3 Tips for Building a Culture Based on Recognition

Being a “shot caller” comes with recognizing value, especially when your company hangs in the balance. Delivering value as a newbie can speed up traction for success. You may wonder, “What does value mean in this context?” Value means the output of consistent ideas, strategies, and efficient communication that supports the main goal.

Employee recognition

Leveraging momentum towards a common destination, no matter what stage or phase of entrepreneurship, helps in the long term. As an entrepreneur, it is also important that you receive recognition for the value that you deliver. When you’re working solo, getting the recognition you deserve can be difficult, so cultivating a culture that supports recognizing importance helps the overall well-being of those involved.

Have you ever worked a job that didn’t show you that your contributions mattered? Your employer’s support of your emotional well-being promotes a strong work ethic. Some may say Millennials and Gen Zers have brought on those new ideas, but genuine understanding and support work.

Work culture has its share of pros and cons. Being part of a culture that recognizes the value of the contributions of its employees helps the company’s well-being. There are numerous ways to build a culture based on recognition, and we’re going to focus on three.

1. Practice decentralization

Centralization is the traditional way that companies operate. There’s the owner, then a board of directors, followed by a team of district managers who manage store managers, etc. Decision-making starts at the top and is delivered downward.

What is decentralization? It is a best practice that allows everyone to choose how they want to be governed. This means that even though a company has a structure, there is no hierarchy of power. For example, the owner or manager will include all the employees when making decisions affecting everyone. Decisions can consist of the allocation of funds, and this is where recognizing value comes into play. When everyone makes a joint decision on how everyone will get paid, it changes the way employees carry out their sole responsibilities.

As a solo entrepreneur, you can practice decentralization through your work process. When working with clients or partners, actively involve them through follow-up sessions and keep up with efficient communication.

2. Recognize employee contribution

You may have a list of criteria for how your team can show up for you and the company. You want them to be on time, productive, and helpful to each other. But something is missing from your list — you forgot about recognition.

When people are recognized for going above and beyond their job description, it’s a powerful motivator. It makes them feel good about themselves, their work, and even their company. And we all know that feeling good about ourselves makes us want to do more things that make us feel good. So what do you need to do? Start by:

  • Defining what showing up means in your organization
  • Being present when someone goes above and beyond expectations (and being specific about what those expectations are)
  • Giving out tangible awards

3. Provide constructive criticism

No one is perfect, and improvement goes a long way. As such, it’s important to take notice of how constructive criticism is received as a whole across your organization and individually. It’s helpful to see a group or individual develop profoundly, and recognizing their value creates a culture that supports these efforts.

No matter what areas you are an expert in, these three tips can change how you approach work culture and give you more ideas on integrating positive change. Everyone wants to be recognized for their contributions, and these tips can help cultivate a culture that supports that.

Mike Szczesny is the owner and vice president of EDCO Awards & Specialties, a dedicated supplier of employee recognition products such as crystal trophies, branded merchandise, and athletic awards. Szczesny takes pride in EDCO’s ability to help companies go the extra mile in expressing gratitude and appreciation to their employees. He resides in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


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