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As the corporate landscape continues to evolve, organizations are increasingly turning their attention to one vital component of their success: Employee Recognition Programs (ERPs). But let’s cut through the marketing jargon and dive straight into the heart of the matter. What are the genuine hills (challenges) and valleys (benefits) of ERPs? We’re here to walk you through the real-world implications and considerations so that you can make strategic decisions when looking out for the best interest of your people – in the end, driving and keeping their engagement levels up, maintaining their motivation, and creating a people-first culture.

Valleys – The Downhill Benefits

Valleys, in the context of our discussion, represent the benefits of running an Employee Recognition Program:

Increased Engagement

A well-designed ERP fosters a culture of appreciation and engagement. When employees feel recognized for their efforts, they are more likely to be motivated, committed, and enthusiastic about their work. Research has found correlations between happy employees and increased productivity and a team-player environment in organizations.

87% of companies report employee recognition as having the largest impact on engagement. – LinkedIn, 2022

Lower Churn Rates

Employee turnover is expensive and disruptive. Recognition programs can significantly reduce churn rates by enhancing job satisfaction and loyalty among staff members. When your employees have a strong connection to your company and culture, it drives a sense of purpose and collaboration and decreases turnover and burnout. Your employees are more likely to stay when they feel appreciated and recognized by leadership and their peers. Need help determining the cost of churn? Try our HR calculator here.

Reduced Sick Days

Recognition programs often result in healthier and happier employees, leading to a decrease in sick days. Employees

 who feel valued are less likely to succumb to burnout and stress-related illnesses.

Enhanced Productivity

Engaged employees tend to be more productive. When their contributions are acknowledged, they are motivated to put in their best effort, ultimately benefiting the organization’s bottom line. Harvard Business Review says, ” The evidence is clear. Engaged employees perform better, experience less burnout, and stay in organizations longer.” Read more here.

Attraction of New Talent

Companies with robust recognition programs tend to attract top talent. Potential employees are drawn to organizations that value and reward their workforce, creating a competitive advantage in the job market.

Hills – The Uphill Challenges

While the valleys offer great benefits, it’s essential to acknowledge the hills that your organization might encounter when looking to implement an Employee Recognition Program:

Internal Persuasion

Convincing all stakeholders, especially those in leadership positions, of the value of ERPs can be challenging. Some may view it as an additional expense, while others may question its impact on the bottom line. By connecting the recognition program to the broader goals of your organization you can make a clear case for its contribution to increased revenue, cost savings, or improved customer satisfaction. Make a clear case for how the program aligns with the company’s strategic objectives and be sure to encourage feedback so you know exactly what their hesitations are when it comes to ERPs.


One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to recognition. Creating a rewards catalog that appeals to a diverse workforce can be a daunting task. Employing AI-powered solutions can streamline the user experience by tailoring rewards to individual preferences, brand-name merchandise, gift cards, event tickets, and even travel! Variety will enable your employees to choose what is most valuable to them.

Budget Allocation

Setting aside and establishing a recognition budget is a critical step. You must make it a priority to find a balance between providing meaningful recognition and managing costs effectively. Find out more about this from the Summit team.


Maintaining consistency in recognition practices across your organization can be challenging. It’s crucial to ensure that recognition is fair and equitable to prevent feelings of favoritism or exclusion among your employees. 

Measuring Impact

Demonstrating the ROI of an ERP can be complex. It’s essential to establish clear metrics to track the program’s success and show how it contributes to overall organizational goals.


Employee Recognition Programs can be a valuable asset to any organization, with numerous benefits that go beyond simple employee morale. However, like any significant initiative, they come with their own set of challenges, particularly in the areas of customization and budgeting. To make an informed decision, we know you’ll be sure to weigh the pros and cons and tailor your recognition programs to align with your unique culture and workforce. The rewards, both for employees and your organization as a whole, can be well worth the effort of conquering these hills.


Watch our recent 25-minute webinar where you’ll hear firsthand from our client, TA Services, as they share their experiences and insights from the first year of implementing a tailor-made Employee Recognition Program designed to suit their workforce.

Watch Here


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