Original Research

A formative evaluation of a staff reward and recognition programme

Saleemah Salie, Anton Schlechter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 10, No 3 | a422 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v10i3.422 | © 2012 Saleemah Salie, Anton Schlechter | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 October 2011 | Published: 04 July 2012

About the author(s)

Saleemah Salie, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa
Anton Schlechter, Section of Organisational Psychology, University of Cape Town, South Africa


Orientation: It is generally assumed that reward and recognition programmes have increased staff motivation and reduced staff turnover.

Research purpose: The main aim of this evaluation was to test the plausibility of the programme theory underlying a staff reward and recognition programme within a retail setting. Secondary aims were to assess whether or not the programme was implemented as intended and whether or not its outcomes were well defined.

Motivation for the study: Different groups of people may have different assumptions about whether a reward and recognition programme works or not. This evaluation was motivated by the different assumptions held by programme stakeholders, programme recipients and social science researchers regarding the programme.

Research design, approach and method: This formative evaluation used a descriptive design. Primary qualitative data were collected by means of structured interviews with the Human Resource Development (HRD) Facilitator and ten programme participants.

Main findings: The results showed that the programme theory was not plausible and that the programme was not implemented as intended. Although the HRD Facilitator and the participants agreed that the programme led to improved customer service, they disagreed about the other programme outcomes.

Practical/managerial implications: This evaluation contains practical suggestions for improving the programme theory, the programme implementation process and the redefinition of the outcomes of the programme as standard performance indicators.

Contribution/value-add: This evaluation contributed to the limited literature on the effect of reward and recognition programmes. Whilst there is a vast amount of literature pertaining to such programmes, very few formal evaluations exist about them.


theory evaluation; reward and recognition programme; staff motivation; staff retention; meaningful reward


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Crossref Citations

1. An empirical study of the reward preferences of South African employees
Robin J. Snelgar, Michelle Renard, Danie Venter
SA Journal of Human Resource Management  vol: 11  issue: 1  year: 2013  
doi: 10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.351