Some very good points and considerations here….. 

By Tyler Gentry, Motivatum Now LLC and Linda Vossen

Why do companies drop their recognition programs during a recession? What message does it send to employees who are already stressed out about keeping their jobs or doubling their workload to compensate for those who have lost their jobs? Americans are feeling the economic crunch and companies may be unintentionally sending a message to employees — “You should be happy you still have a job.”

But, employers should ask themselves these questions: “What happens when the economy begins to improve and jobs begin opening up? Can we be certain that our top talent won’t jump ship as soon as they get the opportunity?” Dropping recognition programs altogether, especially in a down economy, only creates more stress and deteriorates morale.

Right now businesses are tightening their belts to stay under budget, but many are finding that recognition and reward programs can play a big part in increasing engagement and productivity. They have discovered the importance of paying attention to the company’s greatest asset – its employees. Now more than ever is the opportune time for companies to rev up their recognition culture.

The Reality
In 2008 alone, Americans lost 2.6 million jobs. As of May 2009, the unemployment rate had risen to 9.4 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The National Bureau of Economic Research declared the downturn an economic recession, with evidence of loss in Gross Domestic Product growth, real personal income, employment, industrial production and wholesale-retail sales.

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