Guest AuthorJayanth Narayan

Why is it so tough for managers to give Recognition?

By Jayanth Narayanan 

While working with an organization that is new to broadbased recognition, we realized that giving Recognition is a skill, a huge behavioural change that is required on the part of managers. In the last 6 months that the Recognition program has been active in the company, the budget usage has been less than 20% of what is available to managers.

We undertook an effort to talk to all the managers who could give Recognition and asked them if they had used the program. 70% of the managers responded saying that they didn’t know who and what for to recognize. 30% said that they were worried that they were setting an expectation if they recognized their people – i.e anyone they recognized would invariably expect a good annual performance rating. So they wanted to be very conservative with Recognition.

Now this is a classic case of managers not truly understanding what Recognition is and how fundamental a need it is. The Rewards, the gifts that come with Recognition are simply a manifestation of the Recognition experience and you can practice Recognition even without the rewards. So I probed a few of them on why they didn’t send the employee even a thank you card – this costs nothing, probably won’t set expectations. The response was “If I give anything, I will be setting expectations. So I would rather not do anything”.

Now here is a case of a firm which has invested in building a recognition culture, has provided the tools and the money required for managers to practice recognition and is yet, struggling to implement the program. How many companies are riding this boat?

The only solution I can think of to this problem is to educate the managers on what Recognition is and help them practice Real Recognition.

Source :

Jayanth 2I head Rideau Recognition Solutions’ Asia-Pacific division, Rideau India. Rideau is the leader in online recognition solutions to keep employees engaged and productive. I have been involved in the Business Process & IT outsourcing industry for the last 12 years and hold an MBA in HR from XLRI, Jamshedpur and a bachelor’s degree in Engineering from BITS, Pilani. I have an extremely strong interest and passion for the art and science of Employee Recognition and will be taking great pleasure in sharing and exchanging information on how recognition and relationships can impact the workplace, particularly in India and the surrounding regions.


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