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Engaging workers top priority for HR departments

Other concerns included cultivating leaders and managing staff performance. This could lead to an increase in the use of employee reward and recognition programs as these initiatives have shown to improve engagement levels and boost productivity among workers.

Engaging employees is the top need for most human resources departments. A recent survey by SHL found that 55 percent of respondents stated that boosting engagement levels was their top priority in 2013.

Other concerns included cultivating leaders and managing staff performance. This could lead to an increase in the use of employee reward and recognition programs, as these initiatives have been shown to improve engagement levels and boost productivity among workers. One key factor that could lead to a rise in reward programs is their ability to provide the basis for collecting data on worker performance. Just 18 percent of HR professionals stated they were satisfied with the way their companies manage worker performance data.

The rise of big data has helped companies improve operations and become more efficient. The TechAmerica Foundation estimates that big data solutions could cut the federal budget by 10 percent. However, the SHL survey notes that businesses are having a hard time applying these benefits to personnel issues.

"HR is still grappling with its ability to provide strategic data to the business on its workforce and is ill-equipped right now to take advantage of big data," said Ken Lahti, vice president for SHL. "They do not yet have the systems and tools required to identify people intelligence, create metrics, and link HR data sources together."

Reward programs provide a simple means to track performance and make comparisons with long-term objectives. By linking these initiatives to business processes, companies can determine a program's influence on company performance. However, the real value in these programs comes from creating an engaging work environment. Studies have shown that engaged workers are more likely to make significant contributions to the company's success and develop into leaders within the organization.

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