How rewards and recognition can build your company culture
How rewards and recognition can build your company culture

Have you ever examined what your organization communicates to employees with its recognition program? You hope, of course, that rewards inspire employees to engage and perform at a higher level. But, what else are you invigorating within your organization?

Every time you reward or recognize an employee, you show the rest of your workforce the behaviors and values they should encompass. As a result, every instance of recognition adds a little more to or takes away from your organization's culture.


Augmenting the culture you want

Imagine a company's culture as a garden. It's nearly impossible to grow a healthy, pleasing garden without a few weeds sprouting up during the season. An attentive gardener is swift to pluck these out. A single weed can't be threatening by itself, but it can quickly multiply and take over the garden when left to grow.

Perverse incentives

The weeds within your organization culture are called "perverse incentives"—that is, incentives that have undesirable and unintended results, which work against what you're trying to incentivize. Let's explore a real-world example. A mother and father wanted their children to clean up the bedroom, so they offered candy as an incentive. As you might imagine, the children responded immediately by cleaning up the room.

However, after the children received their candies for cleaning the room, one of the kids insisted to his brother, 'Tomorrow we've to make another mess so that we can get another one of these.' In this situation, the parents accidentally created a perverse incentive.

Now, you probably aren't handing out chocolates to motivate your employees to complete their assignments, but perverse incentives can come in many ways. For instance, rewarding quantity and efficiency could lead to a decline in quality. Or, acknowledging only obvious wins could demotivate employees with less visible successes.

A poorly executed R&R program can spread weeds throughout your organization's culture if you aren't deliberate and thoughtful. If you have more than financial goals in mind. Indeed, you want to bring in revenue, but if you're going to create a positive, engaging culture along the way, you need to stretch your view.

In simple words, how your employees achieve business goals can be just as important as what they achieve.

Connecting core values and recognition

One of the finest ways to motivate employees to embrace the culture you are trying to fortify is to link employee appreciation to a set of core values.

Going back to the garden example, it takes a lot more than just weeding to grow a big garden. You have to choose the right environment, prepare the soil, fertilize, and so on, to encourage the type of plants you are willing to grow. It comes as an active effort.

In the same way, fostering the right types of behaviors in your company requires action and attention on your side. Don't expect that by draping core value posters on the office walls, you're cultivating culture. If organizations want employees to embrace something—whether it's performance, values, or any other goal—they require to do more than spend money on cosmetic solutions. They have to lead by example and invest in integrating those goals into the very fabric of your organization. In other words, the posters come last.

Here at Vega HR, organizations can kickstart an R&R program that fosters the organization's values and makes work more human. Vega HR offers an employee incentive program that employees love to use. An award like this shoutout a clear message about what's important to us at Vega-HR: fostering an employee-focused culture. We have found that employee engagement and loyalty come from a mutual understanding between employee and organization, where both recognize the role they play and understand the results of their crucial efforts. Here we also offer monetary benefits and rewards, promoting our values and culture further in changing times. And that lasts longer than gifts that end up in the trash.

A Survey Report also illustrates the impact of values-based recognition. It is witnessed that when a company uses a values-based recognition program, employees are likely to embrace the core values and behave accordingly. On the other hand, when there's no recognition program at all, employees are much more likely not even to be aware of the core values.

Special considerations

Your company's culture is unique—which means you require a recognition system that supports your organization's culture. Likewise, you also require to figure out what clicks with your unique workforce.

Collaborative vs. individual recognition

Organizations should also consider the pros and cons of individual rewards Vs collaborative rewards. If you only utilize individual recognition, some people can learn to game the system, breaking it into a popularity contest. You don't require to look too far to see poorly designed programs that lead to perverse incentives.

For example, let's say your organization has an employee excellence award, where you give out $200 quarterly to a deserving employee. You go over the nominations, and you choose a kind, feasible, driven employee who had a big win last week.

Now, when you hand over this award, the winner is elated. But what about the kind, responsible, and driven employees who don't have any visible wins publicly when you shoot out the nomination email? What about the rest of the members of the winning employee's successful team who made the win possible?

If collaboration is a great part of your organization's culture, you are required to exhibit that with collaborative awards. Instead of giving someone out, maybe the better strategy is to gift smaller items to each team member.

Final Thoughts: Empower your workforce with the right tools

Nothing empowers your employees more than an incredible culture in the workplace. Cultural change doesn't have to be complicated. With solutions that offer your employees a voice and get everyone involved in recognition, you can start engaging your employees and changing your culture simultaneously. Vega-HR lets you quickly collect employee feedback and provides you with the key insights you need to act on it. At the same time, the Vega-HR R&R program makes social recognition engaging and monetary recognition easy with a points-based reward system. Create the catalyst for changing organizational culture today with a free demo.

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