Archive

The Recognition and Performance Link

Janet Wiscombe

22 March 2002

Many people in HR dismiss awards and incentives programs as “feel good”activities. But evidence suggests there is a strong link between non-cash awardsand incentives and improved job performance, says employee-recognition expertand best-selling author Bob Nelson.


Nelson’s study, conducted from September of 1999 to June of 2000, is basedon responses from managers and their employees in 34 organizations ranging from Universal Studios to the U.S. Postal Service.


He says that several performance-related variables were found to have broad support from managers in the study, the majority of whom agreed or stronglyagreed with the following items (listed with percentage of agreement):

  • Recognizing employees helps me better motivate them. (90.5 percent)

  • Providing non-monetary recognition to my employees when they do good workhelps to increase their performance. (84.4 percent)

  • Recognizing employees provides them with practical feedback. (84.4percent)

  • Recognizing my employees for good work makes it easier to get the workdone. (80.3 percent)

  • Recognizing employees helps them to be more productive. (77.7 percent)

  • Providing non-monetary recognition helps me to achieve my personal goals.(69.3 percent)

  • Providing non-monetary recognition helps me to achieve my job goals.(60.3 percent)

Nelson also found that 72.9 percent of managers reported that they receivedthe results they expected when they used non-monetary recognition eitherimmediately or soon thereafter, and 98.8 percent said they thought theyeventually would obtain the desired results.


Of the 598 employees who reported to the managers in the study, 77.6 percentsaid that it was very or extremely important to be recognized by their managerwhen they do good work. Employees expected recognition to occur: immediately (20percent), soon thereafter (52.9 percent), or sometime later (18.8 percent).


“If you look at companies employees love to work for, you’ll find thatthey recognize their people and tell them they’re doing a great job,” saysNelson, whose books include the best-selling 1,001 Ways to Reward Employees(Workman Publishing, 1994) and, most recently, Please Don’t Just Do What ITell You! (Hyperion, 2001). “Non-cash awards and incentives lower stress,absenteeism, and turnover, and raise morale, productivity, competitiveness,revenue, and profit.”


Nelson’s mantra: “You get what you reward.”


Workforce, April 2002, p. 44Subscribe Now!

Written by Janet Wiscombe

About Workforce.com

blog workforce

We build robust scheduling & attendance software for businesses with 500+ frontline workers. With custom BI reporting and demand-driven scheduling, we help our customers reduce labor spend and increase profitability across their business. It's as simple as that.

Book a call
See the software

Related Articles

workforce blog

Technology

Data and WFM Technology: The Essentials of Leading a Successful Team

Anticipating changes is part of running a business, and the past year has magnified how important that ...

workforce blog

Compliance

Salt Bae Sued: Rethinking Time & Attendance for Salaried Employees

Summary Former cooks at Salt Bae’s New York steakhouse sue for unpaid overtime Fair Labor Standards Act...

Fair Labor Standards Act, labor law compliance, salaried workers, time and attendance

workforce blog

Technology

The pros and cons of biometric time clocks

You arrive for work, walk up to the door and look into the scanner. Infra-red light maps the unique pat...

HR technology, human resources

Read the Workforce.com magazine

workforce magazine