The Secret to Effective Global Employee Recognition

by Andrea Gappmayer

Image of people working togetherRecognize This! – There is no secret “list” for how all employees in all cultures in all countries and organizations around the world like to be recognized.

I’m excited to join the Recognize This! blog. My plan in the coming months is to let you in on all the secrets, like: Do people in Japan believe in recognition? What motivates employees in India? How do people like to be recognized in Norway? At Globoforce we hear questions like these all the time. Customers and prospects want us to have the “List.” The list that describes how employees in every country like to be recognized, motivated, and engaged.

So you ready for the secret? We don’t have that “list.” In fact, nobody has that “list,” because that “list” doesn’t exist. Anyone who tells you they’ve got recognition and engagement in other cultures compiled into a neat little “list” isn’t being entirely truthful. What they’ve got is a list of clichéd stereotypes. How gauche. How anachronistic.

I had the opportunity to attend the “Engage the World” summit (provided by the UK Engage for Success organization) in London recently and the overall message regarding cultural recognition and engagement? Be open-minded, listen, learn, and never, ever impose your ideas and ways of doing things onto a different culture.

Oh, and by the way? Don’t get too comfortable with that culture you just figured out, because it’s going to change. Cultures constantly evolve.

The next time you want to know how employees like to be recognized in China, don’t try to find the list. Start by asking questions and learning. Learn about the culture of China for starters. Then try to understand the culture within a particular organization that is rooted inside China. Then study the culture of the department, within the particular organization that is rooted inside China. And finally, get to know the culture of the individual from the department within the particular organization that is rooted inside China.

And then you’ll know unequivocally, without a doubt, how one person likes to be recognized in China. Now do you understand why there is no “list”? There is however, much to be learned from a deeper cultural appreciation and understanding. This is always the first step in building a strong, positive, appreciative company culture, and Globoforce has done some great work in this area. See these posts for more:

It’s all about making the effort to better understand all of the unique cultures within your organization. Breaking down the barriers takes time, an open-mind, and a desire among all cultures involved to achieve something amazing together.

How do you like to be recognized? What engages you?

Andrea Gappmayer

About Andrea Gappmayer

Andrea Gappmayer is a dynamic and energetic speaker, trainer, and strategist. She is in high demand by company and human resources leaders needing guidance on setting a strategy for social recognition. A senior recognition strategist and consultant for Globoforce, Andrea blends her brand of wit and wisdom with rich content and solid data reinforcing the benefits of social recognition to any organization. Andrea holds a B.A. in English from Brigham Young University.

Leave a Reply