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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 feel valued, appreciated and motivated. So, how do you recognize strategically?

Strategic recognition is showing appreciation for a success that helped improve the employee (or customer) experience that can be tied to your company’s values, mission or objectives.

Build on the “thank you” message with a description of how their effort made an impact. Going that extra mile can turn a nice message into one that has a cascading impact on your team, their peers 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 using AVI recognition:

A: Tell the ACTION
V: Connect to an area of focus or company VALUE
I: Explain the IMPACT

As more people get on board with making recognition a habit – an integral 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. Databank, a data center and managed services company that provides IT infrastructure in the U.S. and Europe, wanted to connect and engage its dispersed workforce – especially when the pandemic took hold and put a halt to any in-person interactions.

Databank office

Before Reward Gateway, Databank had no formal recognition in place, so after tripling in size following acquisitions, with hundreds of new employees to onboard and fold into operations, the time had come to make a move.

In 2019, when Databank hired its SVP of Marketing, J.P. Laqueur, the team began diving into the overall employer brand and employee sentiment through surveys. In response, the organization crafted a Purpose, Way and Impact (PWI) framework (like a mission and values statement) to craft its foundational messaging and cornerstone behaviors.

Databank eCard – Leadership BehaviorsDatabank worked with Reward Gateway to develop the “Databank Vault,” its all-encompassing engagement platform that hosts its internal communications and reward and recognition program, which utilizes eCards to highlight, emphasize and applaud tangible acts on the behavioral pillars of the PWI framework.

Within three months of launch, a full 93% of staff had logged into the platform at least once, a number which grew to 97% within 12 months. The blog has also received nearly 30,000 views and thousands of interaction moments.

Since August 2020, there have already been over 2,900 recognition moments sent, with 93% of employees either sending or receiving recognition. The team has also seen an increase in leadership and manager participation, with 62% of all recognition sent coming from managers.

“The reporting features allow me to see everything,” JP said, “from the number of logins, to how much people are saving using the discounts. The report in particular I love and look at regularly allows me to see how the peer-to-peer recognition is flowing across the organization, and in this case between four major departments, which are reflective of how we come together as one company. It's allowed us as leaders to really continue to keep a finger on the pulse of that culture on a daily basis and figure out how to nurture it in a positive way.”

This is just one example of how strategic recognition can reinforce what is important to your business and have a powerful impact on employee engagement. If you're interested in learning more about how recognition tools can support your business goals, get in touch with us and a member of our team will walk you through our solutions.

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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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