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  • Writer's pictureEric Doherty

Celebrating Success and Recognising Your Top Performers and Teams




Improving company culture by celebrating successes and providing recognition is a vital step for any organization seeking to enhance employee engagement, motivation, and overall productivity.


Here, I will expand on the steps a company can take to achieve this goal, focusing on various strategies and initiatives that go beyond traditional employee of the month awards


Define a clear vision and values


Start by developing a comprehensive statement of the organisation's vision, core values and strategies. This will serve as a guiding principle for shaping the company culture and recognizing behaviours that align with these values.


The CEO and the Executive Team must own this and communicate this regularly through meetings, training sessions, and internal communications.


Foster a collaborative environment


Encourage cross-departmental collaboration and teamwork by providing opportunities for employees from different teams to work together. This can be achieved through regular team-building activities, collaborative projects, and shared goals. Implementing collaboration tools and platforms can also facilitate communication and information sharing among teams.


This can be achieved practically by having a regular cadence for these types of interactions. Examples are weekly sales and marketing team chats where there is a dedicated time for sales to listen to marketing and visa versa. Practical outcomes are achieved with discussion rather then endless emails and frustration.


Providing visibility of progress is also important. You want the whole company to hear about sales wins, progress on services and product developments and initiatives by marketing to promote the company brand and its products. If the employee can self serve on this information that is also a positive initiative as it helps keep your team members "in the loop".


Create a culture of appreciation


Instilling a culture of appreciation involves encouraging employees to express gratitude and recognition towards their colleagues' efforts and achievements. Managers should actively model this behaviour by regularly expressing appreciation to their team members. Additionally, consider implementing a recognition system where employees can give and receive recognition for exceptional work.


I work with an organisation that has developed a page on their intranet to recognise their peers and colleagues which I think is a great initiative.


Consider a program that includes digital platforms, such as an employee recognition app or an internal social network, to make it easy for employees to give and receive recognition.


Celebrate milestones and achievements


Acknowledge and celebrate significant milestones, achievements, and successes of teams and individuals. Consider organising special events or activities to mark these occasions, such as team lunches, off-site outings, or recognition ceremonies.


Publicly recognise and highlight these accomplishments through company-wide communications, including success stories, testimonials, or employee spotlights. Also share your success stories. Examples are 1st sale of new product, entrance to a new market, a developer solving an impossible code issue, a services or support engineer receiving great customer feedback. Make sure these wins are front and centre of group discussions and communications.


If you have an all hands meeting or a town hall it is great opportunity to implement the above.


Provide regular feedback


Managers should prioritise providing regular feedback and recognition to their team members. This can be done through ongoing performance discussions, one-on-one meetings, or informal check-ins. Encourage managers to focus on providing constructive feedback and highlighting specific contributions and strengths, fostering a growth-oriented mindset.


Offer professional development opportunities


Invest in the professional development of employees by providing training programs, workshops, or mentorship opportunities. Recognise employees who actively seek personal and professional growth by acknowledging their participation in learning initiatives, certifications, or conferences. Create a supportive environment where employees feel encouraged to explore new skills and grow in their careers.


If budgets are tight it could be a simple as $50 course on Udemy for the relevant subject or if the training budget can afford it an advanced course in Strategic Selling, Account Management, AGILE Software Development etc etc.


Encourage employee-led initiatives


Foster an environment where employees are empowered to propose and lead initiatives that promote a positive company culture. Establish channels for employees to share their ideas and encourage their active involvement in shaping the organisation's culture.


Recognise and reward employees who take the initiative to organise wellness programs, volunteering activities, or social events that enhance the overall employee experience.


Lead by example


Senior leaders and managers should lead by example and actively participate in celebrating successes and providing recognition. By consistently showcasing their appreciation for employees' efforts and contributions, they set the tone for the rest of the organisation.


Encourage leaders to publicly recognise outstanding performance and reinforce the organisation's values through their actions and communication.


Conclusion


It's essential to understand that the enhancement of an organisation's culture is a continuous and iterative endeavour. This process necessitates ongoing dedication, transparent dialogue, and an authentic commitment to acknowledging and applauding the efforts and accomplishments of the workforce.


It's a challenging task that a limited number of businesses manage to execute effectively, but those who excel in this arena often dominate their respective markets. Notable examples include industry leaders such as Honeywell, Cisco, and Telstra.


You might be somewhat sceptical about including Telstra in this list, yet it's worth noting that Telstra is the most valuable brand in Australia. I was fortunate enough to work within a 100-person organisation that was assimilated into the expansive Telstra entity. This integration, while occasionally amusing, was an unmitigated success. It catalysed the transformation of a $10 million business unit into a $1 billion entity in less than 5 years. This integration could be likened to a 'pirate ship' within a vast corporate structure, yet the results were truly remarkable, and it was a privilege to contribute to this success story.


The Human Resources team that spearheaded this integration has since evolved into leading figures within the HR field across the banking and telecommunications industries. Their achievements are a testament to the power of effective culture management in driving both individual and organizational success.

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