Making Recognition Programs Successful

Understanding what factors create and sustain effective recognition programs is essential to maintaining a motivated workforce. This study sought to understand which forms of recognition work, identify the elements of a healthy program,  and what the outcomes are.


Driving performance doesn’t have to drive costs. Recognition programs can  deliver cost-effective solutions that build a profit and growth-oriented  mindset. In fact, recognition forms an important part of the talent management toolkit and has critical linkages to total rewards, engagement, the employee  value proposition, and communication.

Effective programs have measurable results: increases in engagement, performance, and retention are outcomes of successful recognition programs.  The chart on the right shows that recognition can create over a 40% increase  in engagement, even in situations where pay is substandard.¹

After studying the most effective recognition programs of 478 organizations,  we found several common factors:

  • Senior leadership buy-in and management support are the greatest enablers to successful programs.
  • Reviewing the program annually ensures that it is operating well by determining which rewards are working and if the right individuals are being recognized.
  • Costlier isn’t better; the most effective programs take advantage of non-monetary vehicles for recognition.

For more information, read the full report above.

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