Employee compensation vs recognition

The thumbnail version:

  • Recognizing an effort beyond the call of duty is smart business
  • There are many, many ways of recognizing employees

The full version:

A recognized employee is a happy employee.

Bob Nelson in his book, 1001 Ways to Reward Employees, writes: “Compensation is what you give people for doing the job they were hired to do. Recognition, on the other hand, celebrates an effort beyond the call of duty.”

So what are examples of recognition? Well, he lists 69 items but, to be frank, some of them are too silly to mention and some of them are dated. For instance, I’m not sure any of your employees would appreciate a “tape deck for their car.” Some are not at all realistic for the average Canadian digital and graphics shop such as “an overseas training trip.” But here are some that any shop could manage:

  • Paid day off.
  • Magazine subscription
  • Birthday card and cake
  • Tickets to an event
  • Recognition lunch
  • Post about the employee on social media
  • Round of golf
  • Home computer
  • Gift certificate
  • Finally, a long list of other things you could dream up if you tried.

Recognizing employees who perform beyond the call of duty, is smart business.