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Create a Culture That Inspires: Celebration and Success

Create a Culture That Inspires: Celebration and Success

Webcast Details

  • Gallup Called to Coach Webcast Series
  • Season 8, Episode 45
  • Learn how organizations can create a culture that recognizes and celebrates success -- even among their remote workers -- in Part 4 of our Culture That Inspires series.
  • Interested in learning more on this topic? Read more about how to improve teamwork in the workplace.

Jaclynn Robinson, Learning and Development Consultant at Gallup, was our guest on a recent Called to Coach. In Part 4 of a webcast series focusing on Creating a Culture That Inspires, Jaclynn shared what organizations can do to foster an environment that recognizes and celebrates success -- especially as more of their employees may be working remotely -- including insights on how teams and managers can individualize their recognition and make it meaningful.

Access Create a Culture That Inspires -- Part 1, and Part 2, Part 3, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11 of the Create a Culture That Inspires series.

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including time stamps. Full audio and video are posted above.

What should I look for in a job/career?

Jim Collison 0:00

I am Jim Collison, and live from our virtual studios around the world, this is Gallup's Called to Coach, recorded on May 15, 2020.

Jim Collison 0:16

Called to Coach is a resource for those want to help others discover and use their strengths. We have Gallup experts and independent strengths coaches share tactics, insights and strategies to help coaches maximize the talent of individuals, teams and organizations around the world. If you're listening live, love to have you join us in our chat room. Many of you are already there, but link is right above -- in case you're late -- link is right above me there, and you can go to our YouTube page and log in. Best part of being live is being in the chat room, and we're gonna kind of rely on the chat room a little bit for this session. If you're listening after the fact and you have any questions, you can send us an email: If you're on YouTube there, you can "Like" the video for us; subscribe and you get notified whenever we go live. And if you want to listen to this as a podcast, just search "Gallup Webcasts" in any podcast player. Jaclynn Robinson is our host today. She works as a Learning Development Consultant with me here at Gallup. Jaclynn, always great to have you on Called to Coach. Welcome back!

Jaclynn Robinson 1:05

Likewise. Thank you.

Jim Collison 1:07

We, we've been going through a series of talking about Cultures That Inspire, and we spent some time Name it, Claim it, Aim it; we spent some time getting very tactical -- 22 ways to embed this in your organization. That was with Jessica Dawson. We just spent some time with you. And hopefully, folks, if they haven't listened to it, can go back to kind of Part 3 on this, as we spent some time thinking of purpose and values and, and those pieces in an organization. Right now, we're going to talk a little bit about Celebration and Success. And I think between the two of us, we're not gonna have a hard time talking about this, right. But we do know from our Q12 assessment that Have I been recognized in the last 7 days? is a question that gets battered, like, right -- Best friend at work, and this one, of recognition. And so while it seems easy, a lot of organizations don't get it, or they don't, they don't go far enough or they don't commit to this.

Jim Collison 2:02

And so we want to spend some time today talking about Celebration and Success. How can organizations do this? And really we know, in the context of today, more and more remote workers, and that makes it even harder. So we're going to spend a little bit of time talking, both physical and remote in this, but Jaclynn, get us started on this.

Jaclynn Robinson 2:23

Yeah, I think if we start straight at the top, at the leadership level, a lot of great practices that we're seeing now with with more people shifting into remote work, and having people in different organization, or same organization, but different sites and locations across across the world, is virtual recognition award shows. So before, maybe it was just a headquarters that celebrated quarterly awards or monthly rewards, rewards and awards for people. And that kind of left everyone else out. If you're remote, you're not really involved. If you were at a different site or location, you didn't feel like you were really getting involved, even if you were up for an award. And so now what we're seeing -- and it's getting a lot of positive feedback; I'm seeing this both and I would say in a number of organizations, actually -- is, is doing that; putting it on and making sure it's at a time when people can actually show up. So I think that, in particular, is where time zone matters. Because you want to make sure that if you've got, you know, work sites in Asia, that they can log in; if you've got work sites in Australia, they can log in. So they're trying to make it at a time when everyone can hop in, whether it's early morning or early evening or afternoon for some people, but making sure it's not extreme and you're not getting up at 2 a.m. That seems to be a great way of rewarding people.

