Employee retention and engagement was top of mind for employers this year

Employee retention and engagment top of mind for employers this yearEmployee retention was the top workforce management challenge in 2016, claims a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), with almost one-half of surveyed organizations (46 percent) citing it as a top challenge in 2016. Other top workforce management challenges for at least one-third of organizations were: employee engagement (36 percent), recruitment (34 percent) and succession planning (33 percent). SHRM’s survey Influencing Workplace Culture Though Employee Recognition and Other Efforts, which was produced in collaboration with and commissioned by Globoforce, found that as employers look for ways to deal with the challenges of low employee retention and high turnover, more organizations are tying employee recognition efforts to their core values.The majority of respondents indicated that their employee recognition programs had positive impacts on employee engagement, workplace culture, retention and employee happiness.

Another key finding showed that more organizations are tying employee recognition efforts to their core values with good results. Overall, 81 percent of organizations surveyed had an employee recognition program, and 60 percent said their program was tied to organizational core values, an increase from 50 percent in 2012.

“This increase is a positive development because HR professionals were more likely to rate their organization’s employee recognition efforts highly if the program was tied to organizational values compared with those that were not tied to values,” said Tanya Mulvey, SHRM’s lead researcher on the survey.

Those whose programs were tied to organizational values perceived greater benefits in a variety of areas, including:

  • Return on investment —70 percent versus 38 percent.
  • Instilling and reinforcing corporate values — 88 percent versus 57 percent.
  • Maintaining a strong employer brand — 80 per cent versus 49 percent.

Additionally, when organizations dedicated at least 1 percent of payroll to recognition programs that were tied to their values, HR professionals were more likely to perceive greater impacts on financial outcomes such as cost-control goals and ROI.

The survey findings also showed that many organizations are making other efforts besides employee recognition to influence workplace culture and create a more positive workplace, including by using health and wellness programs (81 percent) and learning and development programs (80 percent).

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates.

To access the full report which polled SHRM members who hold a title of manager or above and are employed at organizations of 500 or more employees, click here.

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