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Posted on 7 September 2023

From Education to Enterprise: Examples of Recognition

4 minute read

What can businesses learn from examples of recognition within education?

We spoke to our Head of Benefits, Jamie Tye, who shared an interesting new angle from supporting his children in their return back to school.

“As a working dad, I always look forward to those back-to-school nights and parents’ evenings. It gives me a chance to learn more about my daughters’ progress and see their work on display. But now that my twins have started secondary school this week, I’ve been even more impressed by the incredible job their new school does at recognising and reinforcing positive behaviours.

After observing this comprehensive recognition approach in action, it struck me – why don’t more enterprises do recognition this effectively? It seems schools have recognition down to a science, while we see many companies still struggle.

So, what are these examples of positive recognition that can be applied in the workplace?

1. Values-driven recognition.

At my daughters’ school, recognition is tightly linked to their core values like respect, responsibility, and community. Recognition is not an isolated act; it’s deeply rooted in the values that the institution upholds. These values are the focal point around which the school operates, setting expectations for both teachers and students. When a student is recognised for good behaviour, it’s not just a pat on the back – it’s an affirmation that the student has acted in line with the school’s values.

This peer-to-peer, value-driven recognition creates a powerful motivational effect. When students see their classmates earning praise and rewards for things like helping others or being on time, they’re inspired to do the same.

Applying this example to business:

For values to be more than just words on a wall, they need to be consistently talked about and embedded within the organisational culture. One effective way to do this is by linking recognition and rewards to these values. When employees see that their actions, aligned with company values, are acknowledged, it reinforces the importance of these values. Here are 17 powerful ways managers can recognise their teams.

2. The power of visibility.

Another example of how recognition is championed effectively is through visibility. The teachers use digital platforms to recognise students, making this recognition visible not just to the individual but also to their peers and parents. This visibility has a ripple effect, encouraging other students to emulate good behaviour.

I saw this firsthand during the students’ “show and tell” presentations. One boy brought in conkers for the class – a simple but thoughtful gesture. The teacher recognised him on the school’s system where everyone could see. The next day, nearly all the other students brought bags of conkers to share! They wanted that recognition for themselves.

Applying this example to business:

Public recognition is a powerful motivator. Enterprise organisations can utilise digital platforms as a key tool for driving visibility of recognition across the team or even the entire company. The recognised employee not only feels valued, but positive example is set for others to follow. It’s one of the simplest ways to deliver clear communication around what you want from your teams.

3. Multi-level recognition.

Schools employ a multi-tiered system of recognition, which serves as a strong motivator for students. Just as there are varying levels of consequences for misbehaviour, there are multiple levels of positive recognition. This nuanced approach encourages students to push themselves further.

Applying this example to business:

In a corporate setting, employees are often willing to go the extra mile if they feel their efforts will be acknowledged. Enterprises can boost discretionary effort by providing recognition at different levels and giving employees clear objectives to work towards. By linking rewards to service milestones, contribution levels or peer nominations, examples of multi-tiered recognition create a continual sense of forward-moving momentum. Employees are motivated when there’s always a new milestone to work towards – and proper recognition to be earned along the way.

In summary

So, if you’re wondering what effective examples of recognition can look like within your organisation, perhaps we can take some valuable insights from what’s being practiced in the earlier years. After all, if schools can get an entire class excited about bringing in bags of conkers, imagine what the right approach to recognition could do for businesses!”

To find out more about how Rippl can help you design and deliver a recognition and reward strategy personalised to your business, chat to us.



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