The Difference Between Formal Recognition and Informal Recognition

The Difference Between Macro-Recognition (Formal) and Micro-Recognition (Informal)

2 min

What is macro-recognition?

Macro-recognition refers to formal recognition programs typically centered around financial or material incentives (point systems used to purchase prizes).

These workplace incentive programs typically have robust rule sets, are top-down or require administrative approval, and revolve around specific behaviors, incentives, and criteria for earning them. Although financial and material incentives can have a significant impact on organizations, they are also prone to abuse as people become motivated by self-gain rather than achievement or organizational progress. Macro-recognition programs (or formal recognition programs) can also become too complicated or process heavy, reducing employee involvement and overall impact. 

What is micro-recognition?

Micro-recognition refers to informal employee recognition, people-centric systems or programs by which people recognize one another for their contributions (large and small) and with a high degree of frequency.

The incentives for micro-recognition are typically based on “social status” or “social influence” instead of financial or material incentives.  This type of non-monetary, social recognition is shown to have a significant impact on feelings of progress and achievement, the most highly correlated factors in human performance. 


Additional Articles and Research for Macro-Recognition

Additional Articles and Research for Micro-Recognition

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