Recently I’ve been undergoing treatment for cancer, and have had access to a leading oncologist at a world-renowned medical center. At one point during a visit, we discussed how long she’s been practicing her specialty. She said she’s been at the same hospital for more than 40 years. Then I asked what her employers had given her to note that amazing milestone - four decades of saving lives! With a shrug of acceptance rather than indignation, she laughed and showed me a plastic key chain that had been mailed to her. Clearly, that gift was a classic employer mistake - a trivial attempt at recognition that not only missed the mark but also disappointed rather than inspired.
"Recognizing Employees Is the Simplest Way to Improve Morale" is from hbr.org, published on May 9, 2016