HR Nugget – Employee Recognition and Changes to The Workplace Relations Act 2015

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Every month we will send you a useful nugget of information that takes only two – three minutes to read. At the bottom of this page, you can share this nugget with others. We hope you enjoy our HR Nuggets and find them useful.

HR Nugget – Employee Recognition

As unemployment levels are falling, it is now time to start to think about how you can retain your employees.   A strong employee recognition program can support this.

Employee recognition is a large part of a company’s culture. On average 1-2% of payroll is spent on awards and programs for employee recognition and reward. But do they give a positive return on investment?

Research shows that companies with traditional employee recognition programs were found to only have 31% lower voluntary turn-over than companies without a program at all.

Most employees viewed traditional employee recognition programs as just another “top-down” management scheme. They saw it as a public judgment, by management, of a small handful of employees, without peer input or opinion. Unrewarded employees often feel the system is bias or unfair. In the end, rewarded employees feel manipulated or targeted (by management) and the whole process creates an “Us versus Them” environment. Very counterproductive!

By contrast, organizations giving regular or routine “employee thanks” have been found by some researchers to out-perform their traditional counterparts, give employers a better ROI and improve retention of high performing employees. These ‘new generation’ approaches include drives to:

  • Make recognition easy and frequent. Recognizing outstanding achievements during regularly scheduled conference calls within departments or business units
  • Give “awards” for specific, results driven successes. This isn’t a typical “employee of the month” award, rather an award for a specific action or service during a specific time or event.
  • Allow peers to nominate or drive rewards program
  • Story-tell about great employees by highlighting their achievement via an internal newsletter or your company blog (so that your customers see the value your employees are bringing to them!)
  • For a better boost in employee engagement in their employee recognition program, tie recognition to your company’s mission, vision, purpose or goals.

For support with an employee recognition program please contact Mary on

HR Nugget – The Workplace Relations Act 2015

 Employees to Accrue Annual Leave while on Sick Leave

 There has been an amendment to The Workplace Relations Act 2015 which affects Employers. This is an important update for employers to be mindful of, as employees will now accrue annual leave whilst on sick leave.  This could have major financial implications.

What Are the Changes?

The Workplace Relations Act 2015 has introduced the following changes:
Where an employee is absent from work then that absence will count as working time where it is covered by a medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner.

  • Where an employee is unable to take all or part of their annual leave during a leave year due to a medically certified illness then the employee will still be permitted to take that annual leave for up to 15 months after the leave year has ended.
  • If an employee’s employment is terminated during the 15 month period mentioned above the employee will be entitled to payment in lieu of any such outstanding annual leave.

For more information please contact Mary on on download The Workplace Relations Act 2015.