How a culture of recognition can boost performance

by HRD20 Feb 2018

While 83% of senior-decision makers say their company recognises employees who demonstrate corporate values, 42% of employees don’t agree they receive this recognition, according to new research by Reward Gateway.

The consequences of not bridging the gap between companies and employees with mission and values are twofold, according to Kylie Green, sales director at Reward Gateway.

Firstly, employee churn as employees choose to work for companies where there is a continuous recognition culture. Moreover, there is the issue of presenteeism.

“Employees are turning up every day but have no understanding of their mission or how they could contribute to it,” Green told HRD.

“When you look at how critical alignment to mission is to success, this is going to impact not only culture but ultimately the bottom line.”

So how can employers actually bridge the gap?

Green said organisations can start by shifting to continuous and frequent recognition.

“So rather than thinking about recognition as a once-a-year event or a once-a-quarter event, think about it as something that should be continuous and frequent,” she told HRD.

“It’s also important to provide support such as tools or training for managers regarding what great recognition looks like to make people feel comfortable because it’s not always natural for everyone."

Greed added that it’s critical to have an environment where staff can say ‘I’ve seen you do a great job’.

“For example, we support Suncorp with a program called Shine. They have 15,000 employees and send 72,000 ‘Thank you’ cards a year,” said Green.

“’Thank you’ cards are available for anyone to send to anyone in the organisation and they are based on the Suncorp values.

“If someone at Suncorp sees their colleagues doing something really innovative they might send them a ‘Think Big’ value.”

Green said it’s a really nice way to constantly bring values to life and take them from something on the wall to something employees can live and breathe everyday.

“Employers can also use videos about how employees can embrace the mission and purpose,” she added.

“They might showcase what great looks like in different roles by having videos of people who have demonstrated their values.

“And then it's about creating a community where people can like, comment, interact or engage in a conversation around the values so it increases the profile."

Related stories:
Five ways HR directors can empower their teams
Inside an award-winning recognition program
Final call for Innovative HR Teams


  • by Allan Kent, ELMO Talent 22/02/2018 8:05:07 AM

    A formal Rewards & Recognition programme, especially an automated one that captures such things as courses completed, CPD points achieved, sales targets achieved or exceeded, KPI's met etc is a valuable asset to any company experiencing employee churn in the way described in the article.

  • by SarahH 21/03/2018 8:56:23 AM

    Peer to peer recognition is just as powerful, if not more powerful, than recognition from the manager.

    At Chobani we have launched a peer to peer reward and recognition program five months ago that doesn't involve any manager approvals or instigation. We issued our entire workforce with a reward chequebook (containing 24 blank cheques - two $1cheques to use each month) and empowered our staff to recognise and thank their peers for demonstration our company Values and Behaviours. The buzz has been amazing and the good vibes of peer recognition is positively spreading. The recipients collect their cheques and then go shopping in our Chobani rewards store. It's wonderful to see the cross functional recognition happening and hearing the great stories.
    We other forms of reward recognition, by nomination on a quarterly basis, but this is by far the coolest and most engaging reward program in my experience.

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