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Evaluating Rewards and Recognition Programs: the Key to Optimization

September 14, 2021

Some organizations recognize employees when they reach five- or ten-year service milestones, others reward star sales performers, and still others celebrate retirements for valued employees. But few companies have all their bases covered simultaneously, or let alone know what all the bases are, to cover them! The good news is that leaders and managers know, and a Gallup study validates, rewards and recognition programs increase employee engagement, which boosts a variety of outcomes including business metrics and employee satisfaction.

Strategic Evaluation Provides Direction

So, how do you make sure your rewards and recognition program is running optimally, and your company is achieving the best possible outcomes? Enter the Inspirus Program Maturity Matrix Assessment. It’s a proprietary, coordinated approach to program assessment that leverages our deep bench of industry experts and experience in the rewards and recognition space. When we saw a need to help HR managers and leadership objectively and consistently evaluate their own programs, we immediately dove into development. The Maturity Matrix empowers users to:

  • View their program holistically as a whole, not just in parts
  • Build a case for executives to buy into program development
  • Expose gaps in their program components – see what areas are working well and what areas are not
  • Drive program optimization in the areas that are falling short
  • Prioritize corrective actions by seeing which areas need to be addressed first
  • Have a baseline from which to measure program growth over time
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Four Levels of Maturity

The free assessment tool plots the maturity of a rewards and recognition program, placing them in one of four progressive levels:

  • Informal programs are in the infancy stage, are disconnected and generally lack true understanding of how rewards and recognition delivers value
  • Developing programs are found in companies who are beginning to understand the value of a program, but are having trouble ‘connecting the dots’ as they try to do it all themselves
  • Performing programs are found in organizations that have a strong commitment to rewards and recognition, but gaps still exist in some areas
  • Leading programs set the bar high and are trailblazers they are highly committed to rewards and recognition

By determining their maturity level, organizations can see which areas of their rewards and recognition program require attention and then take action to level up. As programs mature, positive business outcomes like productivity and profitability increase, and employee engagement rises through improved satisfaction and reduced turnover.

Nine Dimensions of a Successful Program

Gone are the days when employee recognition was as simple as recognizing an employee of the month or using treats to say thank you. Rewards and recognition programs today are more robust, but often still underdeveloped in their structure, management and delivery. Programs that reach the highest level of success integrate rewards and recognition into their organizations business strategy. The proof? A Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) employee recognition survey found that 70% of organizations with an employee recognition program tie recognition to organizational values and 59% integrate recognition into their talent strategy.

In its assessment, the Maturity Matrix dives into nine dimensions critical to the success of an employee rewards and recognition program:

  • Strategy explores the foundational elements of a program
  • Leadership explores the programs management and vision
  • Workforce Segmentation explores the employee population served and their differences
  • Education & Training explores how managers are trained and employees educated in both adoption and usage
  • Technology explores the technology platform(s) used
  • Data & Reporting explores reporting tools and how they are used
  • Communication explores content and delivery of messaging
  • Engagement & Measurement explores how/if employee data is collected and measured
  • Finance & Budget explores the administrative side of budgeting and accounting

Our self-guided 44-question survey takes less than 10 minutes to complete. A free assessment will then be delivered to you via email, revealing your programs maturity level index and highlighting each individual program dimension score. Plus, recommendations will be provided on how to improve the three lowest scoring areas. The program assessment will arm you with powerful, objective information about your rewards and recognition program, giving you the insight and confidence to make smarter business decisions. Of course, if you need help planning what actions to take as your next steps, contact us today.

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Topics: rewards and recognition, strategy, best practices