Introduction to Chapter 4.04: Employee Recognition

Quick Summary: Showing others you appreciate their efforts will return significant rewards for everyone involved.


All of us want to be appreciated for our accomplishments.  Although we may feel that others are grateful, there is an enormous boost when we hear the words out loud or there is some other tangible recognition made by others.  That recognition can be as simple as a handshake or some other non-monetary token.  It takes little time while yielding substantial rewards.

Virtually all companies express the sentiment, “Our employees are our most important asset.” That statement is, indeed, true. Principle Three of this series lists employees as the most important group that company. The company needs to ensure that they receive an acceptable return for their time and effort investment. Similarly, Principle Two, “Treat All Individuals with Dignity and Respect,” clearly applies to employees as well as all others. It is hard to argue with any of these statements, and complete adherence to them is a fundamental requirement for the ongoing success of any organization.

However, with all of the above observations readily accepted by managers and employees at all levels, it is easy to simply assume that everyone knows how everyone feels about others in the organization. Unfortunately, often we do not overtly tell others or show gratitude for the commitments that others make. With the almost continuous pressure to produce financial results that meet or exceed the expectations of others, a commonly felt and, unfortunately, often said statement, “You are paid for results, not hard work,” casts a negative shadow on employees, the company’s most important asset.

The solution to this situation does not have to be a “love fest” or relaxing the required business metrics. Instead, simply outwardly recognizing people for their contributions in both public and private forums is all that is required. It is so simple, but for some reason, often neglected. The articles in this chapter, as listed below, offers some suggestions on how to recognize individuals that create the value for the organization. Expressing gratitude for their efforts and the value they provide will, in turn, create even more value and allow the company to succeed in an upward spiral. On the other hand, not adequately recognizing those efforts can easily result in the company proceeding on a downward spiral. The process is simple: take time for people!


Chapter Sections and Summaries

  1. Say Thanks

Often in the hectic pace of business, we forget to simply acknowledge others.

  1. Compensation

Obviously, compensation is important to everyone, but it is often more than money that motivates others.

  1. Performance Reviews

Everyone needs feedback, both positive and negative, to help them improve.

  1. Employee Issues

Employee issues are not like fine wine that gets better with age. Address issues quickly and in a straightforward manner.

Chapter Articles and Summaries

Introduction to Chapter 4.04: Employee Recognition

Showing others you appreciate their efforts will return significant rewards for everyone involved.

Unexpected Thanks

Taking time for people and saying thank you can have instant and dramatic positive impacts.

Peer Thanks

A peer recognition program can be a powerful motivator that can impact the entire organization.

Five to Eight Activities

Company support of employee involvement in outside organizations benefits everyone.

Victories Lost in the Noise

Positive events happen every day; take the time to capture and share them.

Compensation Overview

Determining the appropriate level of compensation involves far more than salaries.

Keep it Personal

Announcing salary adjustments individually rather than collectively is a major motivation factor.

Make it a Family Affair

Buy a memory with part of the salary increase or bonus you receive.

Fair versus Equal

Treating people fairly is often more difficult, but it is more important than treating them equally.

Variable Compensation Alternatives

Supplementing salaries with variable performance-based programs provides substantial benefits.

Sales Commission Programs

Paying sales reps for achieving sales targets is an accepted practice that requires careful design.

MBO Overview

Goals in an MBO program can be crafted for individuals at every level to reward performance.

MBO Goal Comments

Effectiveness of an MBO program is dependent on the establishing of mutual acceptable goals.

MBO Grading Example

Goal performance grading should be a simple exercise to help motivate participants.

MBO Program Mechanics

Implementing and managing an MBO program requires the use of a well-defined process.

Effective Performance Reviews: Hmmm

Provide timely feedback, both positive and negative, to employees as events occur.

Performance Review Comments

Make performance reviews a continuous, thoughtful process for everyone’s benefit.

Performance Review Contents

Using a standard template for performance reviews can greatly improve the review’s effectiveness.

Don’t Plant Poison Ivy by Mistake

Employee perks today can become problems tomorrow as an organization grows.

Put the Fire Out Early

Management needs to quickly address performance issues as soon as they become aware.

Scratch the Itch

Address disappointing results with others in a nonconfrontational way to help resolve the issue.

Duck Out of Water

New positions usually require the use of different skill sets to accommodate the new setting.

Sugarcoating Causes Cavities

Telling people what they like to hear instead of the truth can create damaging misconceptions.

Disagreement versus Contrarian Views

Discussing disagreements leads to effective decisions while contrarian views can be destructive.

Cutting the Cord

Minimize the time between announcement and the departure of an employee.


Article Number : 4.040101   

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