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52 Ideas and Only 1 of Them Doesn’t Suck

Posted on in Retention Strategy

This post is the last in our series on recognizing and rewarding employees. As loyal readers will know, this is when we’d usually do a roundup summary of all of our blog posts on the topic, as well as some third party resources we’ve uncovered.

But I’m not going to do that this time.

A quick Google search on the phrase “rewarding employees” produces about 52 million results. Good lord. I’m not about to comb through these results, particularly when I have yet to see a resource that offers a unique point of view.

Here’s a classic example. Let me draw your attention to this gem of an article “52 Epic Ways to Reward Your Employees.”  I saw this and thought “Hot diggity!” I mean, to use the word “epic” is bold. It has to mean this is the holy grail of articles that contains all of the answers. The one thing no one has thought of. The answer that changes the game.

I hastily clicked only to find the first item is….wait for it….be CEO for the day. That is the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard and isn’t the type of reward that will do a damn thing to engage people in their work, move the performance needle, or get the business results you are seeking.

One of the other brilliant suggestions was “jeans day.”  C’mon people. You are missing the point. Unless, and until, “HR” gets with the program and starts looking at this topic from a different angle, nothing is going to change.

And it’s about time. In fact, in my opinion, we are overdue!

So far, no one has come out of the woodwork to suggest I’m nuts and I’ve had a few interesting side conversations that perhaps we’ll share in a future post. Until then, my hope is that you’ll think about this topic a little more deeply, challenge conventional systems, and have the courage to bring forth your own fresh thinking.

By the way, for those of you who don’t like change, here’s a quick series round up. First, I shared Simon Sinek’s work that suggests when your business values intersect with an individual’s personal values that is all the reward one needs. I continue to be curious on this topic and suspect we’ll see more and more research to support this in the years to come. I also suggested that perhaps the way in which we think about our current recognition programs are flawed as they may (I’ll go out on limb and say they probably DO) have unintended consequences that ultimately undermine the intent. Finally, I offered my point of view as it relates to how we deliver employee benefits today because I think it’s one area of how we reward people that is ripe for disruption.

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