Monday, September 13, 2010

You Do All The Giving, We Do All The Work

With Thanks® Holiday, you get to spread the good cheer, and O.C. Tanner gets to do the administrative work. Just how it should be.

Thanks® Holiday comes already branded with the thanks® gift passes and redemption site landing page, plus access codes to hundreds of name brand gifts for your employees to choose from.

Every detail is taken care of for you:

• Gift access codes come in $35, $70, or $125 values for gift passes, or you get the flexibility for other values when using printable certificates or ecards

• Hundreds of gifts, from electronics to home to garden to food to sports have already been sourced and are available for easy redemption

• One consistent solution across all employees, departments, and divisions, no matter how big the order

• No outsourcing or shopping

• No inventory to manage

• No gift card fees

• Tracking and reporting redemption is automated

• Shipping, handling, and tax are included

• All gifts are protected by a five-year warranty (the best in the industry)

Contact us at (513)583-1100 or for more information.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Future of Talent Management Survey from Mercer

Anticipating greater emphasis on talent management and competition for key talent, employers are planning to reshape their talent programs as the economy shifts out of the recessionary period. More than half of employers surveyed indicated their organization has either emerged from the recession and is in growth mode (15%), or is emerging from the recession and preparing for growth (37%). Employers are planning for program changes in:

• Leadership training (88%)

• Workforce training (85%)

• Employee engagement (85%)

• Recruiting (80%)

• Retention (80%)

• Rewards (76%)

• Performance management (76%).

Employers expect talent management to grow in importance. Half (51%) rate it as a top priority at their organization today, but 76% expect it to be a top priority within the next three to five years. In addition, virtually all employers (97%) anticipate an increase in competition over the next three to five years for the key talent their organizations need to succeed; 39% expect some increase in competition, while far more — 58% — expect a significant increase in competition. When asked to express their confidence in being able to address a range of 10 key talent challenges, most organizations said they are most confident in their ability to link employee performance to business goals (88%) and to understand the key roles and workforce segments that drive business success (86%). Respondents were asked to identify their organizations' top three talent management priorities over the next three to five years. The top response, from among 14 choices, was leadership succession, followed by leadership training/development, overall succession planning, key talent/high potentials, workforce planning and employee engagement. Organizations also weighed in on whether their current employee value propositions would attract the workforce needed to meet future business requirements. Nearly three-quarters (72%) are somewhat confident in their current value propositions; just 19% said they are very confident and 9% are not at all confident.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

FREE Webinar: Engagement Done Right: What You Can Learn from Leading Healthcare Organizations

Join us on March 18, to learn how your employees can increase productivity, generate profits and significantly improve customer care and satisfaction.

We will discuss:
• Where to focus resources to maximize engagement in a recovering economy
• Easy to implement, low/no cost solutions to achieve specific business results
• How to optimize your recognition spending with helpful tips and how-tos

Engagement Done Right: What You Can Learn from Leading Healthcare Organizations
By: Michelle M. Smith, CPIM, CRP

March 18, 2010
10:00 am EST
Duration: 60 mins

Complimentary Webinar, No fee Registration
Sponsored by O.C. Tanner

Michelle Smith from O.C. Tanner will help you examine your recognition initiatives and determine how to maximize impact and spending, as she shares best-practice research and healthcare industry case studies. Named as one of the Ten Best and Brightest Women in the Incentive Industry, Michelle has worked in every facet of recognition and incentives, both domestically and internationally. As an international speaker and performance improvement consultant, she has published and presented more than 400 articles and lectures on optimization of performance improvement initiatives.

Remember to register for the session here.

We encourage you to join us. Don’t miss this opportunity to increase your recognition initiatives without increasing your budget.

USA Today Article on O.C. Tanner Inspiration Award

We're excited about O.C. Tanner's Inspiration Award - with over half a million votes - and the article that USA TODAY published about figure skater Mirai Nagasu's Inspiration nomination.

