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How Social Recognition Connects Economic, Company and Employee Values

February 20, 2018
| ByMike Ryan

Just about every organization out there can cite its vision and mission statements at the corporate level. But few recognize the importance of promoting and recognizing the very values it is built on at the employee level.

Thanks to social recognition that’s changing. In fact, shared values are becoming a central pillar in developing not just purpose-driven organizations, but purpose-driven individuals as well. 

Talented people want to work for businesses that have positive values; working ideologies that reflect their view of what is truly meaningful. In fact, the connection between what an employee does at work and what they believe to be worthwhile impacts their attitude toward leaving or staying. 78% of employees who know what their company stands for and believes in those values end up staying with the company longer.

An employee’s identification with the company’s values also impacts their productivity. Workers who only understand “what to do” will only work as hard as their work ethic propels them to. An employee who knows “why” their work is important, however, and more importantly embraces its meaning, will work much harder because they believe in what they are doing.

Economic values and company values are not mutually exclusive. Authentic and positive standards create tangible financial worth for the business; they increase productivity, prevent attrition and lead to happier customers. Shared values lead to employee loyalty and happiness, and happy employees lead to increased customer loyalty, which in turn drives profits. The connection could not be clearer.

Explaining, nurturing and emphasizing “values in action” has real bottom line implications. That’s why forward-looking companies reinforce them across their entire employee population; it’s why they help acknowledge the shared values that define what it means to be part of their team.

The connection between economic values, company values and employee values converges within social recognition programs. In fact, one of the easiest ways to illustrate company values, and do so in a context that employees can internalize is to reinforce them via an employee recognition program. In a socially-driven recognition plan, employees actively thank and recognize one another for the actions and behaviors that supported not only the company’s objectives but its core values as well.

Still, many companies do not position their recognition efforts as social. The majority of recognition and reward programs are based on service or tenure awards. That antiquated form of employee recognition is simply not going to produce they type of long-term improvements in retention, engagement, and productivity that its sponsors need. To stay competitive (and to keep their employees emotionally connected), companies need to give their employees the ability to recognize one another and not simply for what they did but for how they did it as well.

Every company has a list of corporate values. They might include, “aiming for excellence” or “acting responsibly” or being “customer focused.” Translating those values into everyday human behaviors is the key role social recognition plays.

There are several ways to reward value-centric behaviors, but social recognition stands out for its immediacy and authenticity. It gives employees who represent your "values in action" the ability to be recognized from anyone, at any time, from anyplace, and for any reason that symbolizes the organization’s ethics, ideals or core principles.   

With Maestro, Madison’s SaaS based solution, managers and coworkers are able to say “well done” to those who have stepped in and helped them make a deadline, or served a client or simply behaved in a manner that makes them feel good about the company they work for, or the people they work with.

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