It 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.