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On Recognition, Multinationals Think Globally

September 10, 2010
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Related Topics: Reward (Recognition) and Incentive Programs, Recognition, Policies and Procedures, Retention, Featured Article, Compensation, Benefits
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For some corporate recognition programs, global is the preferred way to go.

Companies with operations scattered around the world believe centralized reward plans reach more people and their value can be assessed more easily. Multinationals also reap financial benefits from a global approach, says Derek Irvine, chief marketing officer and head of strategic consulting at Globoforce, a provider of employee recognition services with headquarters in Dublin, Ireland, and Southborough, Massachusetts. They can save money, he adds, by avoiding duplicate efforts and by streamlining administration to deal with one vendor rather than dozens of vendors in multiple countries.

For example, Symantec Corp., a Mountain View, California-based software firm, adopted a centralized system called the Applause Program in 2008. Employees are honored with gift cards worth as much as $1,000 and electronic thank-you cards. Following a period of substantial growth, Symantec wanted to develop a “common culture of recognition” that would reward more employees and boost morale. “Our employees love it,” says Bill McCullough, senior compensation analyst. “Now, approximately 65 percent of employees are touched by the program, and it has impacted our employee satisfaction scores.”

Symantec estimates that only 5 percent of employees were being recognized for outstanding performance before it developed the Applause Program. Previously, it had offered only occasional companywide appreciation programs, with a number of local groups running their own reward plans. The company couldn’t measure the effectiveness of its random reward offerings because no single person or department monitored them. Now, with its centralized program, Symantec says it can track the return on investment in employee recognition, as well as use job performance metrics to ensure that outstanding workers receive the appropriate kudos.

Workforce Management, September 2010, p. 26 -- Subscribe Now!

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