How to build culture of rewards & recognition

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We all have the need of the recognition whether it’s coming from personal or professional space. A child expects some pat on back now and then to seek the acknowledgement of right acts from the elders and the same acknowledgement lays the foundation of the kid’s behavior over the period of time.

There are two aspects which are important in designing the culture of appreciation i.e. Organization & People as both are the key wheels of the Culture. ‘Organization’ would help in enabling the culture while ‘People’ will engage each other in this journey of change.

Let us discuss the organizational perspective first. An organization with the high strategic ambitions can’t achieve its goal until unless it has aligned its Culture and Organization design. As the Culture eats Strategy in the Breakfast, similarly Employee Motivation thrives on the diet of the organizations’ rewards & recognition practices. Therefore the success of any organization highly depends on the motivation level which in turns enable the continuous passionate performance and discrete efforts to reach to desired milestone. In the past few years, numerous studies have proven that one of the top motivators of employee engagement, satisfaction and loyalty is recognition. With the Maslow theory suggests that the ultimate motivation passes through Basic Needs to Social recognition and finally settles with self-actualization. Engagement & Empowerment are two critical endeavors which galvanize the performance & ownership and an effective recognition framework greases this engine of performance to keep the momentum smooth.

From employee’s perspective, receiving appreciation is much more valuable than the salary cheques which generally become a routine expectation. Now, many factors play in to where the best talents chose to work- one of them being employee recognition.

Creating a culture of recognition depends upon factors like Leadership, work environment, Sponsorships & HR systems. Let’s take a view of each factor as below.

Leaders walking the talk-

Many leaders see the employees going above and beyond, they don’t thank them. If this is done other way around where the leader takes the note of such efforts and applauds the employee, trust, this little positive reinforcement would cause a friendly competition and it helps driving Innovation and collaboration at workplace. Leaders should be given weekly task to be present in the team huddle to recognize the heroes. While it is important for leaders to recognize significant accomplishments and milestones, small wins have the same importance to set the momentum and also it is very critical to be on time while doing it.

Work Environment-

A lively environment breeds positivity and fuels the comradely. Open office setup which is built around seamless collaboration brings people together and let people witness each other’s’ good work.

Sponsorship for faster adoption-

Any change programme needs a well thought spectrum of Sponsors who create buy in and generate adoption of Recognition practices. The Sponsors are socially influential and their opinions are easily believed socially.

Systems for practicing the recognition-

in the digital era where people are not working in the same offices, a system or tool is essential which connects them on day to day basis. There are internal working cohorts in every company and the members of such group need to stay connected virtually to practice the mutual recognition. Therefore, translating the R&R programme in a digital scalable platform is always essential in building the culture of recognition.


Author-Dayanand Tripathi, Head -Talent, Rewards & Culture at Ecom Express Pvt Ltd.  Ecom is a leading end-to-end logistics solutions provider with a focus on speed, safe and reliable nation-wide express delivery services to e-commerce industry with a workforce of 18000+. Daya has over 15 years of experience in Human Resources and previously worked with Telecom Industries like Airtel, Idea & Telenor. Subsequently he has worked for Telenor Asia headquarters in Thailand and managed Integration & transformation project within HR domain at Asia Level.”

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