Has Your Recognition System Expired?
The number of organizations that fail to recognize employee efforts on a consistent basis continues to amaze me. Even more fail to improve their recognition processes over time.
Giveaways, such as free t-shirts, gift certificates, and coffee mugs are nice. However, they cannot represent the only forms of saying ‘thank you’ that you use over the next five to ten years.
Recognition systems have an expiration date. From a motivational theory perspective, the work of Herzberg supports this. Herzberg’s work explored the concept of satisfiers and dissatisfiers.
What works as a motivator now becomes only a dissatisfier in the future if it is taken away. In other words, over time, people begin to take for granted the things that once ‘wowed’ them. If your recognition process does not evolve over time, it will lose its effectiveness.
I have seen this happen in real life, in more than one organization. This is especially true if the organization achieves consistent performance improvement success.
For example, if your site’s cost reduction efforts regularly save a million dollars or more each year, people will begin to expect more than a meal or a $25 gift certificate when they help you to achieve this level of consistent savings. If you don’t believe me, ask and listen to your people.