Employee Recognition: Survey

As a member of the National Association for Employee Recognition I would like to share the result of the following survey concerning Employee Recognition. This report summarizes the results of a survey conducted jointly by WorldatWork and the National Association for Employee Recognition (NAER) in February 2005 to identify and track trends in employee recognition. A similar WorldatWork and NAER member survey was conducted in both September 2003 and October 2002, providing a baseline of information about recognition program types, strategies, measures, administration, communication and training. In February 2005, an updated survey instrument was sent electronically to 2,708 WorldatWork members and 599 NAER members. A total of 614 responses were received.

Read on for the highlights of the survey.

Some of the highlights of the survey are…

…The Number One Goal of Recognition Programs (Again): Create a Positive Work Environment

…‘Length of Service’ Is Most Frequently-Awarded Recognition; Above and beyond is Second

…Certificates/Plaques Is Still Top Recognition Items

…Special Events, One-On-One and Staff Meetings Are Most Common Recognition Venues

…Most Organizations Have Both Formal and Informal Recognition Programs

…Most Organizations Use Intranet or Internet for Program Communication

…Employee Satisfaction Survey Is Top Success Measure for Recognition Programs

…Most Believe Management Views Recognition as an Investment, Not an Expense

…Most Organizations Do Not have a Full-Time Position Dedicated to Recognition


Highlight detail of the survey follow:

  • Recognition remains important to organizations; 92 percent of organizations say employee recognition is occurring more often today within their organization versus 12 months ago.
  • Nearly half of all respondents (48 percent), regardless of whether they have employee
  • recognition programs in place, are considering adding new recognition programs in the next 12 months.
  • Sixty percent of organizations with an employee recognition program have a written program strategy.
  • The established objectives/goals of recognition programs have not changed much since the 2003 survey: “Creating a positive work environment” remains the most common goal at 81 percent of organizations. Motivating high performance, reinforcing desired behavior and creating a culture of recognition continue to drive recognition programs.
  • Seventy-six percent of respondents believe their recognition programs are meeting outlined objectives and goals.
  • Employee satisfaction surveys (used by 45 percent) are still the most common way
  • organizations gauge the success of recognition programs, but participation rates and the number of employee recognition nominations received also are increasingly used as measures.
  • Length of service programs continue to be the most common type of recognition program offered (89 percent of organizations), with 87 percent of those companies having offered the program for more than five years.
  • Almost seven in 10 organizations (69 percent) report they have a specific budget for recognition programs.
  • The human resources department has primary responsibility for recognition program administration in the majority of organizations (57 percent).
  • Fifty-five percent of respondents believe that senior management views recognition programs as an investment, while 13 percent think management views it as an expense.
  • Only 23 percent of respondents say that a formal training program for recognition programs exists within their organizations. Among the organizations that do have formal training, 69 percent rely on in-person training sessions.