Why Doesn't My Team Feel Recognized?

You've served up regular  recognition cocktails of programs, plaques, bonuses, and fun.  In fact, you would consider a few of your creative  recognition programs to be "best practices." Perhaps you've even written a blog post or two about them. You've spent lots of money... you've put in heartfelt effort. And then... the employee survey results come in. It's not enough. They want more.

What if your recognition cocktails don't work?

You think...

"How are we missing the mark?  Let's ask the team.... "

And so you form a task force to come up with even more creative cocktails of programs, plaques, bonuses, and fun...  and the cycle continues.

Recognition isn't always shiny.

Imagine There's No Programs

Let's get a little John Lennon here.

What if there were no formal recognition programs?

What else would you do?

Here are some thoughts... please add yours: 

  • Ask each person how they would like to be recognized
  • Say "thank you" more frequently
  • Write more hand written notes
  • Publicly celebrate and share more best practices
  • Provide more developmental assignments
  • Go out-of-the-way to spend time at the beginning of each meeting celebrating success
  • Understand which accomplishments mean the most to the individuals on the team
  • Slow down and really understand the nuances and challenges of what your team members are working on?
  • Connect
  • Bring in more bagels?
  • ?

Formal recognition programs have their place... and can be vital to the overall health of organizations. But... it's never enough. Imagine all the people...

And then again, I just created another task force... 

Leadership is never handled.

See Also:

5 Reason's Your Recognition is Backfiring
Why Isn't This Incentive Program Working?
Recognition Power Words:  The Phrases That Mean the Most
Cheer in the Next Gear