Read the online USA TODAY article

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Value and ROI of Employee Recognition:

Linking Recognition to
Improved Job Performance and
Increased Business Value—

The Current State and Future Needs

Executive Summary
Today’s economic challenges require organizations to find new ways to both reward top performers and to motivate all workers to improve performance and maintain or increase business value—and they need to do both as cost-effectively as possible. The traditional method of keeping and motivating workers to excel is through compensation and benefits. However, those are only two parts of an organization’s “Total Rewards” package. In fact, organizations can reward their workers in many ways, including pay, benefits, improvements in work-life, incentives for pre-determined job performances—as well as various forms of recognition. According to WorldatWork, recognition can include both formal and informal programs and support business strategy by reinforcing certain behaviors (e.g., extraordinary accomplishments)that contribute to organizational success. Recognition should acknowledge employee contributions immediately after the fact and can be cash or noncash (e.g., verbal recognition, trophies, certificates, plaques, dinners, tickets, etc.).

Critical and Timely Questions
There are several reasons that drive individuals—whether employee, employer, tax payer, politician or reporter—to question the value or appropriateness of incentives or recognition:

• Definitions: Most people do not have a clear definition and/or understanding of an incentive or a recognition plan—or the difference between the two.

• Ineffective use of these organizational tools. Some organizations, and the responsible individual managers, do a poor job designing, implementing and managing these tools.

• The lack of reporting the value of these plans. Generally, only ineffective plans or those with inappropriate outcomes are reported by the media.

It is for these reasons, as well as the need for a comprehensive review of the available data on the effectiveness of recognition programs, that this report was produced. What is the value of employee recognition? Which types of awards are best used when providing recognition? How does one determine the ROI of employee recognition? This paper addresses these critical and timely questions by reviewing:

➢ Key theories of motivation (e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic) which are most applicable to the workplace and have been shown to provide the most linkage with job performance.

➢ The effect or non-effect of various types of rewards (e.g., tangible and nontangible) upon work motivation.

➢ Evidence of how elevated levels of worker motivation can result in increased employee engagement and improved job performance.

➢ Available methods for measuring the effects of various types of rewards on job performance and division/business performance—e.g., ROI, VOI, Lifetime Employee Value—as well as possible reasons for why they are seldom used.

➢ Examples of effective real-world reward programs. What are the common “best principles” that define them?

The Role of Recognition
This report highlights the role of recognition by showing that:
1. Recent studies by Gallup, the Corporate Leadership Council, Towers Perrin and others illustrate that recognition is highly correlated to improved employee engagement with both the employee’s work and organization.

➢ For example, in a large-scale 2004 study of employee engagement, the Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) found that only 11% of today’s workforce demonstrate a very strong commitment to their organization, while 13% are actively non-engaged –poor performers who put in the minimal amount of effort. In the middle lies the 76% of the workforce that is “up for grabs.” Elevating the engagement of both this great middle and the low performers increases discretionary effort and retention by as much as 20% and 87% respectively.

➢ In addition, as in their 2004 survey, Gallup has found that only 29% of workers were “engaged,” while 54% were “not engaged” and 17% were “actively disengaged.” Gallup estimates the cost of this disengagement to the national economy at $300 billion a year. In contrast, business units within organizations with higher-than-average levels of engagement find success at four distinct types of business outcomes:

Productivity—Business units in the top quartile of all engagement responses have 50% higher productivity than those in the bottom 25%. (Please see page 31 of the full report for more details)

Employee Turnover—Business units in the top quartile have a 13% higher success rate (lower turnover) in comparison to those in the bottom 25%.

Profit—Business units in the top quartile have 44% higher profitability than those in the bottom 25%. (Please see page 31 of the full report for more details)

Customer Satisfaction—Business units in the top quartile have 50% higher customer satisfaction than those in the bottom 25%. (For a detailed explanation of how the analysis comparing employee engagement levels with business success was determined, (see Harter et. al.2002).

