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NonMonetary Reward and Recogniton Providers

October 16, 2007
Related Topics: Compensation Design and Communication, Corporate Culture, Recognition, Featured Article, Benefits


Employee recognition initiatives, once confined to an anniversary watch or steak dinner, have morphed into a burgeoning industry, as evidenced by the rapid growth of its nonprofit professional organization. Less than a decade after its 1998 launch, Recognition Professionals International numbers more than 850 members globally.

Today’s corporate leaders realize nonfinancial recognition is not a perk but a strategic necessity, says RPI executive director Christi Gibson. "They find it decreases turnover, it does increase profitability, it creates a positive work environment and it elevates customer service," she says. "It also attracts a better recruiting pool and improves retention of the top performers."

That jockeying for talent will only intensify as baby boomers head into retirement, Gibson says. By 2030, nearly one in five Americans will be 65 years or older, according to Census Bureau data.

As younger employees fill baby boomer shoes, they will demand far more interpersonal feedback than a direct-deposit receipt, says Tom McMullen, a vice president and U.S. reward practice leader at Hay Group, the Philadelphia-based management consulting firm.

"We’ve seen a lot more emphasis on nonfinancial programs, in part because of the shifting of the demographics of the workforce," he says. "I tend to be a personal believer that nonfinancial recognition is probably the most powerful type of recognition you can provide, when you use it selectively and sparingly." --Charlotte Huff

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