Pages Navigation Menu

Insights. Influence. Results.

7 Signs That Your Company’s Employee Recognition Program Sucks (And How to Fix It)

7 Signs That Your Company’s Employee Recognition Program Sucks (And How to Fix It)

The hardest working employee is an appreciated employee. Burnout and job fatigue are real concerns, and one of the simplest ways to avoid those negative scenarios is by showing your employees that you value them. Sometimes, that’s more complicated than a pat on the back. Is your employee recognition program really as great as you believe it is?

  1. Your Employees Aren’t Involved

Leadership loves to select important designations, like employee of the month. Someone may look great on paper, but looks can be deceiving. Let your employees nominate people for special awards. These are their coworkers, and they’ve witnessed more of their workplace successes than you have. When you let employees nominate each other, you’re also promoting a positive social climate around the office.

  1. You Forgot About Teamwork

Speaking of positive social climates, what do your employees do when they put their heads together? Teams win, and teamwork is just as important as individual accomplishments. If you want your employees to properly synergize, you need to place emphasis on the benefits of successful team work. A great recognition program will reward teams just as much as it will reward single employees.

  1. You Undervalue Personal Accomplishments

John may not be a regular superhero around the office, but that doesn’t mean he’s incapable of accomplishing extraordinary feats. Maybe he’s picked up his performance in a specific area to a noticeable degree. Even if he’s still not the best at it, he needs to know you’ve noticed that he’s mastering his workplace skills. It may not be a huge victory for the office, but it’s a huge victory for John. Let him know!

  1. You Aren’t Helping Your Employees Grow

Recognition should be more than material rewards. Sometimes, the best rewards are tools your employees deserve to become the best at what they do. Recognition goes beyond glorified “thank you” moments. Employees with great performance should be celebrated with career perks. Can you help Jane get a promotion after she’s proved herself to be extraordinarily competent? She probably deserves it.

  1. You Don’t Celebrate Your Employees Regularly

Nobody should have to perform a groundbreaking feat in order to receive recognition. Sometimes, your employees need to know that they count when times are stressful. If everyone is holding in there during tough times, like overwhelmingly difficult projects and harsh deadlines, they need to know you appreciate their efforts alone. It never hurts to have a little pizza party to boost morale. They need to know you always care.

  1. Your Approach is Impersonal

How are you recognizing or rewarding employees? Placing an Employee of the Month announcement on the bulletin board or typing up a short sentiment about an employee in the newsletter is great, but it’s very impersonal. How often do you call your employees into your office just to thank them face-to-face? Be more direct about your recognition efforts.

  1. Your Program Has No Structure

When your program has no structure, it may translate to your other employees as blatant favoritism. Some employees may not have a stellar week every single week, but that doesn’t make their good weeks less important. Some employers like to gamify their employee recognition programs. Try allowing your employees to accumulate recognition points, which can, at some point, be exchanged for small rewards. All accomplishments count.


The ideal employee recognition program may come with a few investments, but it’s easy to justify the expenses. Companies with great recognition programs experience less turnover, and more productivity. Investing a little more into your current employees can prevent you from having to invest a lot more to find new ones. Your employees deserve the best from you.

The following two tabs change content below.
Elizabeth Lee is a passionate blogger whose main interests include all aspects of establishing a successful company. Currently, with over 7 years of experience as a content specialist, Elizabeth is supporting PACK & SEND – specialists in the field of logistics.

One Comment

  1. Awesome article Elizabeth, As a part of Hr team in an organization i completely agree with what you have said. Every employer or manager should be generous enough to recognize the hard work done by an employee.

    Thanks for sharing.

Donate To Help Others

Donate to Doctors Without Borders

Donate to Doctors Without Borders

In a time when we can help others, we encourage a donation to Doctors Without Borders.

Check This Offer Out

Sign Up To Get Our Free Hot HR Trends Report

Also get: 

1) HR and Leadership strategy thought articles delivered to your inbox once a week;

2) Access to white papers and special reports as they become available;

3) Access to tools and resources;

4) Discount information from our partners. 


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This