Top 6 Things Employees Don’t Want for Recognition - Agile HR
  • Don’t Gift This!

Companies want to recognize their employees for a job well done. That’s why they have these recognition programs to increase employee engagement to facilitate future goals of the company. However, what if your employees just aren’t interested in what you have to give them? They think that these awards are impersonal and insincere. The awards just become expected and do not drive your employees to work harder. Are these gifts really going to motivate and enhance employee performance? Here are six awards that employees don’t want when it comes to recognition:

Employee of the Month

Employees don’t want a picture of their face on the wall for people to look at and envy. The traditional employee of the month award just turns into some kind of popularity contest. It turns into a competition instead of an award for acknowledgement and hard work. It can also develop into a “whose turn is it this month?” and become a rotational award.


No one wants a plaque or a shiny, gold trophy for being awesome at what they do. It just gets forgotten on the desk with months worth of dust built up. The plaque loses its value over time and your neighbor at work can have the same one the next month. There is no uniqueness to this award.

Company Logo Swag

Shouldn’t company swag be free and a given gift just for working there? Employees don’t need to show top winning performance to get a t-shirt with their company’s logo on it. For all they know, these t-shirts could have been ordered years ago and used as a convenient gift when the company wants to say “good job!” to someone.


Are your employees 8 years old? No one wants a pin after hours of hard work over something incredibly complicated. Employees are not going to poke holes through their clothes or bags to show off how great they were at work. This dinky, little pin will not encourage or motivate your employees to continue on their road to success.


Mugs are almost as bad as pins. You give them a cup to add to their collection in the cupboard. Are your employee’s efforts and achievements just worth a mug? This cliche award has no meaning and could possibly offend your employees when you give them a mug for accomplishing something big.

Personalized Parking Spot

A parking spot with your employee’s name on it can just embarrass them even more. What if they don’t drive the latest car and now everyone will know? They may not want all the fame that you are giving them. This could discourage your employees in showing outstanding performance because they know what can come of it.

If a company really wants to recognize their employees for their hard work and to increase employee engagement, a simple sign of appreciation is all that’s needed. Showing a heartfelt, personal response of appreciation to an employee will do more good than an award. The employee will feel the sincere love coming from you and will know that their efforts are being noticed. This is much more effective and long-lasting compared to a pin.