What Most Companies Get Wrong About Employee Recognition Programs

Employee recognition programs don’t take care of themselves.  While your company may have a program in place, you may well be flying by the seat of your pants, in terms of rewards and how they’re awarded. A truly effective employee recognition program encompasses the entirety of the organization, providing employees with clear benchmarks for performance and winning behaviors.  Everyone’s onboard.  Everyone knows what it takes to win and everyone has a crack at incentives. What most companies get wrong about employee recognition programs is what we’re going to talk about in this post.   If you recognize your company and its program here, then maybe it’s time to put your incentives and recognition in the hands of the pros at Incentive Travel Group.

Created in Isolation

If your employee recognition program was created in isolation from the opinions and feedback of the people it’s been created for, then you’re doing it wrong. Your people have clear ideas about how they’d like to be recognized and rewarded, so not asking them their opinion while you’re formulating the program is a major oversight. Survey your people.  Ask they what gets them fired up and whether they feel their efforts are being recognized.  A good survey will reveal holes in the program.  It’s never to late to re-design, re-jig and recuperate.

Lack of Clarity

We touched on this above, but it deserves a section of its own.  Most companies aren’t clear or consistent about what they expect from employees to be recognized.  Employees don’t know what they need to do to achieve the incentive. A key component of an effective employee recognition program is clearly defining expectations around the behaviors and achievements which win recognition.  Random prizes and contests are fun, but they fail when they’re not supported by targeted incentives which encourage employees to build on their strengths.

No Data

Without data, why do you even have an employee recognition program in place?  If you’re not tracking participation and results; if you’re not examining the trends in performance arising from your program, then you’re just throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. Putting in place the right software to help you collect, collate and interpret data around your program is what’s going to make it count.

The Little Things

Rewarding major achievements is certainly something every company should do, but the little things matter too. Reward the employee who noticed a discrepancy in the quarterly report.  Reward the go-getter who worked overtime to get that key item on the critical path done on time.  Even reward the creative thinker who pointed out that having snacks available on-site would boost productivity. Employee recognition is about identifying the company’s goals and translating them into how employees can meet them in their respective roles.  With communication, clarity, the right data and a consistent approach to all achievements (not just big ones), you’ll find your program’s effectiveness will improve. Incentive Travel Group has been helping companies like yours create exceptional employee recognition programs for over 20 years.  Contact us.

Let’s Get Started

Let’s Get Started

Planning a Group Trip?
We can help.

start planning

Case Studies

Boosting Retention Rates
Providing Sales Incentives
Building Employee Teamwork
Improving Employee Recognition


  • Evan Polin
    Sandler Training

    "I've been working with Bruce and his team on two projects and they've been great to work with. Bruce has helped us set up a referral/incentive program for us to roll out with our clients and strategic partners. Bruce was great to work with. He's set up a 7 tier program that allows for flexibility and he's also helped us to market the program."

  • Kevin O'Keefe
    Vice President World Wide Sales, Maginatics, Inc.

    "Beverly arranged and managed the early Envivio Sales incentive trips for us. Each of our events was an outstanding and motivating experience Our Sales team appreciated the attention to detail and to fun. Qualifying for the "trip" was a motivating factor behind many end of year sales pushes. I will use Beverly again in the future."

  • Mickey Poorman
    Laird Technologies

    "Peak Performance’s attention to detail and personal service made me feel like I had a true corporate meeting planning partner that I could rely on throughout the planning process right up until I was on site. I look forward to doing more meetings with them."

  • Marco Lopez
    C& J Energy Services, Inc

    "I have used your services two years in a row and you all have made my vacation a great one. You have the most helpful and considerate employees. Always very friendly, respectful and willing to make my travel experience a good one. Thank you and keep up the great job."

Latest Blog Post

Bucket List Destinations for your next President's Club

Are you looking for some inspiration for your next President's Club or sales incentive destination? Look no further than this...

Contact Us