How to identify the archaic recognition practices that could be damaging your business


It’s generally agreed that with the recent COVID pandemic, established ways of working, systems and practices may have drastically changed forever. Many describe new ways of working, where people won’t return to ineffective processes, and instead benefit from the changes that are currently in their infancy across workplaces everywhere.

How to identify the archaic recognition practices that could be damaging your business

When considering workplace recognition, established and often archaic practices are still evident, having a detrimental impact on both individuals and organisations alike. It’s surprising how many modern businesses still use outdated recognition programmes and practices when handling their most valuable resource: their employees. In fact, research from our 2020 Global Culture report found that 45% of surveyed employees say the recognition they receive at work feels like an empty gesture that is not meaningful to them.

Recognition, the act of ensuring your employees feel appreciated and valued, is perhaps more important now than it’s ever been and getting it right, with the right approach and processes, can have a significant impact on so many business metrics.

So let’s consider the dangers and ‘watch outs’ presented by historic and ineffective recognition practices:

‘One size fits all’ recognition

Systems that revolve around just one kind of employee, one area of work, or one type of reward are not relevant in the workplace anymore. A recognition programme that fits no one is just as bad as no recognition programme at all. This is why 35% of the employees we surveyed say that it seems like their leadership has a recognition quota to fill, opposed to their leaders showing genuine appreciation of their employees.

A heavy focus on extrinsic, monetary rewards

In reality, money often has less meaning for employees than employers think it does. A recent survey revealed that 89% of employers think employees leave because of money—when only 12% actually do. While an occasional gift card doesn’t hurt, many companies rely solely on monetary rewards rather than meaningful recognition awards that convey how much they truly appreciate their people’s great work.

An old system that makes it hard to recognise

If something is difficult, takes time and effort, it often gets ignored and recognition is no different. Providing a platform that allows employees to quickly and easily appreciate colleagues, utilising simple and accessible technology whilst in the flow of work, is crucial to programme success.

A non-inclusive system

Workplaces have changed and the past three months have certainly proven that. An organisational approach that fails to accommodate and connect with all contributors everywhere, whether they’re at an office, factory, home, field-based or wherever, will pay the price.

As lockdown measures continue to ease and as people start to shape the new ways of working, the importance of appreciating employees has never been more important. So, is it time to consider if some of our archaic and damaging recognition practices should also be given an overhaul, considering the wealth of benefits and joy they can bring?

The author is David Watts, Culture & Engagement Strategist from O.C. Tanner Europe.

This article is provided by O.C. Tanner Europe.


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