Values-Based Recognition – It’s All in the Design

By now you probably know how important it is to recognize your employees in a meaningful way and it’s no secret that many of the world’s most successful companies have implemented employee recognition programs. But truly successful employee recognition programs take it a step further.

There are two main types of employee recognition programs – non-value-based recognition programs and value-based recognition programs.  Ok, let’s break here for a second before we wear out the keyboard and just call them ERP’s from now on.  

Not surprisingly, non-values-based ERP’s are those not associated with values.  Many tend to involve cost cutting measures or one-off recognition such as birthdays and work-aversaries.  Now, we’re not saying that these aren’t important events and milestones to recognize, but does it go far enough?  Probably not.

Conversely, by asking what behaviors you’re looking to reinforce and what objectives you’re looking to achieve and then using rewards and recognition to fortify value-based performance, companies are finding their ERP’s to be more beneficial overall.  Companies that have mastered the ERP build upon their stated core values.

In 2018, a study conducted by the SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey, found that values-based ERP’s tended to be followed and adopted more successfully – 70% in fact.   The same survey found that values-based programs were twice as likely to focus on driving business goals, 33% more likely to empower employees and 29% more likely to focus on creating a positive employer brand, which helped to attract better talent and increase employee happiness.

Another study conducted in 2018 showed that HR professionals were 1.5 times more likely to rate values-based employee programs as “good” or “great,” while programs not connected to company values were twice as likely rated as “fair” and six times as likely to be rated as “poor.”

Companies with a values-based ERP see greater employee happiness, engagement and retention, all of which directly contribute to a company’s overall success.

Why is this?

As today’s workforce continues to transform, an increasing number of employees want to see company values in action, not just written in a handbook.  Employees feel more connected and loyal to their employer when their values are aligned.  Today’s employees want to feel like they are part of a company, not just a workforce.  They want to be recognized and rewarded for their actions that contribute to the overall success of a company, not just a birthday.

Values-based ERP’s help to clearly define a company’s core values in a way that employees can translate into specific behaviors and make clear the daily tasks that they can do to support those core values daily, resulting in rewards and recognition for a job well done.  It reduces the risk that some employees feel rewards and recognitions are imbalanced or unfair.  It helps to level the playing field and set the right expectations.

So, what does a values-based ERP look like?

Let’s say one of your company’s core values is to “provide exceptional customer service.”  You can reinforce and encourage the behavior required to provide such service by offering incentives, recognition and rewards to those employees who go above and beyond for your clients and achieve extraordinary results.  Your employees will have something tangible to work toward, knowing that their hard work is contributing to the purpose and values of the organization, resulting in greater employee engagement, loyalty and happiness.

Here’s another example.  Let’s say one of your core values is to support the community in which your employees work, live and play.  Consider recognizing and rewarding employees who contribute their time through volunteer hours, community support or participation in community events.

In conclusion, it’s important to remember that a values-based employee recognition program will forever be changing.  It’s not as simple as stating your core values and walking away.  Employee recognition and rewards can be both short-term and long-term.  Think outside the box.   However, all successful values-based employee recognition programs do have one thing in common – the employees. Always remember they are the most valuable asset you have to achieving your company goals.  By putting them first and foremost, they’ll do the same for you.

So, what are you waiting for? Go out there and “build-it.”


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