13 Ways to Get the Results You Want from Your Employees through Recognition

By Bob Nelson

Part of Recognizing and Engaging Employees For Dummies Cheat Sheet

One of the key principles of employee recognition is that you get what you reward. This idea seems simple enough, but often, managers and executives inadvertently reward the wrong behaviors. The following table shows you how to recognize to get the desired results; it also warns you about common “misrecognitions.”

If You Want . . . Then Recognize . . . Not . . .
Profits Profitable sales Any sales revenue
Teamwork Collaboration Internal competition
Quality Process improvement Inspection
Effective training Skills used on the job Training time
High performance Results achieved Seniority
Problem solving Problems found and solved Problem hiding
Knowledge sharing Organizational expertise Individual expertise
Leadership Quality of leadership Just management
Creativity Creative ideas Conformity
Aiming high Meeting stretch goals Over-performance
Safety Safe behavior Reported accidents
Cost containment Reduced spending Keeping within budget
Customer service Customer loyalty Lack of complaints