A valued reader weighs in below on why Recognition programs fail in reaction to this column I wrote over at Workforce.com... Thanks Ron!
1. There is never a substitute for daily recognition from the boss – it is personal and real time. Anything else is Management by Gimmick.
2. Bosses are stingy with their thank-you’s because there is a formal program.
3. Recognition Programs typically evolve into personality contests. Introvert contributors tend to get ignored.
4. For every winner, there are many losers and they feel like losers after the gala is over.
5. The losers tend to downgrade the alleged contributions made by the winners.
6. Instead of emulating the winners, the average person does what they always do.
7. The awards are not always treasured by the winners, ala, give me money, not a parking space.
8. Most of the programs I have seen evolve into peer recognition programs due to the many flaws in the top down programs which become apparent.
9. The peer programs fade away too, because they are very popularity-driven.
10. A process of every manager of Catching People Doing Things Right is 10X more powerful.
I would have liked your dad. My dad was a college teacher and I heard his shoes hitting the ground everyday too. I also learned my work ethic from him. External hoopla meant nothing to him and he didn’t wear a blue collar.
Employees are starved for meaningful work, a larger purpose and the need for a good boss. Article after article are saying that employees leave bosses, not companies even the companies with Recognition Programs.