Make Sure Your Recognition Efforts Don’t Get Lost in Translation
Pepsi can tell you a lot about the pitfalls of working around the world.
Back in the ‘60s, the global beverage giant took its highly successful “Come Alive! You’re in The Pepsi Generation” advertising campaign to the Chinese market.
The campaign was an absolute bust.
The reason – someone discovered Pepsi’s slogan translated to mean “Pepsi will make your dead ancestors come back from the grave.”
That’s a good lesson for any organization looking to expand operations elsewhere – including recognition leaders What works in North America may not have the same desired effect when used in other countries.
While the need to do your homework might night be earth shaking news, it’s how you approach that homework that’s important.
Two essential elements in connecting with global cultures.
Work with local leaders to answer two questions:
1. Why are we recognizing?
2. What local nuance is required to ensure it resonates in this particular culture?
What is universal is that we know employee engagement works to increase productivity, retain high performing employees and attract top candidates. We also know that recognition is the best way to drive employee engagement.
Working with local managers, leadership and HR, make sure your recognition program is “their” program, not just a program thrust upon them and it must be done a certain way. Programs should reflect the culture, needs and desires of the local employees. If not, employees may view it as an imposition and perhaps resent it as something that is strictly an “American” thing.
Regardless of culture, every individual wants to feel valued, and that their work is important to the success of the company. Employees need to understand that recognition drives results, and the recognition program is there to give employees the appreciation they desire.
If you need help making changes to an existing program being put in place in another country, or implementing a brand new program, the experts at RPI can help. RPI offers a great forum for learning more about the effectiveness of recognition and how to create a culture of engagement in your company anywhere in the world.
To learn more about Recognition strategy, feel free to contact RPI with any additional questions. As a member you have access to the best and brightest in the world of employee recognition and engagement. You can also become your company’s go-to expert on recognition by earning RPI’s Certified Recognition Professional (CRP) certification.