How-To Guide: Building a Global Culture of Recognition

Today is World Gratitude Day, and even though your day or week (or year) may seem tough, there is a lot to be grateful for. At Reflektive, we’re thankful for the opportunity to partner with our fantastic colleagues and hundreds of global companies, and our ability to help firms build a culture of recognition across their workforce. Check out the below FAQs to learn best practices from Reflektive, Enquero and PHD on driving positive sentiment across a dispersed workforce.

Is gratitude valuable across different cultures and geographies?

Yes, it is! From the Netherlands to China, international research studies have uncovered positive results from expressing gratitude. However, there are different ways of showing gratitude across cultures. Per University of California, Berkeley, Americans are more likely to simply say thank you, compliment the person, or promise compensation when they receive help. However, Iranians are more likely to acknowledge the favor, apologize, or ask God to reward the person. Encouraging employees to keep in mind different cultural norms when they express their gratitude will go a long way in building a global recognition culture.

How can global companies start building a culture of appreciation?

While there are different ways of expressing thanks across the globe, having a technology solution that enables all employees to provide praise is a good place to start. Your recognition software should enable employees to thank their peers around the world. For instance, Penny Yuan, Senior Product Manager at Reflektive, is based in California and works with engineers in Bangalore, India. “I use Reflektive’s Recognition solution to thank my India-based colleagues for everything that they do — from supporting urgent customer needs late into the night to working well as a team every sprint.”

How can global companies scale employee recognition?

To encourage employees around the world to provide recognition, we recommend that companies use the below tactics:

Provide Guidance on When and How to Give Recognition: Remove ambiguity by letting employees know when they should provide recognition, such as when a new product is launched or a new partnership is live. Provide guidance on how recognition should be given as well, such as sharing feedback publicly or privately, or tying recognition to company values.

Make Recognition Easy: Ensure that employees can provide recognition in their favorite workplace apps, such as Gmail and Slack, to drive more praise.

Incorporate Recognition into Performance Reviews: Employees will be more motivated to give kudos if the praise is included in performance reviews. Additionally, having employee feedback all in one place saves time for managers and reduces recency bias during reviews!

Reward Employees: Get your workforce excited about your new recognition program by rewarding those who receive the most recognition, provide the most recognition, or both!

How should HR teams launch a global recognition program?

To launch a successful recognition program, we recommend that global companies:

Develop Success Criteria: Define what success looks like for your global recognition program. Select key metrics you want to track, such as the total number of recognition posts, or the average number of recognition posts per employee.

Partner with Key Stakeholders: Build relationships with leaders and managers, as they can role model recognition best practices and provide feedback on ways to drive more kudos across your company. Reflektive found that manager encouragement was a key contributor to employees giving recognition.

Develop an Integrated Campaign and Launch Plan: Take a multi-pronged approach to launch your recognition program. We recommend several tactics to drive employee awareness and excitement of your program, including announcing in company-wide meetings, creating a page on your company’s intranet, and sending a weekly recognition recap email. Once you’ve identified your objective and tactics for your recognition launch, choose your launch day and work backwards to set key project milestones.

More best practices are available in Reflektive’s Guide to Effective Employee Recognition Programs.

What have other companies done to build successful global recognition programs?

Working with hundreds of companies around the world, we’ve observed many different ways that organizations have brought their recognition programs to life! Enquero, a global technology company, created a company-wide goal on building a culture of recognition. They leveraged Reflektive’s integration with Microsoft Teams to make it easier to provide thanks. By prioritizing recognition and building it into employees’ existing workflows, 77% of Enquero employees have received recognition already.

PHD, an Omnicom Media Group Company, used Reflektive’s Recognition Wall when they pivoted to a remote working environment. They leveraged Reflektive’s hashtags to reinforce their company values, and encouraged employees to provide recognition during their All-Staff Meetings. The percentage of PHDers that received Reflektive recognition increased by 144%, and employees continue to provide more virtual recognition than they have before. 

Interested in building a global recognition culture at your organization? Schedule some time with an expert.