Jim Collison 3:48

One of the things we do a lot of, because we have both Europe and Asia -- and that's, that's almost an impossible time zone, sometimes, to get together: We just do two events. So we spend an early morning here in the United States, so that that folks from Asia -- or, I mean, from Europe can do it. And then we go late into the evening with it, and so folks from Asia can jump in. That varies from organization to organization, but I think it's one way of kind of setting up these celebrations. We ourselves here at Gallup for many, many years did an in-person -- we call it Recognition and Roundtable -- and, and the current environment has kind of forced us into doing it completely virtual. I was telling you in the preshow, I think they're actually a lot better now. Because before -- and this is easy to do -- before we kind of treated the remote folks a little bit like, well, like if you can make it, it would be great. But we -- now it's, now it's, everybody's kind of remote, at least at the moment, for, for the most part. And I think it's just gotten better. So one way I think, as we think from leaders, senior leaders really demonstrating this, this idea of celebration and success of making the, the individuals aware. What else, what else can we do?

Jaclynn Robinson 5:01

Also celebrating the wins. So I love it when I see leadership send an email, a companywide email out that talks about wins for departments or teams or divisions or a certain person. And it can be -- for some that are in sales, it might be: We just landed this this big deal. For some of those that are impacting people and it's nonprofit, it's: Because of this person's idea, this is the impact they made on an individual, or on a particular company that we work alongside or a community work alongside. They can be really creative, but I think that just highlights people and teams and makes individuals feel special. And also, if we think about, if we think about the recognition piece, that helps other colleagues know what someone else is working on, and so that might connect them and say, "Oh, I didn't even know they did that. I want to connect with them." And so now we're connecting more of the social wellbeing and workplace friendships and partnerships that could arise because of the recognition that they received.

Jim Collison 6:03

Yeah, one of the things we, we also do is the individual getting the award, we have their manager or the folks around them come up and display that impact, whatever it might be; talk about the value of it. Because it hears, it's, they hear it from more, and it's usually a bunch of voices, so not just one, but a lot, a lot, a lot of voices. We also put that in print. So somebody puts that together, and we send that to the company. So in case you couldn't make it, you can't see it. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten recognition, and then a week or two later, that comes back around from folks who are just now being able to get to that, you know, to get to that PDF that had all the awards in it, and to say congratulations, right. I mean, it's, it's an easy it's, it's an easy thing to do. But I think having that available in another form than just if you were there for it, for that awards ceremony. So when we think about individuals, so that's kind of at the company level, and certainly the better the company owns that, I think, the better chance we have at the team level; managers and teams. So as we think about celebration inside of teams, what have we seen working there? What's some of the best practices you've seen?

Jaclynn Robinson 7:11

Some -- and this this also ties in the remote workers as well -- but I've seen managers and teams come together to celebrate birthdays, and so they might actually decorate the space behind them. If they're working remote, or they've decorated the facility if they're, if they're on site, and they're celebrating that person. They're celebrating their birthday, or they're celebrating their work anniversary. Or they, they get to be the spotlights on them, so to speak, especially if you're doing like a Zoom; the spotlight is literally on them if you use that, that particular feature that they have. But the, the manager gives them the floor to be able to speak to a best practice that they have or the recognition, sometimes it's just brain gain. So there's a particular hobby or interest they have, and whether it's creative, and it's just for the sake of everyone learning something new to keep their minds fresh, or whether it actually supports the team and the mission they have. That individual on the team is able to, to showcase what it is and kind of teach it back to an individ -- to the team.

Jaclynn Robinson 8:18

And it could be they, you know, 10 minutes are set aside in the team meeting for them to be able to speak to that best practice or that win that they had or, you know, knowledge sharing of a hobby or interest. Or they might just build it out and every month or every week, there's a manager and team meeting and it's someone new that's able to speak and has the floor. I think that's a great way of recognizing individuals too, because that's showing the value they bring, if we go right back to what's meaningful and important and how are they deriving value? How is that being showcased? And it makes people feel -- without even going back to mission statements -- it makes them feel like there's value and there's, there's purpose with the team that they're in.

Jim Collison 9:03

I think managers know, and they ask, and Marta just example -- did an example that in the chat room. She's -- they've been talking a little bit, and she said, "How do you like to be recognized?" How important is that question for managers, right, of really understanding and not -- because bad recognition can be just as bad as no recognition? So talk a little bit about that.

