Consultant John Schaefer [1] writes that studies show that there is often a big divergence between management’s appraisal of their organisation’s recognition programmes and actual employee satisfaction. The following five shortcomings will discourage employees:

  1. Having poor credibility; recognition programmes that don’t genuinely come from the heart, will be quickly be perceived by employees as being manipulative. Managers need to ensure that their interactions are genuine.
  2. Being disorganised; even when employees do appreciate the care offered by an organisation, a disjointed recognition and reward system can undo this good work. By integrating employee communications, training, recognition and performance systems, organisations will gain maximum advantage from their investments in people.
  3. Failing to link into strategy; recognition programmes should be linked into strategies which are based on an organisation’s core values and goals. This will help employees to understand how their performance directly effects the organisation.
  4. Having weak upper management support; strong, honest and consistent support is required from the top. Employees will detect any signs of insincerity, and this will undermine programmes.
  5. Having no follow up systems; programmes that are not integrated into the performance management culture of an organisation will rapidly lose momentum. Quality reporting systems and empowered teams for responding to information are critical for keeping programmes relevant and profitable.
[1] R10695 Schaefer, J., (2009), The five biggest mistakes managers make in recognizing their employees, SuperVision, Vol 70, Iss 10, pp 19-20, National Research Bureau, Burlington

Neil Crawford

Members may read the full article which provides further advice about recognition schemeshere

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