Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes
Did you know that Years of Service is the number one type of recognition organizations have in place?
Yet, employees are no longer staying at companies for 30 plus years. Gone are the days of our forefathers when employees would get one job and stay there for their entire careers.
Now, employees regularly change jobs due to poor management, better benefits, more pay, flexible hours, and other personal or career opportunities. According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, the average person holds 12 to 15 jobs in their lifetime and that number is only projected to grow.
And with the demand for qualified employees thriving, who can blame them?
The Decline of Tenure Recognition
With this transition from having a career at one company for practically a lifetime to employees “job hopping,” the most popular form of recognition (Years of Service) starts to lose its effectiveness. Employees won’t be there long enough to earn a 5 or 10 years of service award, much less a 50 years of service trophy.
And yet, employees still want recognition.
When asked what leaders could do more of to improve engagement, 58% of respondents replied “give recognition.”
Furthermore, as discussed in a previous blog, employees don’t just want recognition, they need it. Employees start to disengage when they don’t feel valued – even if it’s in the first year of working with a company.
So, employers must look at making a change to meet the needs of their least recognized target audience – their employees.
Looking Beyond Years of Service Recognition
Recognition increases a sense of belonging, value, engagement, and much more. Thus, waiting 5 plus years to recognize employees is no longer an option because you must engage and recognize employees while they are still at your company to help retain them.
If you wait until the Years of Service threshold, most of your employees will likely already be gone. Versus, if you recognized your employees for more than longevity, if you recognized employees based on what matters to them, then your employees are more likely to stay.
Employee Recognition Trend: Performance-Based Recognition
Noted MIT professor Dan Ariely stated, “Ignoring the performance of people is almost as bad as shredding their effort before their eyes.”
Employees spend the majority of their time and effort at work, so when companies ignore performance, employees start to feel unvalued and disengaged.
Furthermore, according to Michael C. Fina, when asked which recognition initiative has the biggest impact on employee engagement, HR pros cited: performance awards (33%), anniversary awards (20%), and personal notes (10%).
Since employees are more likely to stay with a company that regularly recognizes them, you must recognize them while they are there, based on what matters – performance.
When you reward employees based on their performance, they see that you are recognizing them for their hard work, dedication, and good work.
It all comes down to what motivates employees.
Have you ever worked for a company that recognizes your performance? Recognizing you for your hard work and achievements, which meant from a thank you and a pat on the back to sometimes earning a trophy and other prizes?
And have you ever worked for a company where you would work your butt off but despite your hard work, you were lucky if you received a “good job” or recognition for working overtime to get that big project finished on time.
A stark difference, right?
As you can see, being recognized for performance is what engages, retains, and motivates employees. Just like how it likely did for you – you felt valued. That’s what all employees want – to feel respected, valued, and recognized.
Hence why performance-based recognition is not just growing, but rapidly gaining traction among companies and HR departments.
Why is it gaining popularity so quickly? It not only motivates, engages, and retains employees, but it’s only recognizing for a job well done – the classic psychology of positive reinforcement.
Performance-Based Recognition: The Facts
We all know that employee recognition is effective (if not, then read this blog), but what about performance-based recognition?
Here are some stats via various surveys and studies.
- 89% of employees believe performance-based recognition increases engagement.
- Employees with performance recognition programs are 2x’s more likely to recommend their organization as a great place to work.
- 87% of employees are more committed to stay with an organization that recognizes their performance.
- 85% of employees feel that recognizing employees for performance makes them feel more valued and appreciated.
- 80% of employees said they were motivated to work harder and stay at their jobs when they received appreciation at their work.
- 88% of employees agree it’s important that employers reward employees for great work.
- Organizations with strategic recognition programs in place exhibit 28.6% lower frustration levels than companies without recognition programs.
- 38% of employees want to receive awards in exchange for good work.
Therefore, although there’s no doubt that tenure is something to celebrate, it shouldn’t be the only thing that should be celebrated about the employee. Can you imagine going a full year, or 5+ years, without receiving any type of recognition? That’s what you do when you focus only on Years of Service.
Learn more about other ways to recognize employees outside of just Years of Service by checking out these blogs:
- Tell Us Your Story
- Aligning Company Culture with Your Brand
- Personal & Professional Gift Ideas to Celebrate Accomplishments
- Onboarding 101: A Guide to Starting an Onboarding Program
Kristina Hublar is your friendly neighborhood Marketing Specialist at Bruce Fox, Inc., which means she is the person behind the keyboard for the social media, emails, website, and other marketing efforts. In her spare time, you’ll find her plotting her next road trip, bobbing along to music while crafting, spending time with loved ones, or with her nose in a book.