2. Increased employee engagement has a dramatic positive effect on improving job performance and capturing business value. This point was confirmed in Towers Perrin’s 2007-2008 Global Workforce Study, which surveyed 90,000 employees in 18 countries about a range of topics, including the factors that drive engagement with their work. When survey results were compared with financial data of the surveyed organizations, they found that companies with high employee engagement had a 19% increase in operating income and a 28% increase in earnings per share over a 12-month period. [In contrast, companies with poor employee engagement scores had declining operating incomes and an 11% drop in earning per share over the same 12-month period. (Please see page 37 of the full report for more details).

3. Those organizations actively seeking to improve employee engagement, including through the use of formal and informal recognition, financially outperform their competitors. The results of Watson Wyatt’s Human Capital Index Study clearly shows that better Human Capital Management (as measured by a composite HCI Score) is correlated to improved financial performance:

• Low-HCI companies, 21% total return on shareholder value

• Medium-HCI companies, 39% total return on shareholder value

• High-HCI companies, 64% total return on shareholder value.

4. Recognition programs have the potential, unlike compensation and incentivebased programs, to create a positive cycle of ever-increasing employee engagement and motivation. Resulting improvements are job performancerelated behaviors at optimum levels with a limited investment.

Case Studies
Additionally, in this report, three cases studies—Scotiabank, Delta Airlines and MGM Grand—illustrate how some organizations are currently restructuring their recognition programs to better align them with employee engagement and business strategy. A key finding of these case studies, as well as previous studies, is that recognition programs need to include multiple forms of awards—e.g., what is recognition for one worker may not be for another. The recognition should be in a form that is of actual value to the worker—not what the recognition committee thinks the worker should value. A choice could be provided to the worker on what is received to further increase the value to the individual. Also, the awards need not be expensive; in fact, many of the studies discussed show that non-cash awards, including simple verbal recognition, are an important component of recognition strategy. What matters is that the recognition is valuable to the worker and is awarded for behavior linked to specific job performance behavior or goals. The recognition should be presented in a way that also has value to the employee.

Best Principles
A key to the success of the recognition component of the Total Rewards package is whether it motivates workers in ways that increase the level of engagement with their job and their employer. It is the engaged worker who will increase his/her level of discretionary effort—if the goal is performance—or desire to stay on the job when the goal is increased retention. Building on this point, we highlight hroughout this report several commonly agreed upon “best principles” for the application of recognition programs that should result in the behavioral changes most often linked to employee engagement, improved job performance and, ultimately, increased business value.
These include:

➢ Develop a “recognition strategy” that rewards activities linked to specific business objectives and/or desired cultural values.

➢ Use both formal and informal recognition to build a “culture of recognition” in the organization.

➢ Provide a wide variety of recognition rewards—realizing that what is a reward for one person may not be for another.

➢ Emphasize the recognition of increased quality in performance, instead of simply quantity of effort.

➢ Recognize workers frequently—sporadic recognition may, in some cases, be worse than no recognition.

➢ Measure the cost of the recognition reward system and the benefits gained – whether through ROI or other methods.

The Value of an Integrated Recognition Program
The best way to implement a recognition program is with a rational, carefully formulated approach that is based on sound theory and that is well integrated with an organization’s business strategy—one that recognizes behaviors that are likely to positively affect an organization’s value. (See Daniel, 2005.) Most current recognition programs may have been established for good reasons—e.g., improving the “culture of recognition” within an organization. However, current studies find that many organizations do not fully integrate the various aspects of the program with each other or with business strategy and/or desired culture. The result is a failure to capture the full value of worker recognition programs. (See Huff, 2006; WorldatWork, 2008.) A major goal of this report is to show the available evidence for the value of an integrated recognition program and examples of how organizations are achieving this value in practice.

Future Study of Recognition in the Workplace
Finally, the report concludes with a discussion of the future needs for the study of recognition in the workplace—and calls for:

➢ New, rigorous empirical studies that accurately measure the gains achieved from the implementation of specific types of recognition programs.

