Recognize This! – The best laid reward schemes of mice and HR Pros go often awry. (With a nod to Robert Burns)
What employee recognition or reward program have you put in place that you later regretted? Would unlimited vacation or paid time-off (PTO) make that list?
During the last year or two, I’ve seen many articles talking about the benefits of unlimited vacation. On the surface, this seems quite a progressive approach. But does it really work in practice?
I polled my team of consultants to see what they thought about it. Interestingly, one team member came to us from a company that offered unlimited vacation as a benefit. But she didn’t experience it as a benefit.
How could the freedom to take vacation time when you need it without question, whether for an extended trip away or for your child’s after school play, ever be perceived negatively? There are three distinct factors at play:
- You work so many extra hours anyway, you’re not really taking much extra time off.
- Sure, you can take as much vacation as you want, but you better be “connected” and checking in regularly.
- The “policy” says you can take unlimited vacation, but the culture holds strongly against it.
Lance Haun spoke to this in TLNT a year ago, commenting:
“And that really helps you take ‘unlimited’ vacation policies with a grain of salt. How employers expect you to work normally, how you work while on ‘vacation,’ and the peer culture that often dictates what the vacation norm would be, are really the determining factors in play.”
It’s that third factor my team member found most compelling in her prior organization. The culture was very much one of nose-to-the-grindstone. Anyone perceived as taking too much time off was instantly branded a slacker. Sure people still did take vacation, but it was with an air of apology to their coworkers.
All Recognition & Reward Programs MUST Consider Culture
And that’s the real point here. No matter how well intentioned – or how well planned – no recognition or reward program will be successful if you don’t take into account your culture. Truly strategic and social recognition programs are, indeed, designed as change agents for organization culture.
If you need to create a culture of recognition in your organization – a culture in which it’s common for peers and managers alike to recognize and reward each other for living your core values while achieving your business objectives – then join me in my upcoming workshops in June. You’ll leave with a custom one-page strategy to build your own culture of recognition in your organization.
Register today for sessions in these cities:
- King of Prussia, Penn. – June 12, 2012 – Radisson Hotel Valley Forge
- Greater Boston, Mass. – June 14, 2012 – Westin Waltham
- London, UK – Mid-September (final date and location TBD)
- Orange County, Calif. – Early November (final date and location TBD)
- Washington, DC, area – Early November (final date and location TBD)
All sessions start with breakfast at 7:30, then kicking off the workshop at 8:00. We’ll end at noon with a box lunch so those who need to rush back to work can do so. But those who have time to stay and chat with us and their fellow participants further are more than welcome to do so over lunch.
Readers of my blog also get a 50% discount on the registration price. Just be sure to use code: RECOGNIZETHIS when registering.