Solving the recognition paradox

Such a simple thing to do…why do we do this so rarely?

John Stepper

No Thank YouEvery year, we send out employee surveys and, every year, we discover employees aren’t as engaged as we’d like.

And yet every year we neglect to do one of the cheapest, easiest, and most effective things we can do to improve employee engagement: appreciate what people do.

Why?

More than sex and money

Harvard Business Review routinely publishes articles on employee motivation and engagement. One of the most famous is from Frederick Herzberg who, in 1968, wrote “One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees?” In that article (which for a long time had more reprints purchased than any other from HBR), Herzberg dismissed ham-fisted attempts by managers to motivate employees and urged them instead to focus on job enrichment and “motivator factors”.

“The growth or motivator factors that are intrinsic to the job are: achievement, recognition for achievement, the work itself, responsibility, and growth or advancement. The dissatisfaction-avoidance or…

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