In a survey examining employee recognition programs and their return on investment (ROI), nearly two-thirds of HR professionals said employee engagement is a "very important" challenge that their organization is currently facing. Organizations that have employee recognition programs in place were more likely to indicate that employees are rewarded according to their job performance (64%) and that managers effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees (55%).

The survey by SHRM polled nearly 800 HR pros at organizations with 500 or more employees. Other key findings:

  • More than one-half believe that employee retention (57%) and effective performance management (51%) are "very important" challenges. Other workforce management challenges identified as "very important" were employee recruitment (49%) and managing the organization's corporate culture (45%).
  • Fewer than half (42%) of organizations track employee engagement levels. Common methods organizations use to track employee engagement are vendor-administered surveys (66%), employee exit interviews (65%) and employee retention rates (60%).
  • Organizations that track employee engagement levels are more likely to respond "yes" when asked if employees at their organizations are rewarded according to their job performance, Organizations that track employee engagement are also more likely to indicate that managers or supervisors at their organizations effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees, and that employees at their organizations are satisfied with the level of recognition they receive for doing a good job at work.
  • Approximately three-quarters of organizations (76%) have an employee recognition program in place, and another 5% say they plan to implement a program within the next 12 months. More than three-quarters (76%) of organizations with an employee recognition program in place say they "agree" or "strongly agree" that their employee recognition program is aligned with their organization's overall company values.
  • Organizations that track employee recognition are more likely to respond "yes" when asked if employees at their organization are rewarded according to their job performance. Organizations that track employee recognition are also more likely to indicate that managers or supervisors at their organizations effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees, and that employees at their organizations are satisfied with the level of recognition they receive for doing a good job at work.
  • Few organizations (15%) track the ROI of their employee engagement program. Organizations that do track ROI commonly use employee retention levels (74%), overall financial results (61%) and employee productivity levels (60%).

Complete survey results