“Is it possible for a recognition program based on values to function properly, even though employees are not massively aligned with these values? How and for how long and what is the best ways to promote company values so all align with them in the way discussed in this post?”
Feryal adds a post script noting she’s from the Middle East “where talking about this culture is something that needs (enforcement) rather than (convincing to align willingly)!”
Feryal, I’m going to use your own email signature line as the beginning of my answer to you – “It is all about having a positive attitude, everything else will be much easier.”
That is true in the case of aligning company values and strategy as well. You must begin with a positive attitude – an attitude from which you want to stop focusing solely on yourself and your own work so you can see and appreciate the excellent work of those around you. But you can’t stop there. You must go farther to actively thank your colleagues for their efforts.
But even that is not enough. You can’t just say, “Thanks. Great job!” You must link each and every moment of praise and appreciation to a company value that has been demonstrated in an effort to achieve a company objective. What does this look like?
We know that at your place of employment in Dubai one of your company values is “Consistent High Quality.” Let’s assume that a strategic objective for the year is to increase employee productivity by 15%. Perhaps a colleague says to you, “Feryal, excellent work on the employee engagement initiative. You showed Consistent High Quality in researching the best ways to foster and encourage employee engagement here and then in implementing new programs. As a result of your efforts, we’re starting to see improvement in our employee productivity numbers. We know we can count on you to deliver the results we need. Thanks again!”
Now you know what that value of “Consistent High Quality” means in your own work. You better understand that your efforts at researching this topic and implementing a program are noticed and appreciated. You’re now more willing to continue such “high quality” in future projects you may be assigned. Even more, you also understand how your efforts are contributing to your company’s success. You see much more clearly the big picture and how you, in your role, can help achieve the company’s strategic objectives.
But this is still not enough. To get the “culture enforcement” you need, you must now encourage every employee in the organization to do the same – to look around and notice the excellent efforts of their colleagues, to take the time to recognize those efforts, and to link every recognition to a company value or strategic objective.
“Culture enforcement” only comes with understanding of the factors of your culture – your values and objectives. And that understanding best comes through a person’s daily work. Once employees begin to see they will be recognized and appreciated for demonstrating the company values, they will become more aligned with them. The simplest – and most positive – way to achieve that is through a strategic recognition program that makes it fun and easy for a everyone to notice, appreciate and recognize their peers.