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Recognition Frequency: The Disconnect Between Perception and Reality

November 1, 2012

There’s no denying the connection between return-on-investment and employee recognition. In fact, Bersin & Associates acknowledges that companies with a recognition program set in place are also experiencing 31% lower turnover compared to their coequal’s inefficient programs.
In a recent article written by David Shadovitz in the Human Resource Executive, even though this connection is prevalent, there seems to be a significant disconnect in the way senior leaders and employees are perceiving how their recognition initiatives are being carried out in their organization. According to Bersin & Associates, 80% of senior leaders believe that their employees are recognized on a monthly bases with 43% stating that their employees are recognized weekly or more. Reality? 40% of managers and only 22% of individual contributors report that their peers are recognized monthly according to the Bersin & Associates’ study.
What’s causing this disconnect?

  • “We found in our research that senior leaders themselves were recognized far more often…taking their own experiences and reflecting them.” – Stacia Sherman Garr, Bersin & Associates
  • Employees are unaware of their recognition programs: 58% of employees indicated having a recognition program in place, even though 3 out of 4 employers indicated that there was indeed a program in place.
  • Only 17% of respondents reported that their organization’s culture supports recognition. Employers need to communicate recognition objectives and the value their initiatives can bring to their organizations.

After all, the most effective recognition programs are those in which the work culture supports recognition. This is where HR professionals need to step in and “bridge this gap.”

“If you start to measure the interactions managers are having with their employees, you’ll start to see more of those interactions occur and, as a result, much less of a gap between what we think is happening and what actually is happening.” – Paul Hebert, managing director of i2i


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