SHRM/Globoforce Survey Reveals Positive Employee Experience Critical to Employee Retention

Organizations that dedicate 1 percent or more of payroll to values-based rewards and recognition are more likely to perceive greater impacts on financial outcomes

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. & DUBLIN--()--Some HR leaders are questioning the accuracy of old human capital management processes such as performance management according to the 2016 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey. The survey also reveals recognition programs tied to organizational values are perceived to outperform other programs when it comes to delivering a return on investment, reinforcing corporate values, and maintaining a strong employer brand. The survey results were announced by Globoforce®, a leading provider of social recognition solutions, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management.

The survey shows that 46 percent of organizations cite employee retention as a top workforce management challenge. More than one-third (36 percent) of the organizations surveyed see employee engagement as another top challenge, one closely related to turnover.

To download the Globoforce report, click here.

The survey of 798 HR leaders also found that traditional performance management practices may be failing to properly measure employees’ work in many organizations. 40 percent surveyed said they do not think performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of employees’ work. Another 19 percent said they’re “not sure” if their reviews are accurate.

As HR professionals look to bring more humanity into the performance management process, they can leverage employee recognition programs to create coaching cultures within their organizations.

Key insights and findings from the report include:

Retention, employee engagement and recruitment remain top challenges.

For the second year in a row, employee retention/turnover topped the list of workforce management challenges. Previously, workers may have tolerated a less than satisfactory work experience for the sake of job security. In today’s job market, more power is in the hands of job seekers. Workers have more confidence and options to explore better opportunities outside of their organization.

Organizations that dedicate 1 percent or more of payroll to values-based recognition programs are more likely to perceive a strong return on investment, instill and reinforce corporate values, and maintain a strong employer brand.

The survey found that in 2016, 60 percent of organizations had a values-based recognition program, up from 50 percent in 2012. Conversely, the number of organizations with recognition programs not tied to values was down to 21 percent in 2016, compared to 27 percent in 2012.

  • HR leaders at organizations that dedicate 1 percent or more of payroll to recognition programs are nearly three times more likely to rate their program as excellent (26 percent), versus companies that spend less than 1 percent (9 percent). In contrast, companies that spend no budget on recognition are five times more likely to rate their program as poor by HR.
  • HR leaders with values-based recognition programs with a budget of 1 percent or more of payroll are 3.5 times more likely to say their program helps HR professionals attract new job candidates. They are also nearly two times as likely to perceive it delivers a strong return on investment (88 percent versus 48 percent), and two times more likely to help retain employees (88 percent versus 44 percent).

As organizations strive to create positive employee experiences, HR leaders should encourage continuous conversations to boost employee performance.

The survey strongly suggests that HR professionals are evaluating their current performance management practices.

  • As mentioned above, 40 percent of HR leaders feel performance reviews are not an accurate appraisal of employees’ work.
  • Twenty-one percent of HR leaders feel coaching is directly tied to employee performance.

“In order to be successful, organizations need to win the hearts and minds of employees,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “A more human-centric approach, where employees are treated not as human capital, but as people fosters greater humanity and creates more positive employee experiences. It’s also crucial for HR leaders to take a fresh look at compensation structures and evaluate the value they bring to employees and their respective companies. As our study shows, social recognition can directly impact employee experience and financial outcomes.”

Survey Methodology
* The SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Programs Survey was commissioned by Globoforce and conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management from April 25, 2016, to May 22, 2016. This is the sixth deployment of the survey since its launch in 2011. This edition of the survey was sent to randomly selected SHRM members at a manager level or above. The final sample of the survey was composed of 798 HR professionals who are employed at organizations with a staff size of 500 or more employees. The survey had a response rate of 13 percent and a margin of error of +/-4 percent. Results include responses from organizations in the U.S. across a wide range of business to business and business to consumer industries.

To download the full 2016 report, visit:

About Globoforce
Globoforce is a leading provider of social recognition solutions, helping companies build stronger, more human cultures through the power of thanks. Named one of the Best Workplaces by the Great Place To Work® Institute, Globoforce is trusted by some of the most admired companies in the world to inspire and energize employees and create best places to work. Our award-winning SaaS technology and proven methodologies empower HR and business leaders to take a modern, more strategic approach to recognition programs. What results is measurable business success, qualified by increases in employee engagement, retention and productivity. The company pioneered the WorkHuman movement, created to galvanize organizations and leaders worldwide to create a more human workplace. This movement culminates annually at the WorkHuman conference, taking place May 30-June 1, 2017, in Phoenix, Arizona. Globoforce is co-headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland.

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Shweta Agarwal, 508-229-1541
Senior Manager Public Relations


Shweta Agarwal, 508-229-1541
Senior Manager Public Relations