A #SHRM19 Interview with Halo Recognition



This is a 2019 SHRM Annual Conference and Exposition (#SHRM19) interview is with Halo Recognition, a company that helps organizations deliver recognition and incentives to their employees. Below is a quick Q&A with Cord Himelstein, the vice president of marketing and communications.

Who is HALO Recognition!? Tell us everything, just as you would someone approaching your booth and asking you this question at #SHRM19 in Las Vegas.

It’s well known that we are a leading provider of recognition, reward, and incentive programs, but we also have expanded capabilities covering all touchpoints in the employee life cycle, including company stores, workwear apparel, and branded merchandise. We reach far beyond what startup providers or plug-and-play recognition apps can do, offering comprehensive services like strategic design, personal account teams, and program marketing support to be the single source for all your employee appreciation efforts.

HALO Recognition began as a luxury retailer specializing in silver in 1935, but evolved over the years to a reliable supplier of corporate service awards. How, as a larger company today, does Halo carry that honesty, compassion, and tradition through its work?

We’ve been fortunate to be at the forefront of the evolution of the employee recognition space, and as the recognition industry grew we expanded to support our clients the way they needed without losing our customer-centric approach. We are still led by Jeffrey and Michael Fina and our longtime management team that has supported our growth throughout our expansion, and our custom solutions and personal service are still the hallmarks of our business.

Let us in on the magic. What’s the recognition process like at Halo? How do you utilize your own practices to ensure loyalty?

We are big believers in being an example for clients by giving our employees the best recognition experience possible. Everyone at HALO is capable of recognizing anyone at any time (including our remote and global employees), our recognition budgets are generous, and upper management gives strong top-down support and advocacy for the program benefits. From day one we make recognition a priority, giving all new hires a special onboarding kit with fun items welcoming them to the company. We announce all of our employee anniversaries and birthdays in daily communications, and individual department heads coordinate celebrations around them. We’re also continually engaging everyone with thoughtful branded merchandise packages, small gifts here and there for special events like employee appreciation day, and branded gifts for major holidays. On top of all that, all employees can earn points to redeem for rewards of their choice on our comprehensive online recognition program. It’s got a peer-to-peer nomination system with initiatives based on our core values and a daily eCard system. We also recently added a new layer with a comprehensive wellness program that gives employees several options and support for maintaining holistic health and work-life balance. And that’s just off the top of my head! We work hard to build a culture of recognition and positive vibes every day, and leverage everything at our disposal to create an incredible employee experience.

What are the biggest challenges companies face when recognizing employee achievement? How do they overcome those challenges?

A few things come to mind. A big one is getting frontline managers properly trained and educated on recognition best practices so they know how to best engage their teams. Another is ensuring remote and/or global workers are receiving a consistent recognition experience like their office-bound counterparts so nobody is left out. There’s also connecting with employees through internal marketing and awareness campaigns to get them excited for the program and up to speed on the company’s goals with it. There are some administrative challenges too, like understanding how much you are currently spending on recognition if you run a decentralized program, and creating a reliable data flow for enterprise-level programs that may reach across multiple global and domestic locations. Meeting these challenges is made much easier by partnering with a recognition provider that offers strategic design, implementation, and ongoing support for all aspects of the program.

What do you wish more HR professionals and recruiters knew about recognition and incentives?

That recognizing achievements in the workplace is so much more than just a website or a shipment of merchandise. With the SaaS-based technology available to us now, recognition programs have the potential to unify workforces under common goals like never before, while serving as a vital touchstone for the entire employee experience. It’s not a “flip the switch” program. Getting the maximum benefit takes a strategic design and engineering process with regular measurement and maintenance. There is a science to their success, and a need for a recognition partner who can tailor everything to suit your unique needs and provide ongoing support.

How important is recognition in employee retention?

It’s one of the primary strategies for increasing retention and lowering voluntary turnover. The biggest reasons people leave their jobs are lack of appreciation and a poor relationship with their direct manager. Recognition programs give organizations a system for real-time feedback and tools for managers to build meaningful connections with employees.

For anyone who won’t be able to make it to the Halo Recognition booth in Las Vegas, what do you want them to know?

I’ll be in Vegas, so sorry I missed you! If anything I want everyone to know that HALO is more than just an employee recognition company. We are your single-source full-service provider with solutions for every stage of the employee journey. We have a passion for partnership, and it gives us big smiles when our clients discover how a tailored, comprehensive recognition program can really wow their employees and focus them on achieving business goals. Whatever your recognition needs might be, with HALO you’ll always get a consultative approach, personal attention to detail, and thoughtfully designed programs that bring out the best in your people!


Visit Halo Recognition Booth #2063 at #SHRM19!


The SHRM Blog does not accept solicitation for guest posts.

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