Why Common Approaches to Employee Recognition Fail

Do you know the why behind your company’s employee recognition efforts?

In theory, organizations adopt employee recognition programs as a necessary element of the modern workplace. In practice, too many of these programs are treated like an obligation — a box for leadership to check, or a nice-to-have lumped in with other efforts to “boost engagement” — without truly considering the “why” behind the initiative.

Here are three reasons common approaches to employee recognition fail.

If it is difficult for you to explain the why behind your employee recognition efforts, take note of how many apply to your organization:

    • They’re impersonal: A simple thank-you is always welcome, but your employee recognition program shouldn’t be based on generic thank-you notes and gift cards. Personalizing your recognition to call out individuals means much more to employees. As for how much, when researching what really drives employee engagement, BambooHR found that nearly one third of employees would choose to be recognized via a company-wide email from an executive than receive a $500 cash bonus.
    • They’re infrequent: Companies mean well when they make callouts at quarterly all-hands meetings, but if these are a major part of your employee recognition efforts, switching to timely recognition would be much more impactful. Recognition programs that lump major victories, work anniversaries, and birthdays into one monthly (or worse, annual) meeting are a lose-lose situation for the HR managers tracking these recognition efforts and the employees being recognized months after the fact.
    • They’re indiferent: What exactly are your employees being recognized for? How did their actions influence the organization, move the needle towards a goal, or even exhibit a company core value? If your employee recognition isn’t specific, its meaning is lost, and the overall program will fail to inspire and motivate other employees.

Employee recognition success stories

Make it personalized. Make it timely. Be specific. These employee recognition best practices sound straightforward, but what effects can they have on your organization when put into practice?

See for yourself how Cratejoy, the world’s first subscription marketplace based in Austin, Texas, found a culture of appreciation after redefining recognition and rewards with Kazoo:

Employee recognition is also at the center of our Promethean World case study. After enabling personalized, timely employee recognition via the Kazoo platform, the education technology company saw an explosion of use across its global workforce — not only did their employees send 13,000 pieces of employee recognition in the first eight months on the platform, but their administrative staff saved over 400 work hours last year by streamlining the employee rewards and recognition programs. The full case study can be found here:

Promethean World case study - boosting employee recognition with Kazoo

View Now
These two companies found the why behind employee recognition, and successful corporate programs followed. If your organization is not seeing success with common approaches to employee recognition, it’s time to create your own success story.

About Kazoo
Kazoo is the employee experience platform powered by the science of motivation and the mission of improving the lives of employees everywhere, one company at a time. Founded in 2013, Kazoo grows company culture and improves bottom-line performance metrics through its robust engagement platform that delivers recognition, rewards, incentives, and team insights. Named to Entrepreneur Magazine’s list of Best Company Cultures in 2017, the Austin-based SaaS company and its technology platform are built on the four pillars of employee experience: connection, meaning, impact, and appreciation. To request a demo, visit info.kazoohr.com/demo-request.

Ready to learn more about Kazoo?