SHRM/Globoforce Survey Reveals Employee Turnover is Top Workforce Challenge Facing HR Leaders

June 22, 2015

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June 22, 2015 | Globoforce Press Release

Survey finds companies that use values-based employee recognition programs are more likely to report increased engagement and retention, stronger workplace culture


SOUTHBOROUGH, Mass. and DUBLIN, Ireland – June 22, 2015 – Employee retention/turnover is the number one workplace challenge facing HR leaders today, according to the 2015 SHRM/Globoforce Employee Recognition Survey. The survey results were announced by Globoforce® (, a leading provider of social recognition solutions, and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. In the survey, 40 percent of HR professionals cite employee retention/turnover as their top organizational challenge, followed by employee engagement. To download the latest report, click here,

The survey of 823 HR leaders also examined the benefits of employee recognition programs tied to company values, and the impact these programs can have on company culture. 90 percent of respondents practicing values–based recognition say it positively impacted engagement, while 68 percent say it positively impacted retention.

Key insights and findings from the report include:

The top three challenges faced by HR organizations today are retention/turnover, employee engagement, and succession planning.

In the 2013 and 2012 SHRM/Globoforce surveys, employee engagement and succession planning topped the list of challenges for HR leaders. Growing concerns about retention/turnover have now overtaken them both, symbolizing a sign of the growing war for talent.

  • 40 percent of respondents say that the loss of personnel is a top challenge; another 29 percent are concerned about finding replacement talent.
  • 39 percent say employee engagement is their primary concern; down from 47 percent in 2013.
  • 24 percent of respondents cite culture management as being their top HR concern.

Values-based recognition programs are seen as creating stronger cultures and more human workplaces, and increasing bottom-line organizational metrics.

The 2015 SHRM/Globoforce survey found an uptick in the number of recognition programs aligned to company values. The survey also found that recognition—and in particular values-based recognition—is perceived to be driving key metrics such as engagement, retention, safety, wellness, employer brand and even cost control goals.

  • 81 percent of HR leaders say their companies practice formal recognition, while 58 percent say they have a program tied to their organization’s values.
  • Companies with a values-based recognition program see an overwhelmingly positive impact on company culture—86 percent report an increase in employee happiness and 85 percent said added humanity in the workplace.
  • A majority of respondents (57 percent) say a values-based recognition program improved their company’s bottom line—90 percent also say it positively impacted engagement and 68 percent say it positively impacted retention.

The top objective for years of service programs is employee appreciation, but many programs still fall short of the mark for inspiration and quality.

Years of service (YOS) programs are widely practiced in today’s organizations, but many are falling short of excellence. HR leaders say this can be improved through inspiring experiences and participation from senior leadership.

  • 74 percent of respondents say their companies have a service anniversary program in place, but only 22 percent rated their program as excellent, 47 percent rated their program as good and 31 percent rated their program as fair or poor.
  • 88 percent of respondents say their top objective for YOS programs is to appreciate employees, followed by ambitions to increase employee satisfaction or happiness (73 percent).
  • 35 percent of HR leaders would like to improve YOS programs by creating a more inspiring experience, while 22 percent would like more participation from senior leaders.

“Now more than ever, companies are focusing on culture as a competitive differentiator,” said Eric Mosley, CEO of Globoforce. “They’re realizing that a best-in-class culture is dependent upon employees feeling engaged and nurtured, and that this type of human workplace starts and ends with recognition.”

“The latest SHRM/Globoforce survey provides insight into the key concerns among the HR leaders. The one that rose to the top of the list was employee turnover/retention, which is certainly not a surprise given the strengthening job market,” said Evren Esen, SHRM’s director of survey programs. “The good news is that our findings reveal that employee recognition programs promote engagement and an overall positive work experience.”


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