Screenshot of the Company Values Hashtags sidebar in Bonusly, featuring Bonusly's company values #go-get-results, #be-an-excellent-teammate, and #default-to-transparency

The value of aligning recognition to your company values

Written by
Maja Orsic
Maja Orsic

Your company values can persuade people to apply to, join, and continue working for your organization; they can improve customer satisfaction and retention; and they can help you take critical and decisive action during times of crisis.

Your company values can do all these things and more—but only if you’re leveraging their full power!

Before we get any further, I have three questions for you:

  1. Are your company values listed on a poster somewhere in your office or are they the unifying principles of your organization that set expectations for your employees’ actions and behaviors? 
  2. Are your company values mentioned during employee onboarding but seldom after that or are they often referenced as standards of your company culture that help your employees understand what matters most to your organization, feel a sense of purpose in their work, and align their day-to-day responsibilities to your overall mission?
  3. Have your organization’s leaders responded to the COVID-19 pandemic as a crisis happening outside the workplace or have they invoked your company values to help employees feel supported and set clear expectations?

The value of your company values

The importance of organizational values is often underestimated, in part because it can be challenging for employees and leaders alike to see how their everyday responsibilities, like sending emails and running meetings, connect to lofty company value statements. 

Whether your organization has a longstanding set of values or they were recently defined by a committee of current employees, your company values are your organization’s most significant beliefs. They are a powerful tool that can motivate your employees, connect them with a sense of purpose, and offer direction on how to make decisions and treat others in your workplace. 

Your core values also contribute to how well you’re able to attract, motivate, and retain loyal employees. Used effectively, they’re a competitive advantage, a touchstone for company culture that give your employees and your customers a clear sense of your company’s purpose. After all, people want to work for and support companies that share their personal core values. 

“Now is when you rely on culture,” writes Nick Bogacz for Business.com. “Not only is the pandemic a health crisis, but it has thrown the economy into turmoil and sent the unemployment rate skyrocketing. Companies with a recognizable set of values and a personality that employees believe in and the public trusts will better weather this storm.” 

The value of values-based recognition

A well-implemented employee recognition program can impact many aspects of your business, including engagement, retention, productivity, and morale. When employee recognition programs are linked to organizational values, they deliver a stronger ROI and have a “greater impact on instilling and reinforcing corporate values [and] maintaining a strong employer brand,” according to HR professionals surveyed by SHRM.

We’ve found that visible, values-based recognition is the most effective way to drive alignment with company values because it creates a positive feedback loop that:

  • Praises people when they live your company values
  • Encourages people to continue embodying your company values
  • Surfaces behaviors that align with your values to everyone in your organization 
  • Puts your company values front-and-center every day instead of relegating them to a page on your website and a paragraph in your employee handbook

The value of Bonusly’s Company Value Hashtags

Bonusly makes visible values-based employee recognition easy with Company Value Hashtags, a feature that’s always been central to our recognition best practices. With Bonusly's Company Value Hashtags feature, everyone in your company can frequently engage with and fully understand your values.

Lucas Ballasy, a partner and creative director of Barrel, a creative and digital marketing agency based in New York, considers this level of understanding a sort of fluency. Barrel employees use Bonusly to "give each other shout outs for anything from leading a successful presentation to learning a new skill to helping out another team member," writes Lucas. "With a team fluent in our Core Values, shout outs are often framed around demonstrations of those values in action."

Bonusly admins can create hashtags for each company core value and add brief descriptions of those values so that they’re visible in your recognition feed. As folks give recognition and add these hashtags to their messages, everyone in the company will have the meaning reinforced and see examples of that value in action. And because they’re tracked with hashtags, HR professionals and company leaders can observe trends about how their values are being exemplified using Bonusly Analytics

To celebrate the recent release of Company Value Hashtag Descriptions to our platform, we caught up with a few Bonusly customers to find out how their company values have helped their company culture evolve, supported their teams through difficult times, and improved customer satisfaction.

company-value-hashtags

Helping company culture evolve

Your company culture will evolve naturally, so it’s crucial to be intentional about it whenever possible—especially during a crisis.

For Wrike, an 1,100-employee tech company that launched a full brand redesign for its work management platform in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, celebrating company values with Bonusly has helped everyone adjust to working remotely.

“Bonusly has been essential during this pandemic,” says Victoria Copriviza, Senior Human Resources Business Partner at Wrike. “Since Wrikers can no longer high-five each other in the break room or take a coworker out for coffee, Bonusly has helped us maintain and strengthen our three core values of Grow, Execute, and Collaborate.”

