Employee Recognition: Small Budget, Big Payback

I’ve been working on a program I’ll be giving in Santa Clara on March 19th. The topic is employee recognition in a down economy. I am finding that many organizations don’t realize that recogniton doesn’t have to suffer because budgets have been slashed. In fact recognition becomes even more critical as morale is battered from so many directions.

There are two main points I plan to clarify for participants.

1) Recognition Doesn’t Have to Cost a Dime

With all the press about extravagant events, I am finding that it is even more important to talk about the difference between rewards and recognition. Employee appreciation events are rewards. Bonuses and incentives are rewards. Even company logo t-shirts are rewards (although they are not always appreciated rewards).

Recognition is an act, not a thing. Recognition doesn’t cost anything. Sometimes recognition is accompanied by a reward, but most of the time it is a thank you, praise, a new challenge, being trusted to do the right thing, or simply working with someone who knows you and what you bring to the team.

2) The Returns Are Enormous

The payback for offering meaningful recognition, for creating programs that make people feel visible and valued, is a workforce that is resilient, motivated, and highly productive. There are statistics and ancedotes a plenty to prove the value of good recognition.

Small budget, big payback. What more could you want?

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1 Response to “Employee Recognition: Small Budget, Big Payback”


  1. 1 Derek Irvine, Globoforce March 5, 2009 at 3:00 pm

    You’re right, Cindy, that recognition doesn’t have to be expense. Sincerely noticing, appreciating and documenting employee effort doesn’t have to cost anything at all, beyond a little time. But for the many companies that already have recognition programs in place, simply uncovering often ad-hoc, unmeasured efforts and consolidating them into one properly administered and corporately governed program can save 50-70% of current investment.

    I’d love to see more companies using their current investment funds more wisely to recognize far more of their employee populations throughout the year.

    Staying aware of employee needs and responding to them — especially needs for acknowledgment, appreciation and recognition — are more important now than ever. I wrote more extensively about this here: http://globoforce.blogspot.com/2009/03/staying-aware-of-employee-needs-in.html


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My name is Cindy Ventrice. I am the author of the best-selling book Make Their Day! Employee Recognition That Works and the companion guide Recognition Strategies That Work.

My work has been quoted in The New York Times, Alaska Airlines Magazine, Workforce Magazine, and Tim Sanders' book The Likeability Factor.


Visit my website www.maketheirday.com today!


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