In a client company, the Culture and Communication Committee developed a recognition process for employees who practiced team work, went the extra mile, and contributed to the company's success. Awardees were nominated by other employees who filled out a nomination form.
The problem is that the criteria were so broadly interpreted that every employee who was nominated appeared to qualify. So, 34 employees qualified for the fifty dollar recognition check by the second quarter it was offered.
We were concerned that by the end of the year, every employee in the company would qualify for the recognition. If everyone qualified for the recognition, we were concerned that the recognition would lose the sense of specialness that the Committee had intended.
Picture 200 employees lined up to receive their checks. On the other hand, if every employee in the company truly met the criteria and qualified for the recognition, both company leaders and I would be thrilled.
The employees would have been thrilled, too, because the sense of team work and going the extra mile would have permeated the company culture. We worked with the committee to establish realistic criteria that made the recognition special, yet achievable. With solid criteria that differentiated nominees in place, the reward was viewed as a special opportunity once again.
You can avoid the employee recognition traps that: single out one or a few employees who are mysteriously selected for the recognition; sap the morale of the many who failed to win, place, or even show; confuse people who meet the criteria yet were not selected; or sought votes or other personalized, subjective criteria to determine winners. Learn more in Provide Motivational Employee Recognition.