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06/09/2010

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Chuck, your absolutely correct in your assessment of why so many employee reward and recognition programs fail on a global scale. Expectations for recognition vary drastically by culture -- both geographic and generational. If you're establishing your employee recognition practices based on the desires of your generation and your culture, you will insult a vast majority of employees in other parts of the world and from other generations. This international insult can have long lasting repercussions on employee perceptions of the company and on long-term loyalty.

The greatest challenge to companies who sincerely want to create global culture of recognition is taking off the "domestic dominance" blinders. You MUST incorporate representatives from various cultural locations and generations during the planning stage. And this stage begins very early, with the discussions of your basic philosophy of recognition.

If done properly, a company can arrive at single "language" of recognition on global basis that outlines clearly expectations for various levels of recognition etc., while leaving plenty of latitude for individual and team awards, public and private recognition, etc.

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