At Crystal D, we know that there are good recognition events and bad recognition events. We want to rid the world of the bad recognition events, and to help combat those, we’re sharing stories of good and bad recognition events.
We’ve already given you examples of a few good recognition events, so now we want to show you how two different events had two drastically different reactions from the recipients.
*Names have been changed to protect the innocent. And the guilty company.
Meet the award recipients: Mark, a 20-something who has worked in retail since he was in high school. He has been working at ABC Retail for five years when his recognition event occurs. His girlfriend, Julie, has been working at XYZ Company for two years when her recognition event occurs.
Mark is a hard worker. He’s always on time, he almost never calls in sick, and he routinely picks up shifts when his coworkers can’t come in. He knows his job inside and out and has the skills to be in some sort of management role. At ABC Retail, when an employee hits a milestone in years of service, they receive an award and an incentive.
Mark hit five years of being with ABC Retail. Anyone who has worked in retail knows that is quite a long time for someone. Mark went to work that day, did his job, and clocked out. On his way out the door, his manager gave him an envelope. Inside was his years of service award.
You read that correctly. Mark’s manager handed him an envelope with his award in it. No other recognition. When Mark got home, he opened the envelope to see the award. Inside was an acrylic plaque with a generic “thank you for five years with ABC Retail” note that was signed by the CEO of the company. This would have been OK, except the note was angled weirdly inside the acrylic, so the corners stuck out of the sides.
Mark got an incentive to choose as well. He attempted to go to the website to see what his options were, but he couldn’t get the website to work. He asked his manager who also couldn’t get it to work. Eventually, the incentive expired and Mark was left with his acrylic plaque and no recognition.
When Mark and Julie were moving to a nicer apartment, Julie was packing up the desk and found Mark’s plaque in the drawer. She asked if he wanted to keep it, and Mark said no. So that plaque was thrown in the trash.
Clearly this was a terrible recognition event that Mark should never have had to suffer through. But how does that compare to Julie’s recognition event?
Julie’s company throws their employees a huge party every year and hands out awards. This is the BIG recognition event. They also have a golf outing during the year where they recognize years of service. But the big event is where Julie won an award.
She was not expecting this award, but she was thrilled none-the-less. Her coworkers were all in the room, and they cheered for her as she walked up on stage. Julie’s manager spoke wonderful and touching words about how hard Julie has worked and how much she appreciates Julie’s dedication. She took pictures with not only her manager but the president of the company as well.
Along with all of the other award winners, Julie stood in a receiving line where every single person who works for the company shook her hand or gave her a hug and told her “congratulations.” At the end of the event, she was presented with a gift bag that contained a gift card to her favorite store as well as a bag of each of her two favorite candies. The day after the event, Julie came into the office and her area was decorated to keep celebrating her accomplishment.
Julie’s award is a beautiful and substantial award, engraved with her name, the award she won, the year she won it, and a quote that is related to her award. She keeps it on her desk, directly in front of her file folders and next to her phone, two things she uses every single day. When Julie looks at her computer screen, she can see the award out of the corner of her eye. It is displayed very prominently because Julie is incredibly proud of her award.
Two different recognition events from two different companies. Can you guess which employee is very happily employed?
If you guessed Julie, you are correct!
Doing recognition right will ensure you have dedicated and happy employees like Julie, not dejected and frustrated employees like Mark.
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Have you ever been recognized like Mark? How about like Julie?