6 Employee Recognition Mistakes That Can Do More Damage Than Good

One of the most valuable assets for any business is their employees. So, recognizing them for their performance just makes good business sense. When employees are rewarded for their hard work and dedication, everyone wins. While this practice can foster great benefits for everyone involved, there are some common mistakes that could diminish the goals you set out to achieve. Here are six common mistakes when giving employee recognition that you should try your best to avoid.

  1. Using Only Performance as a Basis for Reward

While performance is a key element in successful business relationships, it should not be your only measure. Rewards should also include effort, enthusiasm, and other qualities that may have been used to benefit your company. Instead of only using performance based measure, link your rewards system to your company’s core values so that you can also focus more on less obvious qualities like integrity, ethics, and commitment.

2. Avoid the One Size Fits All Plan

All people are not the same so they shouldn’t all have the same recognition or be given a cookie-cutter award. If you want your gesture to carry a little weight, make sure that when you give employee recognition that you consider each recipient individually and reward them accordingly. Different people show their best work in different ways and therefore, they deserve to have a little personal treatment.

3. Relying on Recognition Alone

Having a rewards program is great for motivating employees but it should not be the only tool in your toolbox. It is also important for you to have good communication throughout your departments and to have follow-up strategies to keep the momentum going once you’ve gotten it started. Give constant reminders to your management team so that no one gets too comfortable with the status quo and forgets to show their appreciation to those in their charge.

4. Don’t Just Think About the Money

Yes, business is all about the bottom line, but your rewards program should be much more rounded than that. Sometimes, just receiving praise can be more valuable to an employee than cash. Don’t assume that all employees are looking for a bump in salary or a bonus of some kind. Some of the most valuable rewards won’t cost you a thing.

5. Don’t Wait too Long

This is a common error played out in many businesses. Giving recognition too late in the game can be very detrimental. When this happens the value of the recognition can be diminished. Aside from the fact that the employee may have forgotten what he had done or that the delay in acknowledgement can foster resentment are very real possibilities. If you want your recognition to mean something to your employees, the sooner you acknowledge their contribution, the better.

6. Only Giving Rewards From Management

It is a given fact that management will play a key role in issuing company rewards. This top-down approach can be a very powerful and key element in motivating employees but it does not need to be the only one. By also including a peer review reward system, you empower your employees to take a more active role in the inner workings of your company. For many who receive such rewards, this type of recognition holds far more value than one from management. They perceive it as more sincere since those who give it are not under obligation to reward someone.

While giving employee recognition is important, don’t fall into the trap of just giving half-hearted praise. Any recognition or reward you give should be given with sincerity at its core. When a company’s recognition programs are not well-defined, it can easily end up creating more damage than good. By doing all you can to avoid making these common mistakes in employee recognition, you can get your program off with a powerful connection between all of your employees that will serve you well for future success.

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