Feeling off-balance? Improve culture with recognition

Dear A Advisor,

I’m a manager of a large team and my company is thinking of introducing  a recognition program. I know that our current company culture could be better: some of my employees feel like their work gets ignored while others’ work is disproportionately appreciated and it fosters resentment amongst my team. I’m willing to put in the hard work to improve morale and change the culture of my workplace, so how do I leverage a recognition program to correct this issue?

I’m looking forward to your advice!


Hi PM,

You’re right: perceived imbalances in recognition can be very detrimental not only to your team, but to your entire company culture. The good news is that implementing a recognition program will create a unified employee experience that will help improve company culture.

In your case, your company needs to bring in a ‘culture of recognition’: make saying ‘thank you’ part of how you do things everyday. In a culture of recognition, managers are vigilant and thorough when assessing the good work and dedication of their employees. Managers should create a rhythm of recognition to reinforce recognition as part of the culture of their team. This recognition rhythm will provide an example to employees to recognize their colleagues.

Immediately begin to integrate a culture of recognition into your own team. As a manager, set an example by recognizing the good work of each individual both in private and within the team. Thank you cards and team recognition moments are perfect examples of making recognition part of your team’s culture. Your example will trickle down to your employees, and you should encourage them to recognize each other. The thorough and public nature of the culture of recognition will help correct the imbalances that have been toxic to your team’s productivity.

Good luck with your new recognition program!

The A Advisor

How did your company prepare to bring in a recognition program? What hurdles did you have to jump? Let us know in the comments!

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