Broadly speaking, most large organizations look to spend 1% to 2% of their total payroll on employee engagement initiatives. Depending on the size of your organization, this can be a substantial amount of money. But many people want to dip into those funds to cover a variety of employee programs including service anniversary awards, retirement gifts, peer-to-peer recognition, cost-savings and suggestion programs, safety performance, wellness, manager discretionary awards, spot awards, certification and education reimbursement, company picnics, outings and even recognition for community involvement.
Getting your share of the budget to fund employee engagement initiatives is no easy task. Within every organization there are many business units, departments, committees, affiliates and locations competing for what ultimately becomes a very limited pool of funds. Even within these groups, there are often multiple sub-teams working diligently to impact specific and usually very important objectives with targeted groups of employees.
It makes good sense to keep employee programs highly-focused and aimed at those individuals and teams who can have the most impact on achieving specific goals. However, this precision targeting also dilutes the pool of available funds. When this happens, some good initiatives simply go unfunded and too many are under-funded.
Under-funding can be more ineffective than not doing a program at all. It can do more harm than good when an initiative doesn’t have the budget to set attainable goals, measure and track progress, communicate opportunities and provide an award proportionate to the effort required to achieving it. When employees think you are “cheaping out” on them, it can create animosity instead of the goodwill you intended.
So what should you do?
To make sure your program funding continues, be proactive and regularly communicate with senior leadership showing metrics on:
• Participation levels
• Employee satisfaction scores
• Internal customer satisfaction scores
• External customer satisfaction scores where applicable • Employee retention
Consistently show leadership how your program is in alignment with corporate goals, mission and values. Solicit feedback and ask leaders to attend your program rallies, meetings and recognition events.
BI WORLDWIDE is a global leader in employee recognition programs. We use the latest technology and behavioral economic theories to create programs that help organizations meet their business goals.
Here are five ideas to help you make the most of all employee initiatives and secure funding for the program you would like to build.