Employee Recognition Program Use Declines

May 11, 2011 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - A survey released by WorldatWork shows 86% of companies use recognition programs as part of their rewards tool kit, down from 89% in 2008. 

Fourteen percent of companies reported not having any recognition programs in place, and 10% reported eliminating some recognition offerings in the12 months prior to the survey.  

According to a press release, 78% of respondents report they set aside an annual budget for their recognition programs; the average budget was 2% of the payroll budget, down from 2.7% in 2008. More than half (52%) of respondents believe senior management views recognition as an investment rather than expense, and 11% of organizations measure the return on investment (ROI) on their recognition programs.  

The survey indicated the top three recognition programs are length of service (90%), above and beyond performance (79%), and peer-to-peer (43%). Top tangible recognition awards presented to employees include certificates and/or plaques (77%), cash (62%), and gift certificates (47%).  

The announcement said programs to motivate specific behaviors climbed in usage by nine percentage points to 34% since 2008. The most common objectives for having recognition programs include recognize years of service (76%), create a positive work environment (74%), and motivate high performance (71%).