Recognise This! – You can manage your culture through your people, both positive and negative.

Earlier this month my CEO, Eric Mosley, published an article in Fast Company magazine on the impact of behavioural outliers on your company’s culture. (I shared the story here.)

Now, part 2 of the article has appeared, in which Eric explains in more detail how to use strategic employee recognition to manage these outliers and, through them, your culture.

“Strategic employee recognition refers to those companies that recognise employees on a regular basis, on a massive scale, and in a company whose values are clearly linked to recognition. The behaviours are reinforced across the whole company, shoring up a corporate culture of recognition even more vigorously.

“A programme upheld by the employees themselves will help steer a negative behavioural outlier toward the right path, as it becomes clear who is living the values and who is not. Outliers will soon learn which behaviours are encouraged and rewarded. Some may fall in line, some may continue their ways. But the distinction will be made. …

“With a strong culture, senior management does not have to accept damaging behaviours for the sake of profits because the culture will withstand the outlier, and may even encourage him or her to change behaviours. A significant mismatch in “cultural fit” will lead to inherent unhappiness in a negative behavioural outlier, who will likely self-select out of the organisation and move on.”

What does this look like in practice?

KPMG UK recently shared their strategic recognition success story in People Management magazine, including in part:

“The programme was named Encore! and was designed to enable managers and staff alike to recognise and reward individuals and teams who demonstrate outstanding performance in accordance with KPMG’s core values and objectives. …

“Since launching the programme in 2008, we have seen a 25 per cent increase in the number of employees receiving recognition awards of their own choosing, as well as an overall reduction in spending on reward. As more staff understand the benefits and objectives of the programme, the level of engagement with Encore! continues to grow – resulting in a 165 per cent increase in the number of rewards given out to date. Our goal is to achieve a further 35 per cent increase by the end of the current financial year. …

“Encore! continues to shape recognition at KPMG and, by enabling employees to reward each other, to transform the firm’s culture.”

What do you do with your behavioural outliers? Do you ignore your negative outliers or do you proactively manage their behaviours to turn them around? What about your positive outliers? Do you appropriately recognise and reward them based on their behaviours and not just their results?