People-Focused HR Boosts Recruitment and Retention, Study Says

A new report from the Society for Human Resource Management and Globoforce finds that using techniques that put people first, particularly recognizing their achievements, is the best way to win the war for talent.

Are you showing your employees enough support and appreciation? If not,  your organization might have trouble retaining talent.

New research from the Society for Human Resource Management and the social recognition firm Globoforce suggests that a focus on culture could be the solution for the growing problem of employee recruitment and retention.

For Designing Work Cultures for the Human Era, the organizations surveyed 738 HR leaders, nearly half of whom (47 percent) cited employee retention as one of their biggest workforce management issues, while slightly more than a third (36 percent) said recruitment was a major issue. Other challenges included culture management (34 percent) and employee engagement (31 percent), the latter rated as less of a problem than in prior years.

So what are these organizations doing to address these challenges? Increasingly, according to respondents, they are taking more human-centered management approaches—including programs that encourage teamwork, a caring culture, employee appreciation, learning opportunities, and inclusivity.

Also high on the list are recognition programs, which have grown significantly over the five years in which the study has been conducted. Most organizations (about 70 percent) tie their recognition programs to their core values. These programs are much more likely to be successful than other programs.

“[R]ecognition programs not tied to values are much more likely to be designed as cost-cutting measures with no associated business goals,” the report stated.

In a news release, Globoforce Vice President of Strategy and Consulting Derek Irvine noted that many HR professionals prefer culture strategies based on recognition, peer feedback, and rewards over a more traditional approach based on performance reviews.

“As our study shows, HR professionals are still dissatisfied with the accuracy of traditional performance reviews. Reward and performance strategies need to be reimagined so they help fulfill employees’ basic human needs of appreciation and connection,” Irvine said. “Social recognition programs alongside more human-centered practices have the power to not only strengthen relationships between employees, but also employees’ overall connections to the companies they work for.”

The report recommends ensuring that rewards programs have an associated budget of at least 1 percent of payroll, put a stronger focus on frequent check-ins, and celebrate the life events of employees. In other words, if a coworker buys a house or has a child, it’s an opportunity for the company as a whole to celebrate.

(FS/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a senior editor for Associations Now, a former newspaper guy, and a man who is dangerous when armed with a good pun. MORE

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