Recognise This! – If employee engagement is your top HR challenge, perhaps you should intervene before people decide to leave.

This week I’ve written about employee engagement and poor management practices leading to RIFs. Last week I wrote about the need for courage to do what is right for your organisation, not what is common in others.

Today, I’ll bring it all together with some interesting research just released by Globoforce and SHRM in their 2011 Employee Recognition Tracker Survey. A bit concerning to me are these findings:

    * The majority (69%) of respondents (HR managers and leaders) said employee engagement was the most important HR challenge they would face in the coming years and yet the primary method used to track employee engagement levels was employee exit interviews (71%). Does anyone else see the incongruity in using exit interviews to track engagement levels? The second most common method, employee retention rates 65%), is little better as it’s purely passive.

    * The majority of respondents (69%) think employees are not satisfied with the recognition they receive for doing a good job and that managers do not effectively acknowledge or appreciate employees (54%).
Yet years of service programmes are the most common recognition tool reported (58%). It’s obvious to me acknowledging someone’s contributions every few years – at best – is going to do little to improve employee perceptions of appropriate recognition of their efforts.