Monday, February 15, 2010

The Horse Should Come Before The Cart

A lot of companies have it all wrong when it comes to recognition and rewards.

They put the reward before the recognition.


I think it has a lot to do with the history of our industry.

The recognition industry was created by old line manufacturing companies. Many of these companies date back to the early 1900’s. While some no longer exist, others, including Rideau (1912) continue to thrive. These companies all had one thing in common. They were looking for an outlet for their manufactured products… pins, logos and emblematic jewelry etc…

Some of the very first recognition award programs were used in the automotive industry. These programs celebrated years of service and safety and emblematic jewelry became the award/reward of choice. As years went by, different products were added to the product selection.

The key takeaway was that the product drove recognition… not the other way around.

Today, more and more companies are realizing that recognition needs to be in the proverbial driver’s seat.

If real recognition is not there, it doesn’t matter what award or reward product is given to the recipient.

So here’s a simple question… how much of your time is spent worrying about your awards as opposed to why and how you deliver real recognition? If the answer is the former you may have the cart before the horse!