeping employees happy can have big effects on your company’s bottom line. We’re talking cost of turnover, cost of training, extra HR procedures, possible layoffs. So even though it might seem like the actual corporate awards are all you can see of your employee recognition program, you really can quantify the benefits – it’s worth it!

Numbers Don’t Lie – Employees Recognized with Awards Work Harder

Studies show that you can expect around an 11% increase in each employee’s productivity if you maintain a quality employee recognition program. Overall employee engagement and performance increases 15% in companies who start recognizing their employees with corporate gifts and awards. In fact, if companies took their recognition schedule and doubled the number of recognition award events, they might see a productivity increase of nearly 25%. Over two-thirds of employees also reported that they’d work harder if they felt it mattered – that’s a pretty big majority of your office.

40% of surveyed American workers report they’d work harder if they felt recognized for their efforts. And productivity in those workplaces where employees are content? A whopping 31% more than companies where employees aren’t engaged or satisfied. Over 80% of surveyed corporate HR departments reported that regular recognition rewards have a positive impact on how their company runs, and also that these programs help instill company values. Overall, more productivity means more success means a positive trajectory for your company.

Corporate Gifts Make Employees More Likely to Stay Longer

So if a good recognition program causes employees to become better engaged and work harder, does it also make them more likely to get tenure at your company? Studies say, not if your recognition program is tenure or years-of-service based. So stay away from those and instead choose to reward behaviors that reflect the workplace culture and ethic you strive towards. But if you really invest in crafting and maintaining a quality program, you’ll see a drastic drop in employee turnover.

Feeling unrecognized is the number one reason people leave their jobs. After all, why stay if your manager can’t even remember your name? You could do this job at any other company and have the same life, or better… If your employees feel like this, they’re likely not happy or engaged – which also means they’re likely not loyal. Studies show that organizations that have effective recognition programs in place see a 31% drop in employees who voluntarily leave, which is probably why over 90% of HR reps say recognition award programs make employees more likely to stay. An employee who’s just been given a corporate gift or award is over 60% more likely to stay at their job for the next 1 to 2 quarters. Think about it – you implement a recognition program that rewards your employees once every 3 months, you’re maximizing and sustaining their loyalty and satisfaction at your company. Happy employees don’t leave. Which means all that time and money you dump into replacing an employee who’s left is now freed up for better use.

Spending Capital on Your Human Capital Makes You More Money

Studies show that with an investment as small as 1% of payroll in professional gifts and awards for your employees, 85% of the time you’ll notice a marked increase in employee engagement. And as far as attracting talent and keeping talent, recognition award programs are a big attraction for job-seekers. Since 44% of employees leave their jobs specifically because they don’t feel recognized, corporate gifts and awards are only going to help your bottom line; it can cost you up to twice a lost employee’s salary to replace them. The other thing that’ll cost you money, productivity and quality in the long run is failing to retain your top performers. We know the one or two MVPs that the office couldn’t succeed without. If you’re failing to recognize them, if given the opportunity, they’ll likely go somewhere that will.

And we get it, the vast majority of upper management isn’t going to give you a budget increase for something like employee awards and gifts. But the investment you’re making is something bigger than money, and with the right corporate gifts and awards vendor, you can tailor a recognition program best for your team. For just a little bite out of your budget, implementing and maintaining a good employee recognition program will get you happier, harder-working employees who produce more and stay longer. Totally worth the money, if you ask us.