Recognition is Universal

Recognizing PeopleI’m a big fan of the Twilight Zone series.  I have DVD’s of all the episodes and I still watch them when I happen to catch one being shown.   One of my favorite episodes (along with To Serve Man) featured Roddy McDowall as biologist Sam Conrad who is scheduled to go on a mission to Mars.  He’s frightened about what he will find when he gets there but mission commander Mark Marcusson assures him that there is nothing to worry about.  Marcusson tells Conrad that “People are alike all over.”

The spacecraft crash-lands and Marcusson dies from his injuries.  Conrad, uninjured, is happy to find a race of human-like people who promise to provide for him.  They even produce a comfortable dwelling.  All too late, however, Conrad discovers that he has been placed on exhibit … a specimen Earthling for all the Martians to stare at.  Conrad realizes that people really are alike all over.

As commander Marcusson believed and Sam Conrad confirmed – when it comes to employee recognition – people are alike all over.  Recognition for a job well done, a difficult challenge overcome, or a consistent, loyal career is all too important when building and maintaining a successful organization.  When employee recognition is done right it has a proven effect on employee engagement, which in turn produces business value.

Perhaps you have a flagging employee recognition program and need to recharge or replace it.  Don’t have an existing program but considering one?  Here are a few suggestions to keep in mind.

  • Go Big or Go Home: Simply put, don’t go cheap.  You don’t have to break the bank … but when recognizing career achievement — do it like you mean it.  Your employees get the message when presented with token rewards and recognition materials.
  • Keep it Cultural: Corporate culture, that is. Your program is the ultimate vehicle for reinforcing corporate vision, value and culture.
  • Keep it Meaningful: Make a big deal out of recognizing achievement. Get all levels of management involved.
  • Keep it Visible: Brand your program and vigorously market it so that everyone … existing and potential employees … know that you are committed to a long term relationship.

This list could be a lot longer, but you get the idea.  Times, methods and circumstances have changed greatly over the years, and the workforce has changed with them.  One thing remains — people still respond positively to recognition of their achievements and contributions to the organization.  In other words, People are Alike All Over.

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