Top tips on training for a culture of appreciation

Sixty-four percent of companies are making one major mistake. According to recent research by Achievers, just one third of companies are training their team members in how, when, and why to recognize their peers for their contributions. The large majority are leaving an important driver of positive culture somewhat to chance.

This is a huge lost opportunity as recognition has to be delivered in a particular way to make a transformational difference. It needs to be timely, specific and values-based, in line with the values of the organisation. If you do not train people in how to do this effectively, chances are that you will perform sub-optimally in this regard.

In fairness, our research showed that nearly two-thirds of companies did train managers on the art and science of recognition. However, this is only half the battle. As we see time again with how Achievers’ employee recognition and rewards platform is implemented by customers, it should not be top-down alone.

Even manager training appears not to be comprehensive, however. Much of it appears to be focused on the why – the importance of recognition in the workplace – but little to none focused on how to do it well, or the importance of timing. Alarmingly, training on recognizing team members was also seen often as a one-time event, not an ongoing professional development. This makes it extremely hard to embed this behavior.

Organisations need to focus on these best practices when training employees on how to provide recognition:

  • Timely: Recognition should occur quickly after the triggering behavior.
  • Frequent: Individuals should receive recognition at least once a month.
  • Specific: The recognition should be as specific as possible. “Thanks for your help” is not as effective as “Thank you for the two hours you spent on your own time to help me solve my computer issues.”
  • Values-based: What gets recognized, gets repeated. You can reinforce your values through recognition by tying your recognition program directly to your core company values.

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Having the right content is a great start, but all employees need to be trained on a regular basis. Manager-specific training can also help, to ensure that the best practice is role appropriate, but the value of peer recognition should not be underestimated.

Click here to find out more about Achievers’ employee engagement platform.