Governing recognition programs is an exercise is getting the most out of your investment. In a recent article in The Conference Board Review (read the entire article as it is truly excellent), Carol Pletcher describes the problem well:
“No one, presumably, needs convincing that showing appreciation and thanks to employees is a good thing. But few top executives have taken the time to really think about recognition and make it a priority, and it shows. Studies demonstrate a strong link between recognition and enhanced financial performance, yet companies often delegate these programs to an HR staff person to run with little executive oversight. Some 90 percent of large U.S. organizations have recognition programs, but in surveys, relatively few employees say they feel recognized. The problem isn’t lack of funding, since companies spend more than you might realize on these programs—4 to 6 percent of salary per employee.
“So most likely, your recognition program is simply ineffective in its stated purpose. Worse, it’s a wasted opportunity to gather key information and ideas, and to drive home strategic thinking in the organization. For most companies, recognition is an underutilized asset, one that you can—and should—set on the right track. Your recognition programs telegraph what you value and what you want to happen; recognition is how your employees perceive what they are supposed to do. So if you’re unsure of whether your message—or strategic plan, or shift in culture—is getting through, a well-run recognition program can tell you.”
A recent article in Human Resources Executive on “A Global Response” addresses the same problem of governance on a global scale as a fundamental challenge of “gaining a clear picture of what what’s actually going on in their far flung overseas subsidiaries.” Cisco Systems’ global benefits design manager, Jeremy Hollister, put it this way: “Understanding who’s responsible for what, and how things get done, setup up that governance structure and putting in place accountability.”
Keying off just one point in Pletcher’s article – companies are already spending 4-6% of salary per employee, but they don’t always know where it’s going or if it’s being used to its full effectiveness. Globoforce’s In*form service guides companies through the process of uncovering all recognition initiatives and investments, from corporate sponsored loyalty programs to local manager efforts usually reimbursed through expense accounts.
Do you know where your recognition budget is going? What more could you do if you could consolidate globally scattered and ungoverned programs into a single, compliant platform?