As part of the implementation of our strategic plan, the People and Culture pillar team has been working on developing elements of our workplace well-being strategy. One of the categories within that strategy is called Mattering at Work which includes finding ways to foster a culture of gratitude and recognition where team members feel seen, respected, needed, and valued.
Even with the best intentions of wanting to acknowledge a colleague for their effort or skill, I am sure we have all had an experience – either on the giving or receiving end – of an uncomfortable recognition moment where an expression of appreciation or compliment ends up doing more harm than good.
To try and avoid those uncomfortable moments and gain a better understanding of each other’s recognition preferences, our team recently participated in an activity that would help us to recognize individual contributions in ways that would be most meaningful to each person.
We each completed a survey that asked questions such as:
In what kind of settings are you comfortable receiving recognition?
What kind of work accomplishments or contributions would you most like to be recognized for by your team members?
The responses to these questions provided valuable insight into our team members’ preferences. For example, some of us preferred to be recognized for taking on extra responsibilities whereas others preferred to be recognized for innovative ideas or completing a challenging project. We also learned about what settings our team members feel comfortable to receive recognition – in public, in private or in small groups.
Another question in the survey asked about our preferred way to receive recognition based on the different languages of appreciation. They include:
Words of affirmation – verbal or written praise that communicates a positive message
Acts of service – a gesture of support or offering to help with a task as a thank you
Tangible gifts – tokens of appreciation to acknowledge contributions (e.g., a present or treat)
Quality time – intentional and thoughtful efforts to connect (e.g., social chat)
Now that we have all this helpful feedback, we have made a commitment as a team to honour each other’s recognition preferences as we work to build our culture of gratitude and appreciation. Our team members indicated that simple acts of recognition go a long way, such as sending a quick message or email to show our appreciation for one another.
In recognition of International Women’s Day today, our Collective Results team would like to acknowledge all the talented women we have the privilege to work alongside in our client projects. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn from such strong leaders in their respective fields and wish to celebrate their many achievements as they strive to make positive change in their work.
Our team would also like to take this opportunity to recognize and celebrate Amy Estill, our Founder and CEO. Our team is grateful for Amy’s passionate, insightful, and supportive leadership, on this day and every day, as we collectively work to carry out our vision – helping our clients do good work better. We appreciate the remarkable example Amy sets as our leader and the space she creates for our team to engage in activities, such as the recognition preferences survey, that allows for innovative ways to build a culture of caring together at Collective Results. Thank you, Amy!
What are some ways that you are working to build a culture of gratitude and recognition in your work? Have you considered conducting an employee recognition preferences survey?