Employee Recognition Programs and a horrible discovery about some so-called “HR Professionals”

This week I rolled out the communication of my organization’s first Employee Recognition Program. While I am no stranger to participating in an Employee Recognition Program, this was the first time that I had to create one from scratch! After a week of researching, reading on how best to communicate the benefits of the program, how to ensure that employees would stay engaged in the program after the initial launch, getting C level approval for the roll out and finding the best way to mass communicate to our team how to use the EE Rec Program, our WWMD* (What Would MacGyver Do?) Mad Props Award Program was launched!!!

One thing that I am most excited about with our EE Recognition Program, is that it truly compliments both our company culture and our core values. Essentially something has been created that embodies the spirit of our employees. Our WWMD Mad Props Award Program addresses outstanding employees for performance without being overly formal or stuffy-perfect for the kind of organization where you will never see our CEO in a tie!

I was perusing the internet this afternoon for a template for something completely unrelated to employee recognition (I was actually doing some research on Certificates from HCP for employees going on/returning from FMLA leave, when I stumbled across what I thought was a gem of an article on employee recognition: http://www.blogging4jobs.com/hr/5ways-recognition-culture/. I read through the entire article and was about to give the author some huge “ups” (props) when I came across this paragraph:

Shower Them with Affection.  Employees need to be recognized in both formal and non-formal settings,  public as well as private.  Sometimes all it takes is a quiet thank you to employees help drive results.  Individual employees and cultures prefer different recognition methods.  For example, many Hispanic employees prefer to be recognized while receiving a formal salary increase.  Take your time and do your home work before you execute a program.”

I almost fell out of my chair!!! I could not believe that any writer, especially someone writing within the scope of Human Resources, would stereotype an ethnic group in regards to how they prefer to be rewarded!!! I wasn’t sure if I was being overly “HR” about what the writer said, so I asked a Latina friend of mine to read this same paragraph and tell me what she thought. She agreed-the writer’s statement was inappropriate, off-base and ludicrously stereotypical. So, what I thought was going to be an awesome article to share with you, ended up being a head-shaking experience and plug for you to NOT follow the writer, Jessica Miller-Merrell’s blog, Blogging4Jobs.

What are your thoughts on Jessica’s article? Did you think her statement on how Hispanic workers want to be reward was un-offensive? Or are you like me, a politically correct, open-minded and conscious HR professional who thinks about what she writes or says before doing so? I may be placing my head on the social media chopping block by calling out a fellow blogger, but I just couldn’t in good faith, keep quiet about how inappropriate I thought this article was.


*Our organization has a uniquely weird obsession with MacGyver; we like to think that we all have MacGvyer-esque qualities in regards to tackling problems and navigating through road blocks. The term WWMD is constantly thrown about the office and I LOVE it!

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