I’m here to tell you it isn’t true.
Yes, employees want more recognition.
Yes, recognition is a key component in your employee engagement strategy.
Yes, recognition has been ignored in the past.
Yes, the most recent generation of employees are more attuned to recognition based on their “everyone gets a trophy” upbringing.
But don’t listen to all those recognition gurus and trophy salespeople tell you to eliminate your incentive programs.
If I told you that you should abandon email in favor of Facebook would you? They are both communications platforms. They both allow you to connect and communicate with various people over the internet. You wouldn’t do it would you?
You know they serve very distinct purposes. So too, do recognition and incentives.
It’s Not About Either/Or – It’s About How Much of Each
The purpose of recognition AND incentives is to influence behavior in your organization so that your employees achieve their individual goals and you help your company hit its organizational targets.
I would never recommend you eliminate incentives any more than I’d tell you to eliminate recognition. Anyone who tells you to is doing you a disservice.
If you’re getting the hard sell to eliminate your incentive activity in favor of a “recognition” strategy you’re being sold – not counseled. You’re being manipulated not helped.
The right thing to do is create a mix of recognition, incentive, communication and training tailored to your organizational needs.
Blindly following a company riding the crest of one best seller advocating elimination of incentives (with bad rationale I might add...) is lemming behavior and further proof that just ‘cuz everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right.