Recognition? What?

HR giants have been tom-tomming about recognition for a long time now. Recognition quickly then translates into rewards which then ends up with your organization rolling out yet another “recognition” mechanism.

We are bombarded by statistics surrounding recognition all the time

‘80% of employees claim that recognition is a strong motivator of work performance’ (

This page gives a quick snapshot at a lot more numbers:

I have myself talked about rewarding over 60% of your population here.

And then this happened: I ran into an organization with no formal rewards mechanism.

Pretty crazy, eh? For someone who works in an organization with more than 4 reward programs, imagining a world with zero is just goddamn hard! But guess what? It’s been working and their justification for not having a reward mechanism makes a lot of sense too!

Here is the justification (for the curious ones): One of our values says excellence. It is what you are supposed to do every day. If we start awarding people for being excellent, it means that you are doing something special but you are not! You are expected to be great at your job all the time. We aren’t going to hand out awards for that.

Whew! That must be exhausting. Do their employees love it? Not really. Everyone dreams of collecting a few certificates, titles and shiny new things or freebies. Have they accepted it? Pretty well. What is more interesting on how having a no rewards rule has pushed their HR teams to find innovative definitions of recognition.

I’ve been thinking of this myself and have come up with quite a few ways that recognition does not translate into rewards. What are they? Next post peeps!

For now, any idea which organization I am referring to?


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