The Most Pervasive Problems in Employee Recognition

Employee recognition, if practiced correctly, can prove highly advantageous for any company.  

Gallup’s study “Transforming Workplaces Through Recognition” revealed that recognized employees are four times more engaged in their work and are 44% more satisfied with their jobs. 

The majority of businesses invest in employee appreciation and recognition because they understand the manifold benefits of recognizing their employees.

For example, an employee appreciation program can help lower turnover rates, increase job performance, and enhance workplace morale.

Unfortunately, despite the best efforts, organizations fail to reap the results of employee recognition. As a result, leveraging the results of recognition becomes impossible.

The reason for this failure may vary from one organization to another. However, most companies have been seen facing a list of pervasive problems.

These common problems faced by the companies in employees’ appraisal are mainly due to poor strategies and planning while designing and later implementing the recognition program.

Some of these prevalent mistakes are listed below for you. And reading them will help you practice your appreciation program successfully:

Leaving People Out

Leaving People Out in Employee Recognition

Top performers can be recognized and rewarded, which can help encourage them and increase their morale.

However, you should always be mindful that there are other employees as well who work equally hard and put in efforts but just cannot manage to have the desired results.

Leaving such employees out can make them feel devalued. As a result, they will put in less effort in the future, which will reduce their productivity.

Furthermore, cutting people out may alienate them from the rest of the workforce or lead to employee factions, both of which are serious concerns for any company.


While it is a common mistake by companies, there exists a simple solution as well: Everyone’s effort in the workplace must be recognized in some way, even if that means implementing a multi-layered recognition program.

Giving Everyone the Same Reward

Giving Everyone the Same Reward Employee Recognition

All of your employees have a common goal at work. They, nonetheless, are different individuals.

And so, failing to acknowledge their different personalities when it comes to recognizing them impacts your recognition program.

For example: While some people enjoy public praise, others may view it negatively, which may prove as counterproductive

Basically, what one employee prefers may be disliked by the other. So, giving everyone the same reward is definitely a persuasive problem in employee acknowledgment.

That being the reason, you should invest in personalized/ customized gifts. You may even employ a professional writing service to produce custom letters of appreciation for your employees.


If the purpose of your recognition program is to reward individuals with tangible advantages, then you should find out the individual preferences and dislikes of employees.

Moreover, if you go the extra mile to learn about their hobbies, the receiver will find the reward more meaningful.

Read More: Top 8 non-monetary incentive to reward the employee

Reward Based on Performance Only

Reward Based on Performance Only Employee Recognition

Integrity, timeliness, and superior communication skills are just a few of the characteristics that an ideal employee should exhibit.

Some programs emphasize employee performance only. And this, however, takes place at the expense of other workplace-beneficial characteristics being discouraged.

After all, doing so transmits the message that performance is the only thing that matters.


Rewarding employees for the traits you want to see in them helps them develop such characteristics. Furthermore, it stresses the importance of these traits to the goals and objectives of the company.

Moreover, you’ll be able to receive other beneficial results from promoting these characteristics through your employee appreciation program.

Yearly Awards Only

Yearly Awards Only

One of the key benefits is that it raises employee morale. But when a company limits it to an annual event, it reduces its overall usefulness. 

You want your staff to be inspired and dedicated to their work throughout the year. Therefore, an annual program will never bring you desired results from your employees at regular intervals.


Implementing weekly, bimonthly, or monthly employee recognition programs makes more sense, which helps keep the staff engaged and focused throughout the year.

Relying Solely on Monetary rewards

Relying Solely on Monetary rewards

Focusing solely on monetary incentives is a bad concept.

If your top employees are working only for financial gain, you risk losing them to competitors who can pay them more.


Another way to keep your staff happy is by offering perks like movie tickets, family vacations, and restaurant gift cards.

It’s important to remember that an incentive should be employee related. You may not want to offer a couple’s retreat to a recently divorced employee, which may result in both embarrassment and awkwardness.

Failure To Maintain the Program

Failure To Maintain the Program

Implementing an employee recognition program is one thing, and maintaining is another.

After a  program is implemented, sustaining it is the next important thing. And without a defined strategy, sustainability is not possible.

With the failure of a rewards and appreciation program, the overall morale and productivity of a workplace also take a toll.

So it is important that appreciation programs for employees are closely monitored and maintained.


The key to sustaining a recognition program is adjusting it to the demands of new and veteran employees.

Lacking in Transparency

Lacking in Transparency

For a successful program, its path must be fair and transparent to all employees alike.

If there is even one aspect that the system favors one employee over another, the entire process will be questioned, which will naturally destroy the whole objective.


Every individual must comprehend how the process works and how it may be identified.

If you’re expressing gratitude for someone’s ability to think creatively, you should make this reason explicit.


Employee recognition programs offer several benefits, and when implemented properly, they may help a company manifoldly.

Employee recognition programs foster a workplace culture that drives employee engagement. So, such programs help create an environment where people desire to work.

The problems described above are the most common and simple for organizations to have.

Avoiding these errors may appear to be a time-consuming endeavor. But the long-term advantages greatly outweigh the time expense.

Lastly, maintaining a recognition program is one of the biggest challenges a company can face. It is due to the workplace being spread over employees of both newer and older generations. 

So meeting the needs of different generations of employees at the same time may seem like an uphill task.

But worry not! 

You can use Bravo, which is specially designed to efficiently recognize the employees belonging to the newer generation. Along with that, it also helps keep the older employees satisfied.

Learn about Bravo better by booking its entirely free demo.

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