Incentra Insights

So What’s Trending in Employee Recognition for 2015?

Posted by David Chittock on Jan 5, 2015 2:36:00 PM

Get Out the Crystal Ball

Well, it’s that time again. Experts and non-experts alike will be prognosticating about what to expect in employee recognition in 2015.  HR leaders will be deluged with facts and figures that can both clarify and confuse their efforts to manage a successful program.  So how can we make sense of it all?

 Keep Your Eye on the Big Picture


After reviewing what some of the real experts are saying, I have concluded that the best way forward is keep your focus on the major shifts affecting the workplace in general.  This will help you view your program in its total context and make the necessary adjustments.  The main essentials of your program will not change.  Employee recognition leads to employee engagement which results in greater organizational performance.  This is an immutable truth. What will change is the environment and conditions of the workplace which will need to be understood and addressed. 


Major Workplace Trends in 2015


Most of the experts agree that the following trends will have a significant impact on the workplace in 2015:


  • Changes to Organizational Structures – Traditional hierarchal structures are beginning to crumble and are being replaced by flatter, more transparent organizational systems.  .Work teams will become more project-based and geographically diverse as opposed to centrally located with conventional roles and responsibilities.  Management staff will decrease as workers gain more autonomy and decision making authority. HR managers will need to become extremely nimble and innovative in the ways they manage employee recognition.


  • Growing Diversity of the Workforce – The new workforce will be comprised of a co-mingling of various worker types – full time, part time, contingent, and virtual. Mobile technology will enable workers to collaborate over geographical boundaries and dispersed locations. .  With the coming of age of the millennials, there will be multi-generations working together with very different work ethics, styles and proficiencies. Recognition programs will need to be more inclusive, personalized, and cognizant of cultural and individual differences.


  • Intensification of the Talent War – There is no question that there is an intense talent war occurring in the marketplace.  Companies are scrambling to find the high performance talent they need to compete in a technology-driven world.  Expertise in areas such as engineering, analytics, life sciences, mathematics and IT will be in short supply.  The issues of recruitment, engagement, and “attraction of talent” will be at the top of every organization’s priority list.  This trend will make employee recognition even more imperative.


  • Game-Changing Technologies – The dizzying speed of technology advances will keep companies struggling to keep up. Cloud technology, mobile computing, Big Data, social media, workforce analytics – these are but a few of the technology challenges facing organizations.  HR will have to be in the forefront of these developments and acquire the skills and knowledge to take full advantage of these advanced tools.


  • Employee Retention and Succession Planning – Over 10,000 baby boomers retire every day in the U.S. The new generation of workers typically do not stay with the same company for seven years as the previous generation did.  In fact, millennial workers stay just two years on average at a company before leaving. HR will need to develop a culture of loyalty and promote from within to hold onto quality employees.  They will need to prepare younger workers for leadership roles much earlier through mentorship programs and training and development, Here as well, employee recognition will play a critical role.


Refining HR’s Role

The role of HR will continue to evolve in 2015. The workplace is advancing so quickly that HR will need to develop high-level guidelines that apply in a variety of situations instead of issuing inflexible policies. Employees will be held accountable for following the spirit of the guideline rather than adhering to a rigid policy.  As autonomy, empowerment, and mobility continue to transform the workplace. HR will have to figure out how to effectively recognize employees in multiple workplace settings, by a myriad of performance indicators; and with diverse capabilities and characteristics. You’re going to need a partner with the knowledge, flexibility, and expertise to help you navigate these challenges.  We’re here to help!


Categories: Employee Recognition