The 2014 Recognition Trends Report released by Quantum Workplace has kicked up quite a buzz. (http://www.quantumworkplace.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Resources-Whitepapers-2014-Recognition-Trends-Report.pdf). So much so that Tim Sackett and Kris Dunn wrote about it too.
According to the report and Tim & Kris’s posts, top forms of recognition either has to do with money (Pay hikes, spontaneous bonuses), autonomy/flexibility or more training and learning opportunities. Not surprisingly, personalized gifts fall right at the bottom.
Granted, money is important. Agreed that training and flexibility are the new needs of the highly engaged. But I’ve seen engagement levels shoot when we’ve given a 3day, 2 night package trip to an employee instead. Surprised! Well, so were we. As research shows, personalized gifts suck. They don’t meet their purpose. But hey, I’ve seen them pay off. How come?
So here’s one more little fact – feedback from 400,000 employees or even double that number won’t always give accurate results. Why? Because people don’t know what they want. Not a single employee said that lunch with the MD would boost their engagement level. Guess what? It did! And significantly so.
None of them said that a holiday or a plaque would cut it. Years later employees still display that little trophy and rave about the great holiday sponsored by their company. As long as you meet the basic requirements of pay, training and flexibility, adding more may not reap as many benefits. On the other hand, personalized gifts do make an immense difference.
I could be wrong here. If you asked me if I’d prefer a personalized gift over a hike, I’d pick more money too! But nevertheless, give it a thought!