Employee Recognition: Comparison Is the Death of Joy

ComparisonCategory: Employees

Do you communicate with your employees by constantly comparing them to others? Mark Twain said, “Comparison is the death of joy.” Humans are constantly compared to others from birth: the cutest baby, the best youth soccer player, most likely to go to an Ivy League college, will probably get that promotion, reach the sales quota first, the biggest house, the fanciest car, etc. It’s hard to be happy if we’re always trying to be better than others.

The workplace is a microcosm of this; with employees constantly jockeying for the next promotion, raise, title and project. But we can give that a break and inject a little joy back into workers’ lives by recognizing them for who they are and not just their accomplishments.

While employee recognition sometimes does center on comparisons, I’m suggesting that focusing on people individually is a healthy way to promote a positive corporate culture and higher employee engagement.

At Marlin, we have lots of experience helping thousands of customers recognize their employees. Here is a selection of recognition topics that they use to recognize employees in a positive, non-comparing manner:

  • Birthdays – typically a list of employees who were born in the current month. Leave off the year!
  • Anniversaries – a list of those who have service anniversaries in the current month.
  • Years of service – could be years with the company, division, group or location.
  • Holidays, how employees celebrated/plan to celebrate.
  • Teamwork – show how employees work together, not in competition.
  • Health updates – contests, step challenges, healthy recipes submitted by employees.
  • Hobbies – highlighting individuals’ off-duty pursuits.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for competition which intrinsically involves comparison. But adding non-comparative recognition to your communication mix is an idea to consider to increase readership and positive feelings towards the company and fellow employees.

Increase Readership Among Your Employees

Deliver the important workplace and home safety messages that keep your employees informed and motivated with Marlin’s Electronic Communication Station (ECS). Address key issues like teamwork, quality, diversity, and job safety along with news, sports, and weather to keep them engaged and coming back. Learn more here.

Frank Kenna III
July 11, 2019

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