Nick Miller

Employee Engagement: Engraining recognition into your corporate culture

Communicating appreciation in the workplace, both top-down and peer-to-peer, is critical to building engagement. A simple “thank you” or “job well done” can often hold the same value to an employee as a monetary reward. Creating a culture of appreciation will let your employees feel valued and know that their efforts are appreciated, but it is something that happens over time and involves all levels of employees.

It starts at the top. Regardless of the type of culture a company is trying to create, leadership sets the tone for the entire organization. Culture cascades through the organization just like tangible communications, so appreciative behavior is likely to be mimicked as employees observe their managers. From there, they set the example for the next level of employees and this trickledown effect permeates throughout all employee groups.

Change how employees view recognition. Many companies make the mistake of treating recognition programs as a box to check without considering the requirements of keeping the program fresh, effective and sustainable. Launching a recognition initiative should be strategic in order to ensure that associates aren’t jaded by “just another program” that falls by the wayside. You might tie recognition to the company values or other objectives that you want to reinforce over the long haul.

Consider using perks to encourage recognition. Intranets and microsites are great solutions to track who is being recognized and why. We at Tribe promote gamification of your recognition program, such as points-based systems that can translate into giveaways or drawings. Engagement for programs like these are often higher – as it’s hard to beat free stuff.

Publicize recognition to the whole company. Part of fostering recognition within your corporate culture is to communicate it to everyone. Take specific examples and print them on posters, post them on digital signage or include them in your newsletter. Employees value seeing their peers recognized on a broad scale and will use the indirect appreciation as motivation to be the next one. Make sure to spotlight all levels of employees – down to the part-time, hourly workers. In doing so, you’re promoting equality and inclusion, key aspects of an appreciative culture.

Interested in showing your employees how much they mean to your company? Tribe can help.


Developing Recognition Programs

When it comes to increasing engagement among employees, recognition programs are the way to go. There’s no better way to engage employees than to let them know they’re special, needed and important to the overall success and growth of your company. Rewarding employees who have shown improvement in a certain area and acknowledging those who have gone above and beyond are great ways to foster pride among employees, helping meet the psychological needs of individuals and can raise employee satisfaction levels across the board.

Recognition can come in a variety of ways: verbal, written, digital, and even through a variety of communication channels. Depending on how your company is structured, recognition can flow from the top down — from the CEO, senior executives and managers — or from peer-to-peer, where employees are encouraged to recognize each other.

Here are a few programs to consider:


Employee Spotlight Programs – for exceptional service

Service Awards – for long-term employees

On-the-Spot Recognition – cash or vouchers for company items


Pass It On – a traveling token, medallion or recognition jar

Post It Online – on the company intranet or social media site

Recognition Wall – a place to post a note about a coworker

No way is the wrong way. Receiving recognition can sometimes be interpreted as more sincere if received from peers who are on your same level but it might also feel less important if your employee is looking for praise from someone who “matters.” It all depends on the person and the current culture of your company. That’s why it’s good to take a multi-dimensional approach to employee recognition and cover all your bases.