Workplace Recognition and Incentive Programs

Rewards Vs. Recognition

Posted on October 20, 2011 by Motivo Staff in Uncategorized

To optimize the results rewards and recognition should go hand-in-hand. Where self starters don’t achieve results because of a reward (they operate from an intrinsic position), others need that extra challenge and stimulus to get moving (motivated). Unfortunately, that is most people.

One can be done without the other because they are two very different things. Rewards are incentives and are given in response to an achievable goal. That is a company says if you do X, you will receive Y. Then it is up to the employee to decide if the work needed to achieve the result is commensurate with the reward and then do it or not. (Risk-Reward Analysis)

Recognition on the other hand is something bestowed on someone after the fact in sincere appreciation for and in praise of contributions that may or may not be above and beyond behavior. The award is not an expectation of or a requirement of the results. It is given at the discretion of the employer. A long time example of this is tenure or service award recognition. Another is when someone goes beyond what is normally expected of them on their own initiative to resolve an issue or help another complete a task. (Discretionary Effort) The point is that they don’t do this expecting reward. That is when recognition for contributions makes sense and can make a huge impact on motivation and engagement.

When employees see and feel that their company notices what they do and shows they value contributions through specific, sincere recognition is the time you begin to have truly engaged employees who are one with the mission of the company.