There’s no such thing as a socially responsible recognition program that doesn’t provide for diversity and inclusion. That claim may seem pretty safe. After all, those qualities are an integral part of corporate social responsibility.
So here’s the bolder argument: Recognition programs that celebrate diversity and insist on inclusion are also more effective. They contribute to a healthier corporate culture, a more effective company, and a more creative workforce.
Diversity, Inclusion, and Innovation
A company’s most valuable resource is its employees. After all, this collection of individuals holds all the skills and all the institutional knowledge that makes a business possible, day in and day out. But they contribute a lot more than that. Companies rely on their employees to offer different perspectives, using them to build not only better products and services but also a better, more accurate worldview.
Think of the old parable about the blind men and the elephant. Depending on which part of the animal they touch, each of the men draws different conclusions about the kind of animal it is. Only by combining perspectives can they “see” clearly.
Business growth depends on the ability to understand trends and to innovate new solutions. Various backgrounds give employees various points of view and sources of inspiration. That mosaic of experience gives companies an edge. For example, one study reveals that racially diverse corporations outperform their competitors by 35%. Diverse workplaces also help companies attract the best young talent to their teams. Two-thirds of millennial and Generation Z employees consider and value diversity when evaluating opportunities.
Improvement and innovation don’t appear out of nowhere. They start in the hearts and minds of individuals, and successful companies do all they can to foster them in their employees.
Recognition, Engagement, and Sustainability
Outdated systems hinder innovation, and too many corporate recognition programs prioritize the immediate bottom line at the expense of greater environmental, social, and governance (ESG) goals.
This failure can create a toxic company culture. Moreover, it’s unlikely to inspire real and sustained employee engagement.
So what does work? What goes into a recognition program that creates a company culture in which everyone feels valued and heard? Here are work culture characteristics that inspire exceptional performances and high-impact work:
- Transparency: Incentives should be awarded according to clear parameters, and exceptional work should be publicly acknowledged.
- Participation: Companies should encourage peer recognition and enable their communities to recognize achievement in all areas and at all levels.
- Equality: Automated tracking guards against bias — conscious or unconscious — and works with remote work solutions.
- Flexibility: The program should provide for ad-hoc recognition as well as automatic, and a graduated rewards system can keep companies from overlooking small but necessary contributions.
- Choice: Companies can acknowledge different needs and tastes by allowing employees to select from a given list of rewards when they earn incentives.
Companies truly interested in creating better workplaces need to invest in diversity and inclusion at all levels. They also need an incentive-program partner committed to the same ideals.
Benefit one uses its extensive HR experience to provide employee engagement strategies to all kinds of organizations. Its solutions contribute to happier, healthier, more inclusive work environments. After all, those are the environments that allow growth and inspire greatness.
Learn what Benefit one can do for your business. Contact us today.