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Recognition in The Real World
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Resources for Improving Workplace Culture and Employee Recognition

Posted By David Layman, Thursday, November 3, 2016
2015 Annual Learning Networking Sponsor/Exhibitor

More than ever creating the right culture in your organization is vital and affects all aspects of your company from engagement and productivity to retention and recruitment of high performing employees.

As Deloitte University points out (link to article below), “Culture and engagement is the most important issue companies face around the world. 87 percent of organizations cite culture and engagement as one of their top challenges, and 50 percent call the problem “very important.”

Below are some resources – 10 articles and 10 books – for learning more about trends and philosophy behind creating a great culture for your organization.


  1. How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation – Harvard Business Review

  2. Culture: Why it’s the Hottest Topic in Business Today – Forbes

  3. Majority of U.S. Employees Not Engaged Despite Gains in 2014 – Gallup

  4. Building a True Recognition Culture in the Workplace – WorldatWork

  5. Building a Culture of Employee Appreciation – Inc. Magazine

  6. Create a Culture of Engagement With These 7 Measures – Entrepreneur

  7. Culture and Engagement: The Naked Organization – Deloitte University

  8. Creating a Culture of Engagement - BlessingWhite

  9. 5 Workplace Culture Trends You Can’t Ignore - Forbes

  10. Manage Your Emotional Culture – Harvard Business Review


  • The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People - by Gary Chapman and Paul White
    The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace: Empowering Organizations by Encouraging People, by Gary Chapman and Paul White, applies the love language concept to the workplace. This book helps supervisors and managers effectively communicate appreciation and encouragement to their employees, resulting in higher levels of job satisfaction, healthier relationships between managers and employees, and decreased cases of burnout.”

  • Sync or Swim: A Fable About Workplace Communication and Coming Together in a Crisis – by Gary Chapman, Paul E. White and Harold Myra 
    Sync or Swim is a small tale with enormous insight on ways you can empower, engage, and energize employees or volunteers facing discouragement or cynicism.”

  • An Everyone Culture: Becoming a Deliberately Developmental Organization – by Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey From “In most organizations nearly everyone is doing a second job no one is paying them for—namely, covering their weaknesses, trying to look their best, and managing other people’s impressions of them. There may be no greater waste of a company’s resources. The ultimate cost: neither the organization nor its people are able to realize their full potential.” 

  • The Best Place to Work: The Art and Science of Creating an Extraordinary Workplace – by Ron Friedman, PhD
    From “Combining powerful stories with cutting edge findings, Friedman shows leaders at every level how they can use scientifically-proven techniques to promote smarter thinking, greater innovation, and stronger performance. Brimming with counterintuitive insights and actionable recommendations, The Best Place to Work offers employees and executives alike game-changing advice for working smarter and turning any organization—regardless of its size, budgets, or ambitions—into an extraordinary workplace.”

  • Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose Kindle Edition – By Tony Hsieh From The visionary CEO of Zappos explains how an emphasis on corporate culture can lead to unprecedented success. Pay new employees $2000 to quit. Make customer service the entire company, not just a department. Focus on company culture as the #1 priority. Apply research from the science of happiness to running a business. Help employees grow both personally and professionally. Seek to change the world. Oh, and make money too. Sound crazy? It's all standard operating procedure at, the online retailer that's doing over $1 billion in gross merchandise sales every year.”

  • Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don't Hardcover – by Jim Collins
    From Collins and his team of researchers began their quest by sorting through a list of 1,435 companies, looking for those that made substantial improvements in their performance over time. They finally settled on 11--including Fannie Mae, Gillette, Walgreens, and Wells Fargo--and discovered common traits that challenged many of the conventional notions of corporate success. Making the transition from good to great doesn't require a high-profile CEO, the latest technology, innovative change management, or even a fine-tuned business strategy. At the heart of those rare and truly great companies was a corporate culture that rigorously found and promoted disciplined people to think and act in a disciplined manner. Peppered with dozens of stories and examples from the great and not so great, the book offers a well-reasoned road map to excellence that any organization would do well to consider.”

  • Change Your Space, Change Your Culture: How Engaging Workspaces Lead to Transformation and Growth Hardcover – By Rex Miller, Mabel Casey and Mark Konchar
    From “Change Your Space, Change Your Culture is a guide to transforming business by rethinking the workplace. Written by a team of trail-blazing leaders, this book reveals the secrets of companies that discovered the power of culture and space. This insightful guide reveals what companies lose by viewing office space as something to manage or minimize. With practical tips and implementation details, the book helps the reader see that the workspace is, in fact, a crucial driver of productivity and morale.”

  • The Power of Thanks: How Social Recognition Empowers Employees and Creates a Best Place to Work Hardcover – by Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine
    From Building a fully engaged, energized workforce is the key to business success. The Power of Thanksreveals how leading companies like Intuit, JetBlue Airways, IHG, Symantec, ConAgra Foods, and The Hershey Company empower employees through social recognition, in which the practice of mutual appreciation and trust directs and rewards higher performance. Eric Mosley and Derek Irvine, executives at the world-renowned employee recognition firm Globoforce, explain why social recognition is so powerful and how you can apply it in your company. Mosley and Irvine provide practical advice and proven examples for devising a powerful, growth-generating strategy that modernizes employee recognition for today's social, global, multi-generational and 24x7 wired workforce.”

  • The Culture Engine: A Framework for Driving Results, Inspiring Your Employees, and transforming Your Workplace Kindle Edition – By S. Chris Edmonds
    From “The Culture Engine shows leaders how to create a high performing, values aligned culture through the creation of an organizational constitution. With practical step-by-step guidance, readers learn how to define their organization's culture, delineate the behaviors that contribute to greater performance and greater engagement, and draft a document that codifies those behaviors into a constitution that guides behavior towards an ideal: a safe, inspiring workplace. The discussion focuses on people, including who should be involved at the outset and how to engage employees from start to finish, while examples of effective constitutions provide guidance toward drafting a document that can actualize an organization's potential.”

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