What Emma Stone Can Teach Companies About Employee Recognition & Feedback - HighGround

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What Emma Stone Can Teach Companies About Employee Recognition & Feedback

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We talk about recognition and feedback pretty frequently on our blog. After all, we’re in the business of helping companies execute employee recognition and feedback approaches that actually improve engagement.

When we found out HighGround was named a silver Stevie Award winner in the Human Capital Management category for our feedback and check-in functionalities, we were pretty pumped. While we’re not one for acceptance speeches, we started thinking about what winning awards means in relation to the employee recognition and feedback strategies we talk about so often. We found some wisdom in a somewhat unexpected place: Emma Stone’s speech from last year’s Oscars actually can guide companies on how to view engagement through a new lens. Bear with us — here’s why:

Rewards are the Beginning, Not the End

In Emma’s speech, she said she still had a lot of work and growing to do. It was a new and refreshing sentiment because for many actors, an Oscar is the penultimate career marker. For the actress, winning one was merely motivation to keep learning. In the same way, companies should create an environment rewards aren’t seen as the ultimate (and final) achievement but as an impetus for career development. Because some companies recognize employees for tenure alone, employees might receive awards even though they’re disengaged and underperforming. To combat this, organizations should create recognitions programs that acknowledge great work as it happens. That way, employees will understand what it takes to be successful and are more likely to continue developing their professional skills.

Good Work Isn’t Done In Silos

It’s a cliché but Emma did have a laundry list of people to thank including her director, co-star, the crew, her family, etc., etc., etc. While the list might have been exhaustive, it was clear her performance wouldn’t have been as dynamic and successful without the work of others. In the same way, employees work across team, department and location boundaries to collaborate on great work – and it’s important to acknowledge it. Engagement programs should encourage peer-to-peer feedback because employees are not receptive to it, but it contributes to more effective performance conversations. In fact, a recent HighGround data study called, Beyond the Annual Review: The Transformative State of Performance Conversations, “Introducing peer-to-peer feedback into the performance evaluation lifecycle reduces employee anxiety surrounding these check-ins and improves employees’ and managers’ satisfaction with their outcomes.”

We doubt Emma Stone had employee engagement on her mind when she accepted her Oscar, but we still learned something about the importance of recognition and feedback. Are there any other unexpected places you’ve found wisdom and insights for your own employee engagement programs?

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