Recognition and a Consideration of CultureIt has become almost cliché when discussing recognition to speak in terms of a “culture” of recognition, “culture” of safety, “culture” of appreciation, or “culture” of excellence.  There is good reason for this (I also use the term often), as “culture” conveys a system-wide permeation of common values, behaviors and beliefs.

Culture as defined by Merriam-Webster is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization.” Culture implies permanence of cause, beliefs – and an accepted code of common practice.  It summarizes organizational character.

Here are a few cultural considerations when implementing your recognition program.

  • What is your organization’s existing culture?  What attitudes, values, goals and practices are apparent?  Is recognition one of them?  Appreciation?
  • How closely do existing values and practices align with stated cultural objectives?
  • While not all cultural characteristics are positive – it takes positive measures to bring about change.
  • Culture is established, reinforced and maintained over time.  As a result, it takes time to bring about lasting, meaningful change.
  • Give culture its due – avoid values, goals or objectives that are superficial or negatively perceived.  The leadership of a past employer instituted a “culture of thrift”- code for drastic cutbacks.  This was perceived negatively by employees and clients – and actually caused more harm than good.  It didn’t help that “culture of servant leadership” was equally superficial.  Intentions aren’t enough – poor program design, communication and execution can even result in chaos.

Your recognition program should involve all employee populations – so diversity rules when trying to keep employees “in the know,” engaged and excited.  All employees may not have equal access to program information, so diverse methods should be employed – online, offline and mobile approaches.

Looking to implement an employee recognition program – or revise your current one?  Contact us here or give us a call at 800.621.9745.

As Vice President of QIC, Jeff oversees daily operations as well as the company’s strategic marketing initiatives. He has 20+ years in the incentive and recognition industry with prior lengthy experience in retail marketing/advertising and consumer loyalty.

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