It's nice that businesses are grasping the concept of less stick, more carrot. Of course, if the person you're rewarding is a carnivore, they're not going to see the carrot as recognition; they're going to see it as yet more evidence that you don't know them, or don't care about them.
I had an employer who, to reward me for my efforts, announced at a company meeting that he was buying me a car. Impressive, eh?
Well, sort of.
What they did was picked out a vehicle, let me register it in my name, and made the monthly payment. Nice vehicle, but it was red. Without a doubt my least favorite car color. Honestly, I would prefer little-girl pink to red. Oh; and when I quit the job about a year later, I took over the payment, of course. So, in reality, it was a $200/month raise, not a new car.
Now, it wasn't a total wash. I did need a more dependable vehicle, and it was a small truck, like I already drove.
But it wasn't the recognition I wanted. What I wanted was, well, recognition. Sincere notice for my ingenuity and willingness to get the job done. What I got was a public announcement which made the boss look like a hero, and made it critical that I act enormously grateful since I'd obviously been rewarded beyond what I deserved. Nobody else knew that they hadn't paid cash and handed me the pink slip, which is the clear impression I got when the announcement was made. (See my article on how nobody likes surprises . . . )
A little discreet inquiry would have uncovered the fact that what I really needed was a few bucks to fix up the old truck I loved, and what I really wanted was appreciation.