It’s just as important to acknowledge the teams you work with, as
it is to give individuals the recognition they deserve.
But, somehow, because of human nature, and sometimes a lack of
proper management, you can end up with team dynamics that impede feeling good
about team recognition.
For example, team members often
ask the questions, “What if one team member
doesn’t pull their weight on a work project and yet their included in the team
many issues crop up with team-based recognition. What are you supposed to do?
How can you give people on teams proper recognition?
Someone brought up a topic I have heard many times before in a presentation I gave this week.
How do you handle recognizing team members when there is a “rotten apple” of a team member on the team? You know what they’re talking about. They’re referring to the poor performer who is not pulling their weight on the team. Yet, they get included in the positive acknowledgments when the project is done.
The bottom-line? They don’t deserve the recognition lauded on the entire team.
Over three-quarters of surveyed companies have some form of best-of-the-best or above-and-beyond formal recognition award program going on.
This is great for those employees who seem to excel and shine at everything they do. They end up enjoying the celebratory experience at the annual awards event.
But what about employees who don’t get an award?
Award programs can appear to create an exclusivity that pits one person winning over and above their fellow employees.
So how do peers perceive formal award winners? What are the benefits for companies of doing formal awards when so few employees actually end up receiving them?
I am going to explore this topic through the lens of some recent academic research I discovered this week.
Spoiler alert: The outcome is positive as the title of this post implies.
Let’s dig in!
Many people ask me if there is a right way in how you provide recognition to your groups or teams.
Some of the issues that crop up and cause people to question things with team recognition are concerns like:
What if one person doesn’t pull their weight on a group project? What do you do then?
Should you never single out individual performance from teams and only give group recognition?
Is there a best way to recognize a group of employees?
With tough questions like these it is always good to draw upon principles of human behavior to help answer them properly.
Let’s examine each of the issues raised and see what recognition principles we can apply to address them.
Giving recognition creates all kinds of wonderful feelings in people and positive performance results too.
However, most of us tend to think recognition provides strictly a one-to-one person return. You acknowledge an individual and believe they are the only one who is impacted.
That’s why many managers and leaders have a hard time knowing what to do around teams and whether they can or cannot recognize individual performance on a team.
Does recognizing a team member positively or negatively affect the other teammates?