4 min read

Employee recognition programs have many benefits, from improving employee retention to increasing productivity to boosting company morale. But one of the top ways employee recognition helps increase employee engagement is by embedding your values and culture into a recognition program that your teams will take part in time and time again. 

In 2024, it's time to refresh and rethink your reward and recognition strategies, aligning them with your company culture and values and ensuring that employee recognition is a foundational part of your company culture. 

Celebrating a win by connecting it to a value is an easy way to drive home your culture and core values in moments of recognition. 

Strategically recognising employees and connecting it to your values will also give you ideas for improving the employee experience at your organisation. Here are a few ways to make your culture shine in your recognition programs: 

1. Design recognition programs around your values
2. Reward your people strategically
3. Make recognition social
4. Build a designated culture wall
5. Keep recognition consistent

Find out more about making the most of your recognition programs with our free eBook: 6 Steps to Boosting Employee Recognition ROI

1. Design programs around your values

eCards are a simple way for colleagues to say “thank you,” “congratulations,” “well done” and much more. You can make your peer-to-peer recognition program culture-driven by creating eCards for each of your company values.

Discover how to improve the employee experience with company culture and  employee recognition initiatives»

For example, at Reward Gateway one of our values is “Push the Boundaries.” If someone really raises the bar on a project they’re working on, we have an eCard that their colleagues can send them recognising their innovative spirit. Customised eCards are a great way to bring your people together and show them how they impact the business through strategic employee recognition.

company culture and employee recognition

2. Reward your people strategically 

Employee reward programs are another great way to show appreciation for your employees, but before you start throwing all sorts of gifts and bonuses at your employees, think of ways to use them to showcase your company culture. 

There are plenty of low-cost ways to reward employees that will have a big impact on productivity and motivation. 

For example, if you have a young, spirited workforce, rewarding them for a job well done could be as simple as hosting a pizza and beer party. Or if your culture is made up of new and busy parents, host a contest that rewards the biggest contributor with a paid day off to relax. 

company culture and employee recognition

3. Make employee recognition social 

Your employees are already on social networks that have social feeds, commenting capabilities and the ability to “like,” so why not add recognition programs to social media? You can make eCards visible to all, and post recognition messages on the company Facebook page or in Slack channels. 

When you display recognition publicly for the entire workforce to see, it helps connect people, reinforces teamwork and encourages more frequent recognition.

4. Build a designated culture wall 

There’s no better way to show off your company’s culture of recognition than with vivid photos and visuals of your own people. Designate a wall in your office space as the “Wall of Fame,” or something aligned with your values, and fill it with photos of your employees working hard, celebrating their achievements and enjoying life at work. 

If a physical wall isn’t feasible, maintain a digital space on your employee engagement platform – a social recognition wall helps connect your employees and improve company culture with visible, values-based eCards and nominations.

company culture and employee recognition

5. Keep recognition consistent

They say it takes 30 days to form a new habit. And the same is true for recognition – you need to do it consistently and recognise different people who go above and beyond to make your organisation a great place to work. 

Consistency changes culture and helps you foster a culture of continuous recognition – leading to happier, more engaged employees. There are three key steps to making recognition consistent:

1. Say “thank you” once a day
2. Write an eCard once a week
3. Send a reward once a month

Making recognition a part of your everyday culture is easier than you think. By making recognition and reward meaningful and values-driven, you can improve the employee experience and foster better relationships with your people. How will you embed employee recognition into your company’s culture?

Natalie Savkoski

Natalie Savkoski is our Director of Client Success - Australia, at Reward Gateway. She loves helping leaders make a positive difference in the everyday lives of millions of people around the world and works with organisations of all sizes to deliver the best tools to motivate and engage their employees.

Director of Client Success - Australia

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