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SHRM/Globoforce Survey Finds 71 Percent of Companies Track Employee Engagement through Exit Interviews
[June 23, 2011]

SHRM/Globoforce Survey Finds 71 Percent of Companies Track Employee Engagement through Exit Interviews

SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. & DUBLIN --(Business Wire)--

Globoforce®, the world's leading provider of SaaS (News - Alert) employee recognition solutions, today announced the results of the 2011 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Tracker Survey*, a new semi-annual survey on the state of employee engagement and recognition conducted by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). With responses from more than 700 HR leaders and practitioners, the survey provides critical insight into the current engagement and recognition practices, perspectives, and challenges for today's leading companies.

According to the SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Tracker Survey, nearly all HR leaders surveyed (99 percent) anticipate employee engagement being a key challenge they will face, yet non-strategic engagement and recognition programs continue to pervade companies. In fact, while 86 percent of companies track employee engagement scores, a startling 71 percent of those same respondents track engagement levels via employee exit interviews. This means companies are only learning about engagement issues at the time employees voluntarily leave the company. In addition, only 37 percent of HR leaders said they tie employee recognition programs to corporate values while less than half (43 percent) recognize employees based on performance related to the organization's financial goals. These low percentages indicate an enormous missed opportunity to drive performance and manage culture through a strategic recognition investment.

"The SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Tracker Survey provides HR leaders with key insights into their peers' engagement and recognition practices and strategies," said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. "Our first survey shows companies put engagement at the top of the priority list yet fal short in aligning these programs at the strategic level. Measuring recognition adds a level of accountability for all employees, and is ultimately how behaviors change and culture is actively managed. It's also how today's HR leaders can gain the much-needed support and investment from senior management for strategic engagement and recognition programs."

Key findings from the survey include:

Employee performance and acknowledgement remain disconnected

  • 54 percent of HR leaders do not think managers and supervisors at their company effectively acknowledge and appreciate employees
  • 69 percent believe employees are not satisfied with the level of recognition they receive at work
  • 44 percent of respondents do not think their employees are rewarded according to job performance
  • 42 percent state multi-source (manager, senior leader, peer) ongoing feedback is the most accurate appraisal of employee performance; yet, 61 percent believe annual performance reviews are an accurate appraisal of employees' work

Engagement remains a priority, yet practices remain passive and reactive-based

  • 86 percent of HR leaders track employee engagement; however, 71 percent said they monitor it in employee's exit interviews while 65 percent relate it to employee retention rates
  • Differing generations among employees is the top workforce management challenge, with 85 percent calling it "very important" or "important," followed by multiple cultures (84 percent); harnessing social networking technologies (72 percent); and global diversity (62 percent)
  • Employee engagement is the most critical HR challenge in the next three to five years with 99 percent of HR professionals listing it as "very important" or "important," followed by culture management (96 percent), employee recruitment (96 percent), and employee retention (95 percent)

Evaluating the success of recognition programs is a black hole for HR leaders and CEOs

  • 87 percent of companies do not currently track the ROI of their recognition program
  • 68 percent said they find it difficult to measure the effectiveness of their recognition program
  • Nearly 1/3 (32 percent) of CEOs invest no time (and may not even be aware of) employee recognition programs
  • 49 percent of responding companies track their programs by unit/department - making it hard for senior management to get a full view of recognition efforts and effectiveness companywide
  • When asked the reasons for the challenge in measuring ROI, the top three were:
    • "Our metrics of success keep changing, making it impossible to consistently report on ROI." (32 percent)
    • "The recognition program cannot be linked with our talent management or performance management systems, giving us no insight into how recognition affects key metrics such as performance improvement or retention." (32 percent)
    • "The recognition program is not designed to deliver improvement in metrics that our executive leadership (CEO/CFO/COO/CHRO, etc.) finds valuable." (22 percent)

* The 2011 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Tracker Survey is an employee engagement and recognition survey commissioned by Globoforce in collaboration with SHRM. There were 745 responses from organizations with 500+ employees, resulting in a margin of error of +/- 3% at a 95% confidence level. The online survey was conducted by SHRM from May 17-27, 2011. To view the full survey results, please visit:

Globoforce is also hosting a webinar featuring SHRM and an overview of all survey results on June 23rd at 11:30 ET. To register for this webinar, please visit:

About Globoforce

Founded in 1999, Globoforce is the world's leading provider of SaaS-based employee recognition solutions. Through its social and global technology, Globoforce helps HR and business leaders elevate employee engagement, increase employee retention, manage company culture, and discover the power of real-time performance management. Today, more than 1.7 million employees across the world are living their company values and achieving peak performance through the Globoforce platform. A private corporation, Globoforce is co-headquartered in Southborough, Massachusetts, and Dublin, Ireland. To learn more, please visit or the Company's blog at

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