Recognition realities (Web Sight)

Employees can be a fickle bunch. What inspires one could be a punchline to another. Employers and managers have their work cut out for them to come up with recognition and reward programs that motivate employees to higher levels of productivity. These articles look at reward and recognition from a number of angles.

Motivation: the myths and the realities

This brief article on employee motivation is found on a website that provides management assistance information to non-profit businesses. The tips and insights in this article, however, are useful to all business types and sectors. It dispels six common myths about employee motivation, and looks at five basic motivation principles. The article offers a number of steps employers can take to support and motivate employees.

Employee value systems

The Center for Values Research offers two complementary articles that examine employee value systems. They offer interesting insights employers and managers can use to determine how to best motivate and reward employees. The first article breaks the different employee value systems into seven groups (conditioned, clannish, cynical, conventional, competitive, compassionate and conscious), and explains the different characteristics and expectations of employees who fall into these groups. The author offers tips and suggestions for dealing with employees in each group, from motivation to rewards and recognition. (Another article at, focuses on how the value systems are motivated through compensation systems.)

Recognition case study

Recognition specialists O.C. Tanner’s website features a case study on the rewards and recognition efforts of Ethicon, a subsidiary of the vast Johnson & Johnson empire. The company puts a great deal of emphasis on the importance of employee satisfaction, and as the director of public affairs, Donald Bowers, says, “Our organization is very aware of how important the human spirit is to the success of our business. And one of the ways to touch the human spirit is to recognize it — whether we take the time to recognize people with an award, a pat on the back, or with a letter — we’re telling all of our associates how important they are to our enterprise.” The case study looks at some of the specific efforts Ethicon uses in recognizing employees, and the results they have realized from these efforts. The author states that, “to have the greatest impact, rewards and recognition should be publicly celebrated, not pushed aside unnoticed by the very employees whose behaviour is to be influenced.”

Shannon Simson is Canadian HR Reporter’s resource editor. Her Web Sight column appears regularly in the CloseUp section.

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