It doesn’t change the world, except…

Last December, the television channel CNN shared with us that a company located in Maryland had given its employees a big surprise at the holiday dinner: the managers decided to share $10 million among its 198 employees in bonuses for thank you for their contribution to achieving financial objectives! [1] Individual amounts could go up to $270,000 depending on years of service.

This is called a “WOW” effect. at the Christmas party! This initiative will certainly have a very positive effect on the company’s image and its ability to attract talent. A great move in terms of HR marketing. On the other hand, it would be interesting to study the concrete impact of this great gesture on the human capital indicators within the company, i.e. the overall productivity rate, the profitability of commercial activities per employee, the absenteeism rate , turnover rate and level of job satisfaction, to name a few. At the end of 2020, will the impact of this large sum of money have lasted?

I have my doubts. You know what: money does not buy happiness at work and does not replace sincere recognition of appreciation or the work climate. You will tell me that“It doesn’t change the world, except that….”Of course, monetary bonuses can make a huge difference in the quality of life of recipients, but is it really a form of recognition that will have an impact on intrinsic motivation to perform at work? This is debatable.

In fact, there are 4 types of recognition;[2]:

  1. Recognition of results;
  2. Recognition of work practice, which involves feedbackprecise et immediate ;
  3. Recognition of investment in work;
  4. Existential recognition, which concerns “the individual” and not on “the employee”.

Perhaps the leaders of St. John Properties have a comprehensive recognition program and the exceptional bonus represents part of the strategy in addressing recognition of investment in work. I wish ! If this is not the case, it would be recommended to apply each of the 4 types of recognition to maximize the lasting effects of this investment. This is something to think about before investing monetarily!


[1]CNN Business, published on December 11, 2019:

[2]Brun, J.P., Lamontagne, S., Blais, C., Pageot, N., Mérineau, D. & Lépine, P. (2005). Box: Recognition at work,


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