Everyone likes being appreciated or recognized for their accomplishments—so how can there be negatives to employee appreciation? Don’t let the phrasing mislead you; it’s more about employee appreciation challenges that, when not addressed correctly, can have negative effects. So what are these challenges, how can you avoid them, and what can you do differently?
It isn’t personalized. It’s not easy to keep track of how each employee likes to be recognized, whether subtly in private or in a showy manner in front of their team, but it is extremely important to remember which type of individual you are dealing with. A public, outgoing display of recognition for someone that doesn’t enjoy the spotlight can be more detrimental than helpful. Try to remember you aren’t praising “Employee X,” you’re praising Sarah, who is extremely introverted, or Jim, who likes to be acknowledged in meetings.
It isn’t communicated well. This refers to both the candidate receiving recognition and the team that they are a part of. The candidate needs to know exactly what it is that warranted recognition, and how they can continue to accomplish this going forward. The candidate’s fellow teammates should also be informed, by way of providing them an example of what they should aim towards in their performance and behavioral goals. Remember—this doesn’t need to be a big announcement, putting poor Sarah in a spotlight she doesn’t want to be in. A simple email or company bulletin would get the message across just fine.
It isn’t consistent. There’s a fine line between keeping it interesting and becoming confusingly inconsistent. Not wanting to repeat the same rewards and processes over and over is understandable, but you need to have some sort of consistency in place so employees aren’t blindsided when their reward is vastly different, or even less valuable, than their fellow coworker that got appreciation previously.
When it is done correctly, employee appreciation is highly effective and necessary for happy employees. Don’t let common employee appreciation challenges put a damper on your employees’ appreciation experience.