2007 Nominee

#2 The Flounder Award



Category: Worst HR Motivation

Many organizations are using “The Fish Principles” in an attempt to reinvigorate departments and follow what some companies have known for years, if your employees are happy they will be more productive.
Be There
Make Their Day
Choose Your Attitude

If the company can somehow refrain from becoming an Initech clone with the motivational banners, additional meetings and scripted playtime so much the better.

– The Flounder Award –

But what if your employees start to generate ideas in this new environment, always a dangerous prospect. Enter The Flounder Award (yes it’s real), the Fish Principles bastard stepchild. Though not associated with the actual principles, one organization in the pharmaceutical industry with which I have an acquaintance, introduced it as a way to motivate employees to not screw up.

The way it works: employees police each other for embarrassing moments. Then during the quarterly department meeting nominations are made and votes are tallied. Whomever wins, must walk to the front of the room, accept the award and keep it displayed on their desk as a symbol of their failure until the next quarterly meeting. Following is an excerpt from a recent email reminder:

  • Flounder Award

    • (Name omitted) has been nominated for this award every month since this was put into place.
    • Jot down those moments you see your peers embarrass themselves so you are prepared for the meeting.

This proves two things, not only does the award exist, but apparently it isn’t very motivating since the same person is nominated over and over. So what is with this person? Doesn’t she understand the concept? Perhaps 5 minutes in the shark tank will give her the motivation she needs!

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