A subscriber of our Authentic Recognition blog suggested I should
write about the difference between
recognition (more related to work) versus appreciation (more related to the
I asked them why this topic was
important right now. It seems their organization uses the Gallup Organization’s
Q12 engagement survey every two years. In the past year they focused on the
recognition specific question/statement #4, “In the last seven days, I have
received recognition or praise for doing good work”.
Her research, like many of us have found, led her to see that
“recognition in the workplace” has so many meanings.
She wisely observes that “people fundamentally want to be
‘understood and cared for’ or ‘appreciated’ and would prefer that over ‘recognition’”
She asked for my thoughts on the
differences between recognition and appreciation. Apparently, her
organization will likely continue with using recognition. However, she wonders
if more time should be spent on appreciation instead of recognition in order to
improve the Gallup survey scores.
One of the standard complaints against recognition that some people make, is if people are doing their jobs, why do you need to recognize them?
A good friend of mine likens this to someone saying, “I love you!” to their partner when they propose to them and then never saying it again. When the partner desperately asks after a year together, “How come you never say how much you love me anymore?” the response is simply, “I told you when I first proposed. Why do I have to say it again?”
It get’s worse when the diehard cynics in the room confront the need for employee recognition by saying things like, “We pay them well enough, what more do they want?”
Yet, for many people, though not everyone, there is an inherent need to feel that they’re making a difference. They want to know that their contributions are valued and appreciated by others.
I am going to tackle this question the best way I can by painting a picture and letting you decide.
Remember the question: Should you be recognizing people when they are “just doing their job?” (more…)