A recent study discovered that more than half of the US workforce does not feel meaningfully rewarded and recognized by their organization’s currently offered programs. 

This make sense.

In our upcoming training tele-summit, entitled Engagement, Retention & Growth: 10 Strategic Solutions for Corporate Expansion and Retention we will be exploring engagement and what activities effect it.

Here is some additional information I found interesting and in alignment with our values work.

According to a recent motivation solutions study, companies can improve the effectiveness of the reward and recognition programs they invest in by focusing on participant values. While businesses have spent more on employee reward and recognition programs in recent years to attract top talent and retain good employees, only 45.3 percent of employees feel meaningfully rewarded and recognized by those programs.

Does this mean that paying people more does not produce bliss?  It seems so. Dan Pink would probably agree, too.

Michelle Pkorney, solutions vice president at Maritz Motivation Solutions would also agree. According to Pkorney, “Businesses tend to create employee programs in a vacuum, adopting a one-size-fits-all approach. However, to truly engage employees, businesses need to understand what drives and motivates individuals, and then design a program to fit those needs.”

At TIGERS Success Series, we have been saying for some time that people pay more attention to things that align with their values. This means that understanding the predominant values of your people is a great place to start in making any rewards and recognition program more more relevant.

The recent study designed by Maritz was created to help employers understand employee values, attitudes, intentions, and reward and recognition preferences. They wanted to know:

  • How the individual, their manager and the organization impact motivation
  • The impact of an organization’s organizational climate (e.g. culture of recognition, celebration atmosphere)
  • How manager support impacts motivation
  • The relationship between employees’ perceptions of the organization’s values and their own personal values
  • The impact of performance-based reward systems on motivation

The national study indicated a relationship between how effectively employees felt rewarded and recognized, and several factors that can be improved with good program design. These factors include leadership support, reward and recognition efforts of direct managers, appropriate reward options and communications, support of personal goals, alignment with company strategy, reinforcement of consumer-focused actions, and alignment with corporate culture and values.

The study also indicated a relationship between feeling meaningfully recognized and levels of engagement. For example, of employees who stated they were not meaningfully recognized:

  • 80.4 percent did not agree with the statement, “Overall, I am completely satisfied with my job.”
  • 58.3 percent did not agree with the statement, “I feel motivated to go beyond my formal job responsibilities to get the job done.”
  • 71.4% of those not meaningfully recognized did not agree, “I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with my company.”

To engage employees in a manner that is meaningful and motivating requires an understanding of our innate human drives and what people value and view as important. In all cases, leaders  have to consider that employees are people first.

To identify opportunities for creating better employee programs, the study focused on distinguishing the specific drives and values of employees relating to reward and recognition programs. Four distinct employee value segments emerged – Altruists, Drivers, Pioneers and Stabilizers.

Each segment possesses values unique to their particular segment, specifically about how they work, how they prefer to be rewarded and recognized, and how to effectively communicate to them.

“Values work as a powerful filter for what we pay attention to, so understanding the predominant values in an organization is hugely important to breaking through the overload of information and reaching people. With these specific employee value segments, companies can better understand and respond to the uniqueness of employees, as well as their different needs in employee programs,” added Jennifer Kallery, division vice president for Insight Services. “Overall, greater understanding will help companies design more effective and efficient reward and recognition programs, leading to happier, more engaged employees who deliver on the brand promise.”

By understanding the values held by each of these employee segments, companies can develop approaches that take into account the wants, needs and motivators for specific employee groups. This knowledge can help companies tailor communications, rules, rewards and recognition to meaningfully engage more employees in achieving the company’s mission and goals.

How the study was conducted.

The Maritz Motivation Solutions study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. employees across several industry sectors including financial services, technology, telecommunications, hospitality, retail, pharmaceutical and health care. Respondents included part-time and full-time employees, and explored potential differences for remote employees.

Copyright TIGERS Success Series

By Dianne Crampton

Image by Istock

About Dianne Crampton

Dianne Crampton, M. A. and Founder of TIGERS Success Series helps committed leaders build cooperative work environments and teams of committed and engaged employees.

She accomplishes this using her proprietary TIGERS® team culture process, which stands for trust, interdependence, genuineness, empathy, risk and success. TIGERS® serves merging organizations, organizations undergoing culture change and founding leadership teams with the com­mitment to be recognized as one of the best companies to work for.

Dianne also licenses and certifies internal and external team development consultants in the use of TIGERS proprietary resources to augment their existing programs. One of the tools she developed for catalyzing change and improving team dynamics earned a nomination by Merrill Lynch for Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.

A thought leader in the team culture movement, Dianne’s work has been published by Berrett-Koehler, Pfeiffer and Three Creeks Publishing. An educator at heart, she has served Costco, Boeing, AT&T, Northrop Grumman and many others for over 23 years.