Can you be recognised too much?

This is a question often wrestled with by companies as they seek to implement new recognition practices. If we implement peer to peer recognition software will there be so much recognition it becomes meaningless?   

By: Sinead Healy on

This is a great question because it illuminates individuals, company cultures and real beliefs and values around the topic of recognition.  How much is too much? 

If your organisation ties financial reward to recognition there is a very practical element here, how do we ensure that we reward meaningful contribution?  What about those in the organisation in roles who have less of an opportunity to step outside of a tightly controlled day job (such as a contact centre) how do we ensure they’re included. 

Like all debates, it’s a two-sided coin

One school of thought is that if we are recognised for small acts of kindness or achievements on a very regular basis, recognition becomes meaningless, the equivalent to “have a nice day” as you leave a store.  Therefore, people tire of it, participation reduces, and the company has to look for more creative and impactful ways to recognise larger scale achievements.

Do employees who are not praised work harder, in hopes of eventually being appreciated? 

Harvard Business Review says No! Their research points out that…

40% of workers say they would put more effort into their jobs if their employer recognised them more often.

The opposite school of thought is that there is no such thing as too much recognition.  Creating a culture where both the small acts are noticed and appreciated as well as the major milestones and achievements leads to more engaged individuals. 

This argument may be theoretical as 2016 research from Gallup showed that…

Only 1 in 3 workers strongly agree that they have been praised or recognised within the past week for doing good work.

Consideration must also be given to the generations in the workforce, millennials and Gen Z have been educated and parented with positive reinforcement and therefore expect the same at work.

Companies could be missing a key expectation by not delivering the social (online) opportunity to give and receive recognition.

Find out more about how Fanclub can help.