Measurements

There are two types of measures to reivew when determining the effectiveness of a recognition program - qualitative and quantitative.

Qualitative
Qualitative measures are not hard, fast numbers. Instead, a qualitative measure is a subjective in-depth description – such as a case study, testimonial, or personal accounts. The primary goal of qualitative research is to understand employees from multiple perspectives, which can be more difficult to track. 
Capture the "before" and "after" perspectives from a few participants to compare and contrast the effectiveness of the program. Examples of qualitative measures include:

  • Testimonials
  • Case Studies
  • Focus Groups

Quantitative
Quantitative measures are hard, fast numbers that measure progress and participation in the program. When you kick off the program, ask the participants to assess their work environment using an employee engagement survey. Halfway through the program, ask them the same set of questions again. The change in the results will gauge the progress of your program, satisfying the primary goal of quantitative research.  
At the end of the program, re-assess a third time. Use the change in data points to show the effectiveness of your program. Examples of quantitative measures include:

  • Number of Participants
  • Dollars Spent
  • Changes in Employee Behavior or Attitude
  • Changes in Turnover
  • Changes in Productivity
  • Return on Investment
  • Number of Nominations

In addition to qualitative and quantitative measurements, incorporate additional baseline measurements and budgeting into your evaluation structure.

Budgeting Measurements
Once you establish recognition objectives and define your recognition strategy, you will allocate dollar amounts to each of your recognition initiatives. The budget will depend on your organization, but here are a few items to consider when establishing your budget:

  • Allocate a percentage of your payroll
  • Add a multiplier to the previous year’s budget based on recognition success
  • Benchmark against other organizations in your industry with a similar size

Additional Baseline Measurements
As you shift your focus from the recognition strategy to implementation, focus your attention on collecting general feedback that can be applied to your measurement metrics. 
Bob Nelson, recognition expert and author of The 1001 Rewards and Recognition Fieldbook, recommends applying these four metrics to your recognition program evaluation.

Level

Title

Explanation

1

Reaction

How do stakeholders feel about the recognition experience?

2

Learning

Is there an increase in knowledge, skills, and attitudes?

3

Behavior

Are the tools being used?

4

Results

What’s the impact on the business?


Source: The Complete Guide: The 1001 Rewards & Recognition Fieldbook by Bob Nelson 2003

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