➢ The better use of ROI and other methods that can effectively measure the longterm gains in business value that are the hallmark of the successful recognition program.

It is important to note that, while Recognition Programs demonstrably increase employee engagement, these programs are also important for two main reasons:

1. There is mounting evidence and are examples of organizational impact, and

2. They are much more cost effective than most other elements of a Total Rewards Strategy—e.g., base compensation.

joint research project conducted by the FORUM at Northwestern, the Incentive Research Foundation, and the Human Capital Institute

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Employee Engagement

Definition of employee engagement

Employee engagement is defined in many ways including, "we know it when we see it."

-Employees are engaged when many different levels of employees are feeling fully involved and enthusiastic about their jobs and their organizations.
-Engagement is the willingness and ability to contribute to company success and the extent to which employees put discretionary effort into their work, in the form of extra time, brainpower and energy" according to a Towers Perrin study.

Measuring employee engagement

Most companies (75 percent) try to measure employee engagement at this point in time. In addition to the reported level of engagement, organizations use measures such as retention, organizational performance, increased productivity, and financial success.
Overall, employee engagement is one of today's most important business issues. It is a place where we as HR are in a position to make a real difference.

The Five Most Important Tips for Effective Recognition

You need to establish criteria for what performance or contribution constitutes rewardable behavior or actions.

-All employees must be eligible for the recognition.

-The recognition must supply the employer and employee with specific information about what behaviors or actions are being rewarded and recognized.

-Anyone who then performs at the level or standard stated in the criteria receives the reward.

-The recognition should occur as close to the performance of the actions as possible, so the recognition reinforces behavior the employer wants to encourage.

-You don't want to design a process in which managers "select" the people to receive recognition. This type of process will be viewed forever as "favoritism" or talked about as "it's your turn to get recognized this month." This is why processes that single out an individual, such as "Employee of the Month," are rarely effective.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Art of the Thank-You Note

During the holidays, Geoffrey Parker, branding consultant for Parker Pen Co. and great-grandson of its founder, George S. Parker, is careful not to overlook what he calls a "critical" aspect of the gift-giving season: thank-you notes."It's common courtesy," he says. "If someone does something for me, I need to acknowledge that." Mr. Parker sometimes thanks a gift-giver or party host with a phone call, email or text message. But he believes that these modes are "insufficient" and always follows up with a handwritten message. "As these modern electronic devices become more common and overused, they become cheap," he says.Mr. Parker usually sends his thank-you notes on four-by-six-inch cards with his name and address printed across the top. He favors heavier paper and cards with printed words that are raised, noting that people often subconsciously run their fingers over the printed portion of stationery when they receive a note. "People are establishing impressions based on a lot of subtle things," he says.When writing a card, Mr. Parker eschews everyday ballpoint pens. "I feel fountain pens allow me to be more expressive," he says. He likes using a pen with a broad nib, saying that the fatter script and signature "doesn't look as if it's something that's been mass-produced." He uses ink in a different color from the printed message on the card, usually favoring a striking bright royal blue for his black-printed stationery.Before he writes his note, he sometimes practices writing a line several times to see how it looks on paper. "People are writing less and less these days ... a lot of people have forgotten how to write," he says. "You don't want something to be difficult to read, misunderstood or simply not understood."He typically begins the note with a line "harking back to the last time I saw or communicated with them" and then goes on to ask about an associate or family member. "By doing this, you establish a sort of conversation, more than a blunt 'Thanks for the necktie,'" he says. While he tries to keep his message brief, he makes sure it is always more than one or two lines.Finally, he signs off informally with his first name. "Do not use your business signature for a personal note," he says. "It can seem too formal, and a personal note should not be done in any sort of mechanical or perfunctory way." His rule of thumb: "The thought behind the thank-you should be equal to or greater than the thought that went into the gift."From the Wall Street journal, Dec 24, 2009