How to avoid people having negative reactions to recognition programs

Many programs have components that lead to perceptions of inauthenticity
By Paul White ​
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 12/11/2017
Although recognition programs are well-intentioned, they often have an unintended, negative impact. Credit: kentoh (Shutterstock)

In the past two decades, business and organizational leaders have been told they need to have an employee recognition program to keep employees happy and motivated. As a result, recognition programs have proliferated.

But the impact of employee recognition is mixed. On the one hand, well-designed and effectively implemented employee recognition programs have been shown to increase performance. On the other, they have had little impact on employee engagement — only 33 per cent of employees worldwide are actively involved in, and emotionally committed to, their place of employment, according to a 2017 survey of employers in 155 countries by Gallup.

What’s more, 96 per cent of all recognition awards given by Canadian organizations are for length of service, according to a survey of 383 organizations by the Conference Board of Canada — which has very little impact on motivating staff.