Monday, November 24, 2008

The Evolution of Recognition

I'd love it if someone would write the history of the recognition industry.

If they did, it would have to come from two completely different aspects.

The first, would be from the perspective of Academics and OD types who realized that recognition played a key role in a person's individual well being and collectively, to the well being of an organization.

The second would be from the perspective of companies supplying recognition and reward programs. Many of these suppliers got into the business because they were seeking an outlet for their manufactured products.

I confess that my company was no different... we were a manufacturer of emblematic jewelry and corporate award programs were a great outlet for our products.

I think there was and still is a wide gulf between the two groups and is reflected by the fact that over 90% of corporations have recognition programs yet 60% of employees don't feel recognized.

There has been far too much focus on the material and not enough on the ethereal.

Fortunately people are starting to connect the dots. People like my colleague Roy Saunderson of the Recognition Management Institute and Christophe Laval of VPHR are teaching people that recognition is about feelings and emotions.