August 31, 2021 0 Comment

Should Rewards and Recognition be only for Entry-Level Employees?

Employees today are no longer satisfied only with good pay packages and benefitsEmployee rewards and recognition has emerged as one the key factors for employee motivation and retention. However, organizations often end up having rewards and recognition for entry-level employees only, excluding more tenured employees. Is this the right approach? Let’s take a look.

What makes this approach inappropriate?

Organizations often feel that rewarding and recognizing entry-level employees is of utmost importance. They also feel that these programs do not hold much significance for employees at higher levels in the organization. They believe that experienced employees do not value such programs.

However, this is not true. Most mid and even senior-level employees also feel the need for consistent motivation and appreciation as entry-level employees. Thus, by focusing only on the newer employees for employee recognition, organizations might demotivate their tenured and high-performing employees.

Selective Employee Recognition

What are the drawbacks of selective or restricted employee recognition programs?

Organizations with recognition programs only for entry-level employees are likely to have several disadvantages. The most common consequences are as follows:
Should Rewards and Recognition be only for Entry-Level Employees?

1. Divisive Organization Culture

One big drawback of having a recognition system focused only at entry-level employees is the birth of divisive organization culture. Such culture is detrimental for the organization. It can breed dissent among employees and reduce cooperation and support from older employees.

It can lead to adverse impact on the business due to poor communication, poor teamwork and .distrust among the workforce.

2. Reduction in Employee Engagement

The absence of a fair rewards and recognition system increases the chances of disengagement even among the most dedicated employees. As a result, they can tend to become indifferent towards the happenings in the organization and become less productive.

The decline in engagement levels can also result in a significant rise in employee turnover. This can hamper smooth business operations of the organization and eventually loss of credibility among customers.

3. Decline in the Employer Brand

Organizations that do not recognize tenured employees and recognize only entry-level employees can lose their credibility as a preferred employer. Potential employees especially those with experience may avoid joining such organizations. They feel that their hard work and contribution towards might not be appreciated by the organization.

For many young professionals, being recognized and appreciated might hold higher value than any additional perks and benefits. In fact, absence of a proper recognition program can make them less inclined to take up job offers from such organizations. Hence, it can have a negative impact on the brand value of the organization as a recruiter. Hence, the organization might find it increasingly difficult for them to hire quality candidates for various roles.

4. Lack of Innovation and Creativity

When organizations fail to acknowledge their long-serving employees, it brings down the overall motivation levels of the entire workforce. Employees tend of do their work mechanically rather than feeling excited and motivated to take initiative.

So, they might become less creative or innovative and might not look at exploring new ideas and options for business growth. In fact, they might even stop taking any initiatives and just wait for instructions from their superiors

Hence, it can have negative impact on innovation, improvement and eventually loss of competitive advantage and lower business growth.


There is often a debate among HR practitioners that employee rewards and recognition programs should be targeted only at entry-level employees. However, as mentioned in this article, it is best to adopt a comprehensive employee reward and recognition system across all levels of the organization.

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HiFives ( is an employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. The platform enables supervisors and co-workers to nominate, recognize and reward employees using a points-based system. Budget management, jury-based evaluation and multi-level approval workflows are built into the platform. HiFives has social features such as a wall of fame and gamification features such as leaderboards, e-certificates and digital badges. It also has a global redemption system with country-specific e-gift card options. HiFives integrates with all leading HRMS systems, Office 365, Google Workspace, MS Teams, Slack and other popular tools used at the workplace. HiFives is used by many large enterprises, small businesses and startups across 25+ countries in the world, in many industries including manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media.