Confusion, envy and other tales from the dark side of recognition

Done poorly, rewards programs can cause more problems than they solve
By Adrian Gostick
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/06/2004

There’s a lot to say for the upside of employee recognition. Increased productivity. Higher motivation. Greater retention.

But employee recognition can have a dark side, too.

It happens when key recognition principles are overlooked. Suddenly, rather than awakening employees’ full potential, recognition rouses co-worker envy. The resulting backbiting, sabotage and selfishness can eat a business alive.