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When Company Appreciation/Reward is an Insult Part I

Just Google “Worst Employee Appreciation” and the internet will reward you with 1000s of stories like these:

– “The company I'm working for hit €1billion annual revenue last year. For Christmas, all the employees got a blanket (a really small one, you can really just use it as a hand towel unless you're a hobbit), a couple of oranges, and a postcard in which they proudly mentioned that we hit the €1billion target.”

– “I brought the company a $2 million contract and got a chocolate bar with a message on it saying, ‘you are the best’.”

– “Been practically killing myself at work since January 3rd when they laid off the one person there to help me. This week I was told I'd be getting something that I would love and would definitely make me happy. That something was two slices of pepperoni pizza.”

– “This is what I got as a gift from my company for successfully going live with a client with €2M contract, seems pretty fair.” A bottle of macaroni.

Does that sound familiar? You work your ass off for weeks or months, possibly raking in gigantic profits, only for the manager or HR to show up with a “thank you” card to take a picture for LinkedIn. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes a simple thank you is apt and in order. My boss used to write me “thank you” notes and leave them on my desk along with chocolates because I supported her. For that, it was appropriate. But had I brought in millions worth of business, I would have given that back.

Understanding what, when, and how to appreciate is important if you don’t want to treat adults inappropriately with candy or a worthless certificate for their effort.

What – When – How to Appreciate or Reward?

Read it here and stop handing out worthless certificates or $20 worth of gift vouchers. Or a Happy Meal from Mcdonald's.

When I ask HR to read this book, they run away. Why? Because who likes to be confronted with facts? But I think you should read it and challenge ridiculous company appreciation and reward programs. Don't be that HR.

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