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Employee Recognition

Stats that Prove Why Investing in an Employee Rewards & Recognition Program is a No-brainer


The modern workplace has faced unprecedented changes in the past decade that have forced organizations to adapt and adjust their human resources strategies to create workplaces that foster cultures of appreciation and engagement. One of these recent strategic changes was the adoption and integration of rewards and recognition programs. There is still much to learn about within the realm of employee rewards and recognition programs, and a wealth of compelling statistics awaits your discovery. 

These statistics provide concrete evidence for why investing in such initiatives is not just a prudent choice but an unquestionable imperative. From the profound impacts on company performance to the nuanced dynamics of peer-to-peer recognition, we’ve meticulously curated the numbers that will firmly underpin your case. So, let’s embark on this journey together, arming you with the compelling data needed to champion a program that has the potential to transform your workplace.

What are Rewards and Recognition Programs?

Employee rewards and recognition programs are strategic initiatives implemented by organizations to acknowledge and appreciate the contributions and achievements of their workforce. These programs are designed to boost employee morale, motivation, and engagement by providing tangible incentives, accolades, or expressions of gratitude for exemplary performance, dedication, or significant milestones. 

employee rewards and recognition

Employee rewards can encompass a wide range of incentives, such as monetary bonuses, gift cards, or extra time off, while recognition may involve verbal praise, certificates, or public acknowledgment of an employee’s efforts. By fostering a culture of appreciation within the workplace, these programs not only improve individual job satisfaction but also contribute to enhanced team dynamics and overall organizational success.

Reward and Recognition Program Statistics:

If you’re looking to get management buy-in for investing in an employee rewards and recognition program, you might be dreading all the research you need to do to dig up some convincing stats to make your case with. The good news is we’ve done the work for you to gather some of the most telling stats and studies on why employee rewards and recognition initiatives work. Dig in!

How Rewards and Recognition Impact Company Performance

  • Businesses that scored the highest on employee engagement were 21% more profitable than their counterparts 
  • A meta-analysis of employee reward programs found that competitive reward programs produced a 27% gain in employee performance.  
  • 83% of HR leaders say employee recognition can strengthen organizational values 
  • Just improving recognition by 15% in a company can increase its margins by 2%.
  • 40% of employed Americans feel that if they were recognized more often, they would put more energy into their work and drive success for their organization.
  • Companies with high-performing company cultures experienced a 682% increase in revenue compared to only 166% increases in revenue for firms without these cultures

How rewards and recognition impact engagement and productivity 

  • Companies with highly engaged workforces scored 17% higher on productivity.
  • A well-designed recognition program can help drive an 11.1% increase in average employee performance.
  • Employee productivity, performance, and engagement are 14% higher in organizations with recognition programs than in those without them. 
  • A simple expression of thanks by someone in authority led people to be 50% more productive.
  • Companies with good employee recognition strategies are 48% more likely to have high employee engagement rates.
  • 78% of workers work harder and with more drive when their efforts are being rewarded

employee rewards and recognition

Why peer-to-peer recognition works 

  •   41% of companies who had introduced a peer-to-peer recognition scheme saw customer satisfaction increase as a result
  • For 28% of employees, feedback received from their peers has the most impact on their feelings of acknowledgment.
  • Peer-to-peer recognition is 35.7% more likely to have a positive impact on financial results than manager-only recognition.
  • 90% of workers noted that a values-based, peer-to-peer recognition made them more satisfied with their work.
  • 12% of employees say the most memorable recognition comes from their peers
  • Peer-to-peer recognition increases the probability of a constructive team culture by 2.5x.

Impacts of rewards and recognition programs on absenteeism, turnover, and loyalty 

  • Lack of recognition remains one of the most common reasons why employees leave an organization.
  • In the U.S. alone, it is estimated that businesses lose a staggering $1 trillion due to employee turnover.
  • Organizations that give regular recognition experience 31% lower voluntary turnover 
  • 32% of new hires who quit within the first 90 days of their employment cite company culture as their main reason for leaving.
  • The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) estimates the average replacement cost of a salaried employee to be six to nine months of their salary. The number only skyrockets as you look to replace higher salaried and specialized employees
  • Research by Gallup found that disengaged employees cost companies $450-$550 billion in lost productivity each year as a result of poor performance and high absenteeism.

Investment into rewards and recognition programs

Employee rewards and recognition preferences 

  • 46% of employees say that an unexpected reward like a snack, lunch, or thank you note from their bosses would make them feel more appreciated.
  • 65% of employees prefer non-cash incentives 
  • 47% of employees want to receive a reward spontaneously and  38% of employees want to be rewarded for their good work.
  • A survey of more than 600,000 U.S. employees found that 53% of workers want to receive more recognition from their immediate manager.
  • 50% of employees want public recognition
  • 43% of employees prefer to receive recognition privately 
  • 47% of employees find that new growth opportunities are a better way to reward them for their achievements

The statistics surrounding employee rewards and recognition programs leave no room for doubt – investing in these initiatives is a strategic imperative for any forward-thinking organization. From boosting company performance and productivity to reducing turnover and enhancing employee engagement, the numbers paint a compelling picture of the profound impact these programs can have. 

employee rewards and recognition

How to Implement a Reward and Recognition Program:

Now that we’ve established the undeniable benefits of employee rewards and recognition programs, it’s time to explore how to put these insights into action within your organization. Implementing a successful program involves several key steps:

1. Define Clear Objectives: 

Start by identifying the specific goals you want to achieve with your program. Are you aiming to boost employee morale, increase productivity, reduce turnover, or align your workforce with company values? Defining clear objectives will guide the entire process.

2. Get Leadership Buy-In: 

Secure support from top-level management and leaders within your organization. Their endorsement not only lends credibility to the program but also helps allocate the necessary resources and budget.

3. Tailor the Program: 

Recognize that one size doesn’t fit all. Tailor your rewards and recognition program to align with your company’s culture, values, and the preferences of your workforce. Consider both monetary and non-monetary rewards, as well as various recognition methods like peer-to-peer acknowledgment.

4. Communicate Effectively: 

Launch the program with a well-structured communication plan. Ensure all employees understand the program’s purpose, criteria for recognition, and how it will be administered. Transparent communication is key to its success.

5. Measure and Evaluate: 

Implement a system for tracking and measuring the program’s impact. Regularly collect feedback from employees to assess its effectiveness and make necessary adjustments.

rewards and recognition statistics

6. Celebrate Success: 

Recognize and celebrate not only the recipients of rewards and recognition but also the program itself. Share success stories and highlight the positive impact on the organization.

7. Evolve Over Time: 

The needs and dynamics of your organization may change, so be prepared to adapt and evolve your program accordingly. Stay open to feedback and continuously refine the initiative to ensure it remains relevant and effective.

By following these steps, you’ll be well on your way to creating a rewards and recognition program that not only acknowledges your employees’ efforts but also contributes to a more motivated, engaged, and satisfied workforce. Remember, the ultimate goal is to cultivate a workplace culture where appreciation and recognition are woven into the fabric of daily operations, driving success for both individuals and the organization as a whole.

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Implementing Rewards and Recognition

In closing, the statistics presented here have left us with an undeniable truth: investing in employee rewards and recognition programs is not just a wise choice; it’s an imperative for any organization aiming to thrive in today’s dynamic workplace landscape. So, armed with this wealth of data, it’s time to take action and implement a rewards and recognition program that can truly transform your organization, creating a workplace where appreciation and motivation thrive.

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