Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works

By John Schaefer, June 4, 2010 1:48 pm

by John Schaefer – America’s Employee Recognition Expert

I just found this great article from Cindy Ventrice of I think Cindy get’s it and makes some great points about “making it real”. Her focus on relationships, connection, visibility and employees feeling valid and acknowledged is both timely and right on track, in a time when so many employees feel bought off with “carrots and sticks”. Cindy is a fresh viewpoint in this employees as a “piece of meat” work environment.

Cindy shares this great story that really makes it easy to get her point:

Imagine you work for a company where the Human Resources department arranges for every employee to receive a potted plant on the anniversary of his or her hire date. The computer generates a list of employees with upcoming anniversaries, an HR employee creates the purchase order, and a florist delivers your plant.

When your manager walks by your desk and notices that you have received the standard anniversary plant, she says, “Oh, is it your anniversary?” At that moment, how recognized do you feel?

Does it matter to you that the people in HR know it’s your anniversary? Unless you have a relationship with HR, it probably doesn’t. For most people, this kind of recognition has about as much value as a computer-generated birthday greeting from their life insurance company.

This isn’t just a hypothetical example. This is the story of a real employee who was the victim of outsourced recognition. As her story illustrates, recognition only has meaning when it comes from people who benefit from your behavior or have a direct interest in your achievements. Recognition that comes from recognition program administrators, whether in HR or Communications, is cold, impersonal, and a waste of company resources.

To read the whole article by Cindy Ventrice click here or visit Cindy on the web at

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