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When you get good at recognizing those who do their job well or go above and beyond their role, employees (and your business) benefit in many ways. Strategic recognition helps create the environment for more engagement because people are getting what they crave. So, how do you recognize strategically?

Strategic recognition is when you show appreciation for a success that helped improve the employee or customer experience that can be tied to your company’s values, purpose or objectives.

Think about how adding a little bit more beyond the “thank you” can turn a nice message into one that has a meaningful impact on your team and your company as a whole. To truly see the strategic impact of employee recognition, it’s key to embed it in your company culture with these three steps:

Step one: Tell the action
Step two: Connect to an area of focus or company value
Step three: Explain the impact

As more people get on board with making recognition a habit – a part of your work culture (or, the “way we do things around here”) – the ripple effect spreads throughout the organization. The value of employee recognition is unmatched and your team’s (or company’s) goals and objectives will benefit.

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Let’s take a look at a real-life example to see how this impacts business results. Dunn Tire, a retail organization in New York, was struggling to make the connection between the customer experience and the day-to-day actions of employees, as well as get manager buy-in for recognition initiatives.


After refining its company values, the organization implemented a strategic recognition program as a tool for capturing, sharing, discussing and learning from successes and best practices for delivering its “Mission World Class” to colleagues and customers. 

The platform encourages managers to strategically recognize employees in order to build a culture of continuous recognition and improve customer satisfaction. 

Since implementing the program, recognition activity is high with 91% participation over the past year. Employees and managers have captured 8,000 examples of successes and best practices since the program began. What’s more Dunn Tire’s NPS score is over 60 (compared to the retail industry average of 51) and continues to climb – currently it’s sitting at 69 – which is a testament to the strategic recognition.

Strategic employee recognition goes beyond saying thank you – it’s about connecting your people to a bigger purpose every day and living your values in everything you do to truly impact your people and your business results. What next step will you take towards strategically recognizing your employees?

Alexandra Powell

Alexandra Powell, Director of Client Cultural Insights, not only knows American Sign Language, but uses it to secretly communicate with her husband and kids at parties. Alex is a highly experienced employee engagement consultant, trainer and speaker. For over 20 years she has helped HR and business leaders implement strategies that drive true culture change.

Director of Client Cultural Insights

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