Three traps to avoid in your employee recognition program

by on May 12, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

Even with the best intentions, an employee recognition program can backfire if delivered the wrong way

That can be a frustrating situation for HR professionals, because they want managers to praise workers when appropriate. They want managers to encourage employees to meet the corporate goals. So encourage managers to praise, but give them a heads-up about the following three traps to avoid in their employee recognition program:

  1. Ignoring the self-motivated in your employee recognition program
  2. Some people are low-maintenance. They seem to forge ahead with or without praise, getting their personal validation from doing their jobs well and not making a big deal about it. It’s easy to take these kind of people for granted; after all, they’re not the squeaky wheels. But that’s a mistake. Everyone needs a pat on the back once in a while, and they may start to feel underappreciated.

  3. Employee recognition always goes to the same people
  4. One company continually recognized the top five salespeople. Problem was, it was usually the same five people. So the morale of number six and number seven went down. They felt like they would never be in the top five. But they were contributing, too.

    Suggestion: Acknowledge everyone’s merits at some point – even if it’s something small. Praising people for improved results is better than waiting to give them a big pat on the back once they’re a star. And better – rewarding small improvements tends to make it more likely they’ll become a star.

  5. Praising people all the time
  6. If managers spoil your workers with praise, they’ll lose credibility with workers. The rewarding words will lose their meaning and people will ignore them.

    Better: Recommend managers praise people only when it’s deserved – when they see their people doing something right that’s valuable to the company.

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