Jaclynn Robinson 9:25

Yeah, there and worst case scenario, something that I have seen is, someone does not like public recognition. But they, they were receiving an award, and it was delivered to them companywide and they had to get up on stage and accept it, and that was miserable. And they were really upset about that and ended up walking off the stage. But that's because that question really wasn't posed to them. "How do you best like to be recognized?" They wanted it to be done in private, not where it was a huge public celebration and a surprise to them with, with family there, even.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:00

So it was just -- it's like, it's like, if we even take it down to the personal level. Our friends, if they really don't want to celebrate their birthday or have a surprise party, you're gonna hear about it. And it's the same in the workplace too. So, let's make sure we know how we're recognizing people.

Jim Collison 10:13

Yeah, no.

Jaclynn Robinson 10:15

Another great question. How do you -- alongside "How do you like to be recognized?" is "What's been the most meaningful recognition that you've received? And what was it for?"

Jim Collison 10:25

Yeah, that I love that term "meaningful." Like, and I think sometimes even as a manager, you need to dig a little bit on this one, and get -- OK, I know you said that. Let's talk a little bit about that, and model it a little bit. It's -- honestly, as a manager, it is my biggest struggle. It's a -- it's a struggle for a lot of people, I think. I -- this is an area I don't get right. I am a verbal affirmation; my best recognition is verbal affirmation in front of people. Doesn't work for everybody, right? It just doesn't, and so that's an area I have to continue to work on. Any advice you'd give, as we think, before we kind of move on to individuals, any advice you'd give for managers thinking about, OK, it's obviously -- we all struggle with this. What are some ways to either practice it, or you got any insight there?

Jaclynn Robinson 11:14

What are some ways to practice recognition? I think one thing they can do is they can kick it off; they can create that culture of recognition, first and foremost. Because if they're not getting it started, the team might not even be thinking about that. Or they want to do it, but they feel like it's just going to kind of fizzle out. So creating that culture initially and just calling people out who want to be, who want to receive that public recognition, or dropping in their Inbox, like I mentioned, and just saying, "Hey, you know, I'm, I'm appreciative of you, the work that you're doing. This is the type of value you create." A one-on-one session, just to talk with them; to say, "You know, how are you feeling right now? Let's just touch base. What are you working on? What's really feeding you and giving you energy? How can I support you and making sure that we provide more of that?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:01

So again, I think a lot of that inspiration piece and recognition piece can just come from also knowing that the manager is seeing and hearing what's important to you and meaningful to you. And then encouraging team members to encourage one another and celebrate one another.

Jim Collison 12:17

Yeah, I really, I really love your model -- modeling it, right? Because we certainly are part of a culture that models it a lot. You know, Don [Clifton] would say you could never overrecognize someone, you know. No, one ever goes, "No, stop!" When it's meaningful, right, of course. But, but we're a, we're an organization that models it really, really well. I think a lot of organizations struggle with that and managers feel so busy and I just got so many things to do and I have, I have the demands of whatever: quarterly results, monthly TPL reports, whatever it -- whatever they are -- that are coming out.

Jim Collison 12:55

But, but I do agree, and I think it's great advice: Managers need to model that as well and kind of make that happen first. However, let's not leave individuals off the hook. I think there's some opportunities inside organizations where, if it's not happening, individuals can begin to model this. We're going to, we're going to do some crowdsourcing at this point. So if you're in the chat room, you're going to add value to our webcast here by showing or, or telling us some of the best examples you've seen of individuals modeling this, right? We have some kind of preloaded; we're going to talk about those here for a little bit; you can start dropping these in the chat room, and we'll start showing them on screen. But when we think about individuals building into their team, which would build into their organization, what are some opportunities you see in that, Jaclynn?

Jaclynn Robinson 12:58

Repeat one more time for me.

Jim Collison 13:14

So as we think about individuals building into teams, right, what, what can individuals do to step up and build into teams?

Jaclynn Robinson 13:50

You can see this sparks my Positivity, which is No. 4 for me. I've seen some really creative ways of individuals coming together, and that's where you really see the contribution that they want to make to the team. Another good question that could be posed from a manager, or individuals at the team level, is just to say, "How do you feel you can best contribute to the team? What's the value you would like to contribute to the team?" And some haven't even thought about that. And so it just helps them, again, reset, especially if there's organizational change or something going on in the, in the world, where their mind's just aflutter.

