employee recognition mistakes rewards fail

An employee recognition program can be extremely successful in increasing productivity and morale. However, if not implemented correctly, it can completely sabotage your efforts. We have collected 11 ways you can completely sabotage your employee recognition and what to do instead:

1. Setting unachievable goals

This is probably the most common way to sabotage your employee recognition program. Often managers miss the point of such programs and instead try to squeeze out as much out of their employees as possible. What this does, however, is that it leads to the opposite effect: employees work less because they know it’s impossible to achieve the goals you have set out for them.

2. Rewards which are too small

Our next point refers to rewards. Offering rewards which are too small can lead to your employees not caring about them. For example, if you have worked really hard this month and the only recognition you get is a company mug and a pat on the back, then it will most likely feel like all your efforts were for nothing.

3. Rewards nobody wants

Another mistake related to rewards is offering things nobody wants. Examples include gift cards to shops nobody goes to or some very niche rewards which not everybody would enjoy. Therefore, make sure to ask your employees what kind of rewards they want and actually offer those.

4. Giving rewards too late

The timing of rewards can be problematic as well. For instance, if you give rewards too late then your employees won’t feel like their accomplishment was appreciated at the time and it might lead to resentment. 

5. Giving rewards too rarely

The frequency of rewards is important as well. If you give rewards only from time to time, then your employees won’t feel like you truly believe in recognizing their efforts. If you are inconsistent, they will be too!

6. Upper management not caring about employee recognition

If you are looking for another way to sabotage your employee recognition, then don’t involve upper management in the program! Often employees feel like their managers are not really invested in motivating and acknowledging them, but are rather following the latest HR trend. Therefore, make sure that the upper management truly understands and believes in the employee recognition program!

7. Not being transparent

Rewards in the workplace can only work if you are being transparent with your employees. For example, your employees need to know what are the exact criteria to receive a particular reward. If you start randomly giving rewards without making it clear what those employees have done to deserve it, then you will directly demotivate everybody else!

8. Not helping your employees achieve their goals

Employee recognition should be based on cooperation. Therefore, help your employees achieve their goals by offering different training and mentoring programs.

9. Focusing too much on metrics

Focusing too much on productivity metrics can make your staff feel like you don’t even see them as people. This will lead to more disengagement and job dissatisfaction.

10. Not asking your employees for feedback

Any employee recognition program shouldn’t be set in stone, but you should change and adapt it based on your employees’ feedback as time passes by. 

11. Discourage socialization at the workplace

Finally, a way to completely sabotage your employee recognition program is by telling your employees not to waste time socializing in the workplace. This will lead to decreased team spirit and lower morale.

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1 Comment

7 Little Changes That'll Make a Big Difference With Your Employee Motivation – BRAVO!
July 15, 2019

[…] Also, read our recent blog to learn about “11 Ways To Completely Sabotage Your Employee Recognition“. […]


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