Why Recognition Will Be A Major Workplace Issue 10 Years From Now

by Matthew Stollak on Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Yes, I'm channeling my inner Kreskin and making the prediction that employee recognition will be one of, if not THE major workplace issue in 2022.



For over 30 years, Wreck-It Ralph has been doing the same job as the "bad guy" in a popular video game.  As he states, "it starts to be hard to love your job, when no one else seems to like you for doing it."  He decides to leave his own game to become a hero in another.

It features the tagline, "The story of a regular guy....just looking for a little wreck-ognition."

Not only does it feature many beloved video game characters (Q-bert, Pac-man, Bowser, Sonic), it is the 52nd animated feature from Disney, which means marketing will be through the roof.  With a release date of November 2, expect kid demand to be heavy through Thanksgiving and Christmas.

So, as the next generation of workers reach working age, don't be surprised in 2022 when you see a greater demand for recognition on the job.  They just want to be like Wreck-It Ralph.


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by Jennifer Griffith on August 15, 2012 at 1:45 PM. #

Great timing Matt. Recognition is a major workplace issue right now. We do an annual employee engagement survey, and just went through the process of reviewing results and drafting action plans to improve them. The #1 driver of engagement for our employees was "I feel valued as an employee", and it is not one of our strengths based on their feedback. In our dialogue with employees, it really came out that a genuine "thank you" goes a really long way.

We are good at recognizing the above and beyond stuff - special projects, displays of leadership & courage, etc. Frankly, we suck at thanking our teams for their day to day contributions. The 80% of their jobs that are fixing equipment, efficiently producing our products, shipping correctly to our customers, etc. often gets lost in the shuffle - like Wreck-it-Ralph.

Yesterday, we started a discussion that will be ongoing around how we can get better at this. We have a very active recognition program with awards starting at $5-$25 with no approval needed and really having no limits with various levels of approval, and a great group of managers that take a personal interest in their employees. Human nature is to strive to improve, and in our continued identification of improvements and gaps, the simple "thank you" takes a back seat sometimes. If any of you in the esteemed Mr. Stollak's circle have words of wisdom - please, let me have them!

by Jennifer Griffith on August 15, 2012 at 1:55 PM. #


I would highly suggest contacting Paul Hebert, who is my go to person for employee recognition, engagement, motivation, influence, and the like. He can be followed on twitter (@incentintel) and you can check out his blog here: http://www.i2i-align.com/incentive-intelligence/

by Matthew Stollak on August 15, 2012 at 4:35 PM. #

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