Here’s Why Your Employee Rewards & Recognition Fails

by Kylee Stone Sep 24,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

“People work for money but go the extra mile for recognition, praise and rewards” — Dale Carnegie, Leadership Training Guru and Author.

Everyone loves to be recognized and rewarded for their efforts, be it at work, among friends, or at home. It gives them an affirmation that what they do is acknowledged and valued. Studies reveal that rewards and recognition programs work wonders for employees when it comes to boosting their motivation and improving employee engagement. When employees are motivated and engaged, they put in more effort into the work they do. It results in increased productivity of the employee and the organization, and helps in achieving short-term and long-term goals.

Also Read: Employee Recognition & Rewards During COVID-19

But often, employee rewards and recognition programs fail to create any sustainable impact on the employees. The programs are not rightly structured and unknowingly harm the organization. Here are five key reasons why your employee rewards and recognition program is proving to be ineffective.

Employees Work Only For The Reward

Employees are engaged and highly motivated to work when they know they will be rewarded or recognized for it. But once they are rewarded, the level of excitement falls. Moreover, once when an employee receives recognition or reward, it affects the motivation of other employees too. If organizations are not careful, then employee reward and recognition programs will condition employees to work only for getting rewarded.

Recognizing and rewarding your employees do bring the best out of them, as it keeps them motivated. But this shouldn’t be the only yardstick for them to give their best, instead, they should consistently focus on improving their performance without the presence of any external reward.

Also Read: Club Reviews With Social Recognition To Enhance Engagement

One Size Doesn’t Fit All

Organizations often assume that they know what is best for their employees. But this is not the case when it comes to rewarding their employees. Even the rewards which appear to be most desirable do not work for everyone.

Here are some examples:

  • Many organizations offer leaves as incentives to their employees. But it will only be useful to those who need to take leaves or who have exhausted their leaves. It will be of no use to those who already have many leaves
  • Organizations often offer promotions as a reward. But many employees tend to avoid it when it involves shifting to a different location or giving up overtime hours

Irrelevant employee rewards and recognition results in employees putting in less effort. To avoid this, it is advisable to include employee suggestions and opinions to design your reward and recognition program.

Also Read: Is Employee Recognition Only About Employee Perks?

Late Recognition Doesn’t Count

Many organizations miss out on the fact that a delayed employee reward or recognition program does no good to improve the motivation of the employees. Recognizing employees half-yearly, annually, or even monthly reduces the consistency and enthusiasm to work, whereas a timely reward or recognition has a positive impact on their work. Using tools like Engagedly, you can reward and recognize your employees instantly by giving them public praise and awarding them points for their work.

Not Everything Should Be About the Numbers

Does your organization still reward only those who are fetching the numbers? Then we would suggest this is the correct time to change your approach towards your employee rewards and recognition process. In many organizations, rewards and recognition programs focus on specific narrow goals. A good example will be of car dealerships, where salespeople with the highest sales get monthly incentives. Such incentives or rewards result in unhealthy cutthroat competition among team members. Moreover, other important aspects of work, such as teamwork, integrity, company principles, etc. are ignored. As a consequence, the quality of work gets affected over time.

Also Read: Planning To Set OKRs For Your Sales Team?

Your Employees Aren’t Creative or Risk Takers Anymore

When it is concerned with getting recognized or rewarded, most employees take the tried and tested route to achieve the end results. The fear of failure prevents them from trying out new or innovative approaches at work. If they fail or lose, it affects their motivation and causes disengagement. Consequently, it curbs innovation, creativity and risk-taking among employees.

Plan and design your employee rewards and recognition activities in such a way that it not only focuses on end-results but also takes into consideration innovation and risk-taking by employees.

Engagedly is offering a suite of products part of its Remote Work Toolkit free to any organisation, until Sept 30th, 2020. 

The Coronavirus has affected the way we work today and for months to come. Unprecedented events require unprecedented measures. We at Engagedly believe it is our responsibility as socially conscious corporate citizens to help equip organisations with additional tools and resources during this time of crisis.

Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you with Employee Rewards and Recognition? Then request us for a live demo

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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