Disappointing Xmas tokens can damage staff morale

05 Dec 2012

The old adage ‘it’s the thought that counts’ may hold true with family and friends, but that same sentiment doesn’t hold true in employer-employee relationships. Heading into the Christmas wind-down, a disappointing gift or reward can in fact have a more damaging impact than not being rewarded at all, a leading workplace motivation expert has said.

One recent example occurred in the UK at Torbay Hospital in Torquay. To thank staff for helping the healthcare provider to become one of the most trusted in the country, 4,000 employees received a KitKat. Disgruntled employees complained they felt insulted by the token reward.

Employers should review and benchmark their reward and recognition policies at least every three years and ensure they're abreast of the current industry best practice, UK-based John Sylvester from P&MM Motivation said. “If there is an element of uncertainty about the cost, always err on the side of generosity, applying the simple but indefatigable test: ‘How would I react if given this?’” he said.

While the impressive rewards of the pre-GFC era may no longer be feasible, if an employer chooses to offer a token gesture of thanks it must make the employee feel valued, Sylvester said.

As an example, rewards such as vouchers, experiences, or pre-paid gift cards are cost-effective, yet also have the power to give everyone the choice of what they want and to leave an employee with a positive impression.

 



Leave your comment
Start a new discussion

HRM Asia forum is the place for positive industry interaction and welcomes your professional and informed opinion.

Post a Comment
HRM Asia welcomes your contribution. Your IP address is recorded in the event of a complaint.
Name *
Email *
(required, but will not display)
Comment *
Please enter in the numbers in the box left.
You are about to submit your comment. Is it:
  • Professional
  • In your own name or pseudonym, not impersonating someone else
  • Free from rude language
  • Free from advertising
  • If you prefer not to post but are still keen to get your viewpoint across, you can always e-mail the editor.
  • 23 Apr | Mission Aviation Fellowship International | Not Specified
    23 Apr | Elliott Scott HR Recruitment Pte Ltd | Singapore
    23 Apr | Kelly Services | Singapore
    MasterCard – International mobility and training for HiPo talent
    Appandairajan Krishnakumar, Senior Business Partner - HR, MasterCard, shares how his organisation effectively selects its high potential talent, sends them off on international assignments and trains them.
    Organisational leadership in the 21st century
    Spearheading corporate democracy @ Facebook
    Tailor-make your talent strategy: Top tips from Carlsberg
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Increase productivity and getting funding from Health Promotion Board, through a series of General Health and Mental Wellness programmes.
    Organisational Development Concepts | enquiries@odctraining.com.sg
    The Service Excellence Competency Frame (SVCF) is a competency-based training and assessment framework that equips service professionals with the rele ...
    Performance Leadership Pte Ltd | info@performance.sg
    Lunch, Learn and Bond with your teams, all within 1 hour! Choose from a variety of light-hearted, interesting or thought-provoking topics that appeal ...