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Employee Rewards and Recognition for Culture Change

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Employee Rewards and Recognition for Culture Change

Employee rewards and recognition can facilitate driving culture change in the organization. To this end, the desired behaviors should be consistently reinforced through rewards and recognition.

Employee recognition can be an effective tool to drive cultural changes in an organization. It can help reinforce certain behaviors that the organizations want their employees to display.

Employee Rewards and Recognition for Culture Change

Example 1: Creating a Culture of Honesty and Hardwork

Factory Worker

Let’s take an example of an organization that wants to create a culture of honesty and hard work,

The organization should formally recognize employees who had the option of not being fully honest in the course of their work by taking the easy way out but decided to stay on the right path.

This meant they had to put in a lot more effort and maybe even faced a slight delay in achieving their goals.

Such examples can help build integrity and transparency within the organization. Employees will be less inclined to take shortcuts to achieve their goals.

Hence, recognizing such employees can go a long way in creating such a culture.

Example 2: Leaving the Workplace on Time

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Another example could be an organization that wants to discourage employees from staying in the office till late either because they are inefficient or want to impress their superiors.

If the organization recognizes genuinely efficient employees, they consistently complete their work on time and leave the office on time.

While ranking and stacking employees based on their efficiency might be hard, there could be a self-nomination process.

The claims of the nominees could be easily validated based on feedback from their managers and the attendance system data.

Example 3: Building a Culture of Innovation


An organization looking to build a culture of innovation where employees are keen to explore fail (if need be), and learn, then such instances should be recognized.

Such recognition motivates employees to try out new ideas and methods.

This can ultimately result in new product ideas and process improvements.


Our view is that employee rewards and recognition can play a pivotal role in initiating a change in the organization’s culture.  It is really basic human nature to gravitate towards behaviors rather than giving them the maximum benefits. 

Our recommendation is that organizations include behavior—or value-based recognition in their employee programs in addition to general outcome-based recognition.

Sagar Chaudhuri

Lead author: Sagar Chaudhuri, the Co-Founder and CEO of HiFives. He is an HR Tech Evangelist with over 25 years of corporate and entrepreneurship experience. In the past, Sagar has worked in leadership roles with companies such as Genpact, Infosys, and ICICI Bank. He has an engineering degree from IIT Kharagpur and an MBA from IIM Lucknow. Connect on LinkedIn

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HiFives is a global employee rewards, recognition and engagement SaaS platform that enables organizations to digitize, automate and transform their employee experience. It is used by 100+ large enterprises, small businesses and startups in manufacturing, retail, technology, financial services and media, across 25+ countries.