“Bonusly’s Company Value Hashtags are by far the best way to get a sense of what our company culture is and how it's evolving,” reports Nicolò Valsasina, People Experience Specialist at Badi, a Barcelona-based tech company with about 100 employees in Barcelona, London, Paris, Rome, and Berlin. 

Badi launched Bonusly as its recognition platform about five months before social distancing became the new norm. Valsasina says, “Bonusly has been a rousing success in our company from the very first day. The intuitiveness and simplicity of the platform made it easy for everyone to start giving thanks and recognizing other team members.”

“The main challenge was switching to full remote, as we were not a remote company before COVID and we've had to improve our transversal communication considerably,” he says. Badi is an AI-powered online booking platform that helps people list and rent rooms in a safe and smart way, so the product had to be updated to follow new regulations, as well. 

“Bonusly allows us to track which values are most important and recognized more often. The #works-with-passion hashtag is a very important company value for us.”

bonuses-chart

Elevating the customer experience

At the beginning of 2020, before the COVID-19 pandemic made it necessary for everyone to work from home, Worksighted, a Michigan-based IT strategy, services, and support company, launched an internal client experience initiative to focus providing a one-of-a-kind experience for every client. The initiative, called “Art of Orange” after Worksighted’s primary brand color, is built on three pillars that Worksighted’s HR team added as company value hashtags to Bonusly: #primethecanvas, #paintwithboldcolors, and #proudtosignyourartwork.

“Using Bonusly for this initiative has really helped our team stay connected and focused on what’s important,” says Ashley Harper, aPHR, Worksighted’s Human Resources Coordinator. Worksighted has around 60 employees, many of whom interact directly with customers. “Our employees add the #artoforange hashtag to Bonusly recognition when they're recognizing a fellow team member for living out the Art of Orange pillars in their day-to-day interactions with customers (both internal and external).”

Making sure everyone in the company can see Bonusly recognition helps the team stay focused on what’s important. For Worksighted, that visibility is amplified by Bonusly’s integration with Microsoft Teams: “We can view all of the Bonusly posts in a Microsoft Teams channel, so we’re able to stay up to date on what our teammates are up to and how they’re continuing to provide awesome service for our customers,” Harper says.

Supporting the team through difficult changes

“Now, more than ever, peer-to-peer recognition has been essential to building a sense of unity in the face of adversity,” says Jennifer Schwartz, PHR, Director of Human Resources at the Humane Society of Boulder Valley (HSBV). “Bonusly has become an essential tool for celebrating our daily accomplishments and keeping our employees tied to our mission and our values.

“Many of our employees are continuing to work in our building to provide essential medical and behavioral care to the animals we serve. In addition to our company values, we also created several COVID-themed Company Value Hashtags to capture some of the changes we’ve experienced over the last several months: #quaranclean, #masketeers, and #virtualhighfive. These have helped us embrace our new normal of constant cleaning, face masks, and virtual meetings,” Schwartz says.

The HSBV team is so committed to its values and the animals under their care that when social distancing measures threatened to cancel Puttin’ on the Leash, HSBV’s most important fundraising event of the year, they opted to take the entire event online. “We set up a claimable ‘Pawparazzi’ award to encourage employees to send our philanthropy team photos and videos of the animals in their care,” Schwartz says. “The response from our employees has helped our philanthropy team tell our story to the donors and supporters who make our mission possible.” 

Want to show your support? 🐾 Check out Puttin’ on the Leash: Bark Deco, HSBV’s silent online auction, now through July 18, 2020. Tickets are free and all proceeds go towards the Humane Society of Boulder Valley’s lifesaving work. 

In conclusion...

Your company values can keep your team aligned during good and bad times, and visible, values-based recognition helps people understand what kinds of behaviors align with those values. With Bonusly's Company Value Hashtags, you can make it fun and easy to connect employee recognition to your company values, deepen your team’s understanding of your values, and gather insights into how your values are being lived. 

Do you want to help your employees celebrate and embody your company values? Request a Bonusly demo 👇

See Bonusly in action, request a demo

Originally published on July 9, 2020 → Last updated August 27, 2020

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Maja Orsic

Maja's background in writing, fine art photography, and visual design informs her work for Bonusly. She's motivated to create welcoming digital spaces and make work better for everyone.

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