Monday, October 6, 2008

What Makes A Recognition Expert?

All too often I have attended industry conferences and seen many so called "recognition and reward experts."

Scratch a bit deeper and the veneer comes off! I don't mean to demean, but there are a lot of people out there who are "reward" experts but they sure aren't "recognition" experts.
Recognition and rewards are very different things.

Rewards are material things. Cold hard cash, merchandise, gift cards are all examples of rewards. They are easily understood because they cost a certain amount and are distributed a certain way. There are a lot of reward experts.

Recognition on the other hand, is a feeling, an emotion. It is not easily quantified... ever try measuring how deeply you love your wife? In many cases it is not easily distributed or given.
So how do you determine whether you are speaking to a recognition or reward expert? It’s relatively simple.
  • Ask what trade organizations the person belongs to.
  • Are these organizations focused on products or on the art and science of recognition?
  • Do they have a professional certification? For instance, have they taken Recognition Professionals International "Certified Recognition Professional" (CRP) course?
  • When they speak to you, is it about product and delivery or about emotions?

Remember, just because you give someone a gold watch, doesn't mean you have recognized them!