What makes an exceptional organizational culture? 

So far, we’ve highlighted several of the 6 Cs of Culture, or the common elements that high-performing entities share. The components include: 

In this post, I’ll focus on the importance of Commendation and share one idea to help leaders, supervisors and staff deliver meaningful recognition. 

What Is the Impact of Commendation? 

Appreciation and celebration make a difference in just about any setting you can imagine. When Great Places to Work asked employees to name the most important thing their manager or company does that would cause them to produce exceptional work, the number one response was: Recognize me 

Quantum Workplace has also shown that when personnel know they will be acknowledged, they are 2.7X more likely to be engaged. Organizations that have formal recognition programs also see 31% less voluntary turnover and are 12X more likely to have strong business outcomes 

In a school environment, the impact is very similar. Praise has been shown to have a positive effect on teacher commitment as well as student performance and resiliency 

What Does a Culture of Recognition Look Like? 

There are so many ways to celebrate people, and leaders can feel confident that they are on the right track when their internal stakeholders consistently confirm these sentiments: 

1. Recognition flows across levels and roles. It’s not just executives and managers who honor their direct reports. Employees also regularly recognize their peers as well as their supervisors and leaders. In a school setting, teachers, administrators and students each have mechanisms to celebrate one another. 

2. Multiple channels exist to commemorate stakeholders. Cultures that value appreciation have many avenues to support the flow of positive reinforcement including chat channels, public and private forums, meetings or internal and external social platforms.

3. It’s easy to acknowledge people. The rituals and systems in place to acknowledge employees and leaders are well-documented and frequently communicated. 

4. Staff can quickly recall the last time they were recognized. When celebration is a norm, internal stakeholders will be able to remember a recent time that they received praise at work. 

5. Personnel and leadership know they make a positive impact. Employees who are part of an environment focused on commendation feel that they are making a difference because they receive positive affirmations and know that their day-to-day actions have a ripple effect on the entire organization. 

6. Leaders prioritize appreciation and recognition. Examples of appreciation include things like acknowledging an anniversary or birthday, while recognition typically focuses on actions or results. 

7. Achievements and behaviors are valued. Commendation is given for both the outcomes that people achieve as well as the way staff approach their work. One way of doing so is by marking moments where an individual is demonstrating the organization’s core values. 

8. Big and small wins are celebrated. When praise is part of the workplace climate, stakeholders will be acknowledged for major accomplishments as well as the day-to-day activities and tasks that move the organization forward. 

9. Many types of rewards are given. Different awards will appeal to different people, and depending on the achievement being commemorated, certain rewards may be more appropriate. Many organizations will provide options – like time away, gift cards, bonuses, physical awards or new responsibilities – and choices to engage staff. 

10. Managers receive training to give feedback. It’s helpful for all employees to have the tools to give positive and constructive feedback, and it’s especially important for supervisors. People in a managerial role will feel assured that they can deliver input that motivates their people. 

One Tip to Promote Celebration in the Workplace 

Recognition is more impactful when it’s delivered in a meaningful way for personnel. When organizations apply Emergenetics, employees can specifically tailor feedback to their colleagues’ Emergenetics preferences, increasing the likelihood that the acknowledgments will resonate with their audience.  

There are also some basic tips to take a holistic approach so individuals are honored in a way that will speak to their interests even if you are not sure of their Thinking and Behavioral preferences. In any message, be mindful to: 

  • Explain the value of the person’s efforts  
  • Be specific about what actions they took  
  • Share which stakeholders their contributions positively impacted 
  • Make connections to the big picture  

I also recommend personalizing it by thinking about the employee’s behaviors. For example, do they thrive in small or large group settings? That knowledge can impact whether praise is shared one-on-one or in an email versus a live or group setting. 

Emergenetics Associates – You can get more tips in Emergenetics+. Simply log into your Associate account and then click the following link to access our Attributes in Action guide focused on recognition. 

I hope the tips I’ve shared inspire new ideas to promote commendation in your culture. For more insights into building an engaging, productive workplace, be sure to download our Culture Toolkit. 

Culture Fitness

Download our toolkit today or fill out the form below to speak with one of our team members about how Emergenetics can advance commendation in your company or school! 


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