I got an award for excellence - money credited to my account.

There was no announcement regarding the award, I felt the recognition is taken out of Award. I wonder what is the purpose of secret awards, is it ethical and given a name for these awards in business, I am confused because it involves money. So they want to keep it private?

Are secret awards normal or should I reach to manager and tell about recognition?


2 Answers 2


As long as the award is mentioned in the "books" (and it is because it was credited to your account which in my mind implies a bank transaction or something of this sort which I believe was sent from a company bank account) it is ethical.

Can this award be secret? YES. Maybe management want's to avoid dissatisfaction among your peers and in this case this is a legitimate decision.

Why did you received this award?
Well, this answer should be given to you as part of the appraisal process. No manager will give someone, something without explaining why, for the obvious reason that rewarded performance gets to be repeated which is good for the company in terms of work performance.

What should you do?
Continue doing a good job. There is nothing unethical or of criminal nature (if the bonus of course is not a bribe or meant to influence your decisions in favor of criminal or illegal matters).

  • Thanks!! I have been informed reason for the Award.,As you said "Maybe management want's to avoid dissatisfaction among your peers" , is that really a management should care if they consider giving award to a deserved Candidate? May 21, 2014 at 17:54
  • 2
    @Downey_HUff - It's the difference between an "award" (which is generally something you win or earn, but that anyone could theoretically get, and is handed out on a regular basis) and a "bonus" (which is just extra money the company wants to pay you for doing a good job). If you got a bonus, there's no reason to tell everyone else. If it's an award, there ought to be recognition as well.
    – Bobson
    May 21, 2014 at 18:01
  • makes sense., Now i understand @joe comment May 21, 2014 at 18:04
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    Awards are given when the interest of management is to inspire competition among associates (this is one reason why rewards are made public). A bonus is given to motivate an employee and/or to preserve his/hers loyalty (and many times this implies the secrecy). May 21, 2014 at 18:16

Let me explain to you why they might keep it secret. Back in the dim recesses of time (around 1983), my boss got a big national award with thousands of dollars in award money and they announced it in a department meeting and read the citation of all the wonderful things he did.

As it turned out, everything they said he did, I actually did (this was also where I learned you can't afford to not play office politics). It also turned out that many of the other managers at his level felt that their accomplishments were as great or greater than the ones awarded. So while one person felt motivated by his wonderful achievement, about a dozen others felt marginalized and angry and demotivated. So basically it was a net loss for the organization on motivation. It was also a loss to my team because I immediately asked for a transfer (and got it) to a group where the manager wasn't a credit grabber.

So what I am saying is that announcing large awards often demotivates those who did not get them especially when they feel they did as much or more than the person rewarded (which is often true even when the awardee is not grabbing someone else's credit).

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