Here’s why your Employee Recognition Program falls flat

An employee recognition program is an excellent way to motivate and retain your employees. It can also play a part in attracting new talent to your organization. But it’s not enough to simply create and implement a program. If your efforts are falling flat, you might be making one of the following mistakes.

It’s All about the Money

We most often recognize outstanding employees because of their efforts which bring profits to the company. For example, a salesperson gains a new and very lucrative client for the company, and program recognizes her for her high sales figures for the month. But only focusing on money in your program is a big mistake.

When you focus too much on money alone, you lose the personal aspect. You want your employees to feel that they belong because they are each a valued part of your organization. If you only seem to care about company profits, it looks like you don’t care personally about your team members beyond that. That outlook also fosters a team who only works for monetary gain. You need deeper relationships than that.

Too Easy or Too Hard

One of the major challenges in creating an employee recognition program is deciding how hard or easy it should be to reward employees. If it’s too easy, it won’t be much of a motivator. Your team members will put in only the effort necessary. If it’s too hard, no one will reach it and this will also kill motivation.

The key is trial and error. Create goals that you feel are reasonable, and be flexible so that you can change them if your employees aren’t hitting them. Also, try to create individual goals that each person will hit so that you can spread the recognition around and make all employees feel valued.

Using Your Recognition Program to Give Incentives

A good employee recognition program recognizes those who go above and beyond in order to motivate people to do their best. It shouldn’t be used as a form of bribery or social control. If it is too much the focus of your business’s operations, it will become an end in itself.

One way to avoid this is to keep the rules somewhat loose and use it to surprise your employees. Rather than making it the goal toward which everyone works, make it an extra bonus. For example, at a regular meeting, you might surprise a member of your team by recognizing the extra effort they put into a project. The element of surprise here is what’s important. Rather than focusing on rules and trying to game the program for an incentive, other employees will feel motivated to do their best knowing that their hard work is appreciated.

Creating “Wow” Experiences with Your Employees

What creates a strong employee recognition program is not just that you recognize your employees according to a set system, but that you go above and beyond, delighting them with recognition that’s truly sincere and personal. This is what motivates employees to stay for the long-term and truly become a part of your organization.


What should you do next?

Book our training / workshop ‘Going Above and Beyond’, which we can facilitate at your premises or at a venue within the Perth metro area. Having training off site will eliminate most disruptions during the training or workshops, and your staff are reaping all benefits of this fantastic course.

Or contact us to discuss individual training or workshops for your leadership team or for yourself.