employees tolerating the awfulYears ago, I read an article entitled Tolerating the Awful, and it has stuck with me to this day.  It was a corporate piece that discussed the effects of misguided practices and policies on employee morale and corporate culture.  When misguided or negative practices and policies exist, employees may be inclined to just give up, having no confidence in the organization’s leadership, culture, and direction.  More importantly, they have no way to gauge their value to the organization.  Feeling unappreciated, they become apathetic.  As the article stated, all become doomed to tolerate the awful.

In a recent discussion with a prospect, I learned that the company’s service program was woefully insignificant.  Upon reaching a service milestone, employees receive an impersonal, canned letter from the CEO.  No gift, no lunch, no recognition from their manager. Nothing.

This less than perfunctory expression and lack of personalized recognition resulted in one employee shredding the letter and posting a photo of it (accompanied by some very provocative words) on the company’s intranet.  Yikes! A black eye indeed. Just awful.

Your employees are, at the end of the day, consumers. They understand value and want to know that they are valued by you and the organization.  When constructing a years of service program, here are some helpful best practices.

  • Establish a budget that conveys respect and appreciation; one that properly honors your employees’ loyalty and commitment
  • Incorporate social recognition when celebrating accomplishment, acknowledging employees in front of management and peers
  • Recognizing early career milestones is important in today’s workplace, as employees may be prone to changing jobs more frequently than in the past
  • Doing nothing is likely better than a token gesture

If considering a years of service recognition program, or evaluating an existing one, refer to these best practices – and contact us if we can help.  And avoid tolerating the awful in your organization.

Brant has compiled more than 25 years’ successful experience in the incentive, rewards & recognition industry. He is well-versed in the content, context and best practices to design and ensure effective and memorable programs. Brant currently represents QIC on the Incentive Marketing Association’s Incentive and Engagement Solution Providers Council and has been a speaker and workshop presenter at various industry events.

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