Why You Shouldn’t Recognize Every Employee This Year

Employee Recognition Ideas

Rest assured, it is okay to separate the wheat from the chaff when it comes to your employees.

Contrary to what soft management books and modern youth sports would have you believe, indiscriminate recognition does not build morale or a community of trust. On the contrary, it shows your employees that their contributions and hard work are dismissed and undervalued. That’s a dangerous proposition, as recent research shows that employees value recognition and opportunity over salary increase!

We’ve found that motivational pap can often be defeated with a strong rubric for reward. Consider the following criteria as a start. As you look at each employee, consider if they embody any of the following qualities.


These employees are the workhorses of your staff. There’s nothing that you can’t delegate to them and no project gets left unfinished on their watch. While others are taking off early or calling in sick, they’re working stolidly through everything that’s thrown at them.



Some people go through the motions without thought. Others choose to break the rules to the company’s advantage. These are your innovators, and their worth is incalculable. They’re the ones who keep your enterprise from stagnating, creating fresh opportunities and pruning practices that aren’t working.


Alternatively, there’s something to be said for self-reliance. These are the people who know their craft and don’t need supervision. That’s not to say they can’t take instruction, only that you don’t often need to correct them. With so many other tasks to see to, it’s good to know that there’s someone out there whose shoulder never needs looking over.


Some of your employees really love your business, and it shows. They’re the ones who keep their schedules flexible, ask if they need to stay after hours, and give you the strongest company feedback. These are people who lead from the front with their cheer, concern, and unwavering willingness to lend a hand.


Working together

Sometimes even the most brilliant people are hampered by isolation. That’s where your collaborators come in. These are the employees who delight in building bridges, finding middle ground, and presenting views in a different perspective. Whether they’re meeting with clients, presenting concerns to administration, or organizing new projects, collaborators delight in creating harmony and efficiency.

Reach Out  

At PaperDirect, we’ve made it our business to work hand in glove with our clients to strengthen company culture and resolve. Real and actionable recognition should be cornerstone of any  enterprise, complete with incentives and awards. So should you need help developing yours further, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Together we can create a recognition rubric that celebrates your all-stars’ unique contributions.