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May 20, 2008
Survey: Recognition Program Budgets Will Continue to Rise
A recent WorldatWork survey indicates that employee recognition programs are as prevalent among--and important to--employers today as ever. And budgets for these programs are expected to rise in years to come. What are the most popular types of program awards being used?

The survey found that 89 percent of companies use recognition programs as part of their human resources strategy, up five percent from 2002. The top three recognition programs, according to the survey are length of service (offered by 86 percent of employer-respondents), above and beyond (79 percent) and peer-to-peer (42 percent).

While cash is used as a recognition award by 60 percent of respondents, the award most often presented to employees are certificates and/or plaques (78 percent) while 51 percent give gift certificates as rewards.

Employers reported that the most common objectives for having recognition programs include creating a positive work environment (cited by 77 percent) and motivating high performance (71 percent).

"In the current tug of war between workers' demands for higher wages to pay for higher living costs and companies looking to cut costs, recognition programs play a key role in creating a positive environment," said WorldatWork's Alison Avalos, an expert on recognition, in a press release. "As such, we expect budgets for recognition programs ­ currently at 2.7 percent of payroll ­ to rise steadily. It will continue to be a critical component of an organization's total rewards toolkit."

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