Why some Employee Recognition Programs Fail

Some  employee recognition programs can be wildly successful, while others fall flat of expectations. Part of the problem is assuming that all employees are motivated the same way. Naming someone the “employee of the month” and giving them a designated parking space with their name on in front of it is a nice idea. But, it’s probably not enough to win the kind of loyalty and devotion needed in today’s competitive work world.

  • Fails to foster friendly competition

Some employees need tangible rewards in order to feel as though they are appreciated, while others need a little competition to get their juices flowing. It’s the same in relationships. Some people just need to a complement or verbal thanks, while some appreciate gifts. People who are externally validated are more likely to be loyal to employees who reward them. Internally validated employees could be motivated by a competitive angle to an employee recognition program.

  • Focuses on material objects instead of experiences

According to researchers, people are happier when they spend money on experiences such as travel rather than on material objects. An article by Forbes cites behavioral scientists who have found that material purchases are less satisfying than trips and adventures. Your employee recognition program will succeed if you provide individual or group travel incentives. Employees who are happier tend to be more productive and loyal.

You could give an employee a gold watch or a trip of a lifetime as part of an employee recognition plan. Memories of that exciting trip are more likely to keep him on task than glancing down at that gold watch. The clock might just tick a little slower without the right incentives.

For more information about how we can help you with relevant and exciting employee recognition programs, contact us

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