Who are the top organizations for rewards and recognition?

Careful thought and planning needed to implement winning program

Who are the top organizations for rewards and recognition?

As the war for talent rages on, HR professionals must employ a wide variety of tools to both attract and, maybe more importantly, retain employees.

By letting those star performers know they are deeply valued and appreciated, smart organizations are keeping those workers happy and productive.

The winners of Canadian HR Reporter’s 5-Star Rewards & Recognition (R&R) awards for 2023 recognize that putting people first is the best defense against corporate complacency.

The hallmark of an industry-leading R&R program is that it exists to create a high-performing and engaged workforce, says HR consultant Jana Tulloch of Tulloch Consulting. 

“Sometimes, companies think rewards and recognition is a bit of a fluff program and that all it takes is gift cards or kudos once in a while,” she says.

“That approach is short-changing the significant impact a well-done program can have on the bottom line.”

An analysis of over 400 survey responses from employees at this year’s award-winning companies reveals that 91 per cent of respondents indicate they are more likely to remain with their current company due to its respective R&R programs

Access the full report and celebrate this year's winners in the recent 5-Stars Employee Rewards & Programs.

Behind the numbers

This year’s top-ranking companies all clocked an overall employee satisfaction rating of 75 per cent or higher, with three cracking 90 per cent. The majority were between 80 per cent and 89 per cent.

Those figures are even more impressive in the context of Express Employment Professionals data that showed 75 per cent of Canadian employers entered 2023 with fears over hiring challenges. The second biggest reason behind this fear is employees leaving to go elsewhere.

But what exactly are some of these winning employers doing so well?

Winner Citadel Mortgages in Toronto achieved an overall employee satisfaction rating of 92.32 per cent. One of its best-performing incentives rewards employees with a fully paid, five-day, four-night vacation to 65 different locations worldwide if they come back to work in the office. 

About 20 per cent of the full-service mortgage brokerage’s workforce are back in the building, says principal broker and managing partner Tristan Kirk. More experience-type rewards are on the way in 2023 for top performers, including a day in Ontario wine country, $500 hotel vouchers per quarter, and monthly spa packages. 

“We launched it last year and the growth and the attention paid to that reward by my team was pretty cool to see,” says Kirk.

“If you take the time to listen and understand your people and build an experience for them in a way that’s meaningful, they’re going to be much, much happier and stay with you for a longer time.” 

The corporate gifting industry is expected to rise to $242-billion by 2024, according to Coresight Research.

Recent survey results show that 100 per cent of employees at the Calgary office of IT services firm, Improving, are likely to stay with the company based on its R&R programs.

Employees, or ‘Improvers’ as they’re referred to in company culture, receive personal ‘thank you’ cards written by leadership and public recognition of their achievements and impact made within Improving and the community. They also benefit from annual profit sharing and an internal gratitude channel exclusively for thanks and recognition.

But perhaps more importantly for president Michael McCullough, is the firm’s Employee Involvement Program (EIP), a praise, recognition, and reward solution that allows “everyone to feel like they’re winning.”

Latest stories