infographic: how to avoid employee recognition purgatory

LinkedIn Pinterest Google Plus

provided by:

Recognizing employees can be great for increasing employee engagement, attracting and retaining talent, and improving workplace culture.

But employee recognition can also go very, very wrong. Read ahead for the critical components of the optimal recognition experience (based on research!).

Employees should be recognized for:

  • Ongoing effort – at least once a week
  • Results (big wins and project completions) – at least once a quarter
  • Career achievements (recognition for years of service) – starting at year 1, year 3, and then every 5 years

Globally, companies have programs to recognize

  • Years of Service (76%)
  • Above and beyond results (72%)
  • Ongoing effort (65%)

When organizations offer all three types of recognition (rather than one or two) they see 30% more ROI from their recognition programs.


Only 38% of companies offer all 3 types of employee recognition.

Having a more holistic recognition approach (including all three types) boosts results in many other areas:


Difference between One Program and Three
Pride in the company + 44%
Retention + 28%
Meaningful work + 39%
Improved work quality + 35%
Increased collaboration + 34%
improved health and wellbeing + 28%


Most effective awards:

Years of Service

Symbolic awards + treats/meal out provided “excellent” value 72% of the time  (compared to cash only which provided “excellent value” 55% of the time)

Ongoing Effort

Gift cards and merchandise were most impactful

Rewarding Results

Personalized awards offered excellent value 59% of the time (compared to cash only 46% of the time)


Experience matters.

The most common vehicle for giving recognition globally is:

Verbally in a meeting or gathering of colleagues (60%)

Verbally one on one with giver (54%)

Electronically via email (49%)

Electronically through a formal recognition tool (44%)

The best recognition experiences are not transactional. There is a personal, human element. In-person interaction, a symbolic award during a celebration, and recognition for a variety of accomplishments, is the combination that makes for the most optimal, impactful recognition experience.

For additional findings and more information on the research, read our whitepaper.

Comments (1)

I completed the form to download the white paper and at the end I got a message saying the document is not available. Can you pls. email it to me? Thx

September 13, 2017   |   Reply
Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *