employee encouragement

How Recognition Programs Build a Positive Workplace Culture

by Presenta Plaque | on Oct 23, 2012 | No Comments

In recent blogs, we’ve discussed the importance of recognizing your employees’ performances and recognition activities you can incorporate into your practices, but one detail we haven’t stressed enough is the impact a recognition program can have on your overall business culture. Regardless of the business you’re in, workplaces can be a hotbed of negativity; all it takes is one unhappy person to bring others down. It’s crucial to your business success that you foster an environment that helps your employees thrive. This means building an open, positive atmosphere in which people are given due credit for their accomplishments. After all, employees function better when they know that they will receive praise for any praiseworthy actions, and they won’t be as quick to develop bitterness about any perceived slights.

According to Inc.com, an online news resource for entrepreneurs, simply saying a regular “thank you” to employees may help them accept constrictive criticisms better. Rick Maurer, a business consultant interviewed by Inc.com believes that “if you make it clear that you are trying to make employees better at what they do, positive and negative feedback become a regular part of the conversation.” So tell your employees that their work is noticed and thank them when it’s actual quality work, but don’t just hand out “thank yous” like cheap candy. Maurer states, “If you say thank you all the time, even when people do mediocre work, you won’t build an environment where people handle criticism better.” By offering both positive and negative feedback to your employees, you send the message that they are a valuable part of the team, and you are improving their skills for their own professional development and for the sake of improving your company. Many employers believe that cash bonuses are the most effective way of thanking employees; however, Inc.com reports that employees prefer an in-person thank you and having their accomplishments displayed to management. Surely, “it’s easier to hand out a bonus than to create a culture in which saying thank you is a regular occurrence,” but cash bonuses can send out the wrong message to employees. Namely, one that says all accomplishments have their price, whereas a culture that supports honest and sincere appreciation sends the message that your staff is a team aiming to better themselves and the company.

Below is a list of tips we’ve seen across a myriad of sources who all agree these practices will help turn your business culture into a breeding ground of positivity:

  • Actively listen to your staff. Don’t brush off lower level employees or a colleague you don’t feel is worth your time. You never know when you’ll hear something important, or who will say it when you do.
  • Walk around the office and always know what’s going on. Great accomplishments won’t always make it through the grapevine, so walk around and recognize achievements first-hand.
  • When you see an employee succeed at something, tell their supervisor. Their skill may have otherwise gone unnoticed.
  • After telling the supervisor, reinforce all successes by vocalizing it to everyone. Tell coworkers, managers, and anyone else you can think of when someone accomplished something noteworthy.
  • Acknowledge progress too. Don’t just praise someone for a well-finished project. Applaud them for the road they took to get there.
  • Encourage coworkers to share their talents with others. Build a community where everyone can benefit from someone else’s greater skill or knowledge for the benefit of all, and make your employees proud to be an expert at something.
  • Be consistent in these practices to effectively direct your business culture into a positive and constructive place that will make employees happy to be there.

For more information on how Presenta Plaque can be a part of your daily recognition program that will transform your business culture, give us a call or visit our website!