Ninety-seven per cent of organizations in a Conference Board of Canada survey have an employee rewards and recognition program in place. Yet, fewer than half of the survey respondents believe their employees are satisfied with the organization’s rewards and recognition practices.
This Conference Board of Canada study, Making it Meaningful: Recognizing and Rewarding Employees in Canadian Organizations, found that the average annual amount spent on recognition is $175 per employee. Public sector organizations average $123 in expenditure per employee; those in the private sector spend $208 on average.
The survey was completed by 166 primarily medium- and large-sized organizations across Canada. Respondents represent a cross-section of public and private sector organizations and include all major industry categories.
“Recognition from a manager carries meaning and motivation for employees, whether or not it is accompanied by a reward,” said Karla Thorpe, Associate Director, Compensation and Industrial Relations. “Organizations should keep in mind that recognition is personal, in that what motivates one employee is different from what motivates another.”
“Organizations that take into account the preferences of their employees will see a greater impact from their investment in rewards and recognition programs.”
Responding organizations spend, on average, 0.26 per cent of base pay on rewards and recognition programs. This level of expenditure indicates that maximizing the investment should be top of mind for managers of these programs.
Rewards and recognition programs can be used to increase employee engagement and to create a positive work environment. However, organizations often struggle with how to effectively use their rewards and recognition program to connect with employees.
The most prevalent type of recognition program among survey respondents is long-service recognition, with almost all organizations rewarding employees for their tenure with the organization. The most common types of reward given to these employees include gifts, pins, and plaques. Almost half (45 per cent) of recognition spending goes to long-service recognition.
Some of the main challenges in managing rewards and recognition programs include:
- Getting employees and managers to actively participate in their programs;
- Ensuring employees are being rewarded and recognized fairly and consistently;
- Making the business case—finding the budget, showing a return on investment; and
- Administrating and communicating the program.
The full report, Making it Meaningful: Recognizing and Rewarding Employees in Canadian Organizations, is available to subscribers at www.e-library.ca.