Jaclynn Robinson 14:25

I've seen some individuals just start to create clubs to bring that, that sense of community together with the team. So I've heard a best practice of a cooking club that they do. And every week they'll try out a new cooking recipe or baking recipe. You've got those that maybe have high Input or Learner and they're just dying to be able to provide some teachings and knowledge sharing to the team. And what a great way to feel like you're, you're creating value for yourself and others into the organization when you're being taught skills that are going to help you in the here-and-now or in the future that's moving towards the mission and purpose of the organization.

Jaclynn Robinson 15:05

So we'll see some that will do Learn at Lunches, or they'll get together in the mornings and just say, Hey, this is something that I just learned that I think would be really helpful for us all. And they'll put a PowerPoint together and just walk people through something really fun and engaging. But that brain gain is huge. And I think we forget a lot about that. But just even connecting with people based on the skills and talents that feed them or hobbies and interests that feed them sparks their, sparks their interest, and makes them really happy and they go, Wow, you're recognizing me because you see me for who I am and what I bring to the table.

Jaclynn Robinson 15:40

Writing a blog: I've seen people start to just engage in company blog writing based on what they're hearing the team wants to hear. Some that are really into health and fitness. You've got a lot of yoga teachers out there now, and so I've seen individuals on the team schedule that for the teams to get together, to focus on physical and social wellbeing. And then I think that feeds career wellbeing because it's a part of, you're at work pretty often, or you're at home on the computer pretty often and so really taps into those.

Jim Collison 16:12

We've put together an internal Peloton team at Gallup, so it's right -- think about a, you know, think about an application that celebrates these successes, right, 100 rides, 300 rides, 500 rides, right, and has this kind of built-in recognition system to it. And so that, while not necessarily 100% job-related, those celebrations among those teams can be important in celebrating rides. Maika, who is my my partner in Theme Thursday is coming up for on our 500th ride here, and she's --

Jaclynn Robinson 16:46

She's a cycling beast.

Jim Collison 16:47

She is, she is, and it's a big deal to her. Like that -- you know, that, that celebration is a big, is a big deal, a big accomplishment. She's in really good shape. Can't get to 500 rides without being in really, right, in really good shape, and that makes her healthy. We see at Gallup -- I see a lot of individuals and teams meeting together for lunch on a regular basis. They just do it often. And, and some would say, Is that is that a form of celebration and success? I think it absolutely is, because that's how they choose to recognize each other is by being there with each other. We have -- you'd like this, Jaclynn, we have a Whiskey Wednesday crew team that -- we have a local establishment that is half-price bourbon and whiskey on Wednesday. So we get together in Happy Hour after work and, and spend a little time together -- it's kind of a group -- and celebrate, celebrate things together. That can be done that way. I think there's as many creative ways to do this (I'm hoping to get a few of these from the chat room as well). And we're -- chat room, we're looking for some specific examples. Like what have you seen work well, from a recognition, or How, what was your, what was your best recognition? If you can't think of that, tell me what was the best recognition you ever received? Jaclynn, let me ask you, like, let's just model this right now. What's the best recognition you've ever received?

Jaclynn Robinson 18:09

I can talk about one immediately that just came through this week. And that was a virtual course delivery. And it was a, it was a 4-day virtual course delivery. And I actually heard from my Go To, which is what we call our managers here, that just said, Hey, you know, I'm, I'm so happy. I see what you're over there doing. Great job. I can't wait until you, 'til rock it out. And something just like that, because he's very attuned, even though I'm working remote right now, to what's on my plate and getting me really excited about it but, but recognizing me for that work too.

Jim Collison 18:43

Yeah. And did they -- was there a certificate or a trophy, or was there anything associated with that? Or was it just, "Hey, great job!"?

Jaclynn Robinson 18:50

Yeah, it was just, it was dropping in my Inbox when I was still in the middle of leading that course, to say, Hey, I see you. Great job; keep it up. Keep rocking it out.

Jim Collison 19:04

I get to hear back -- you know, a lot of my job is kind of managing the community, and I get to hear, I get to hear stories. And these are some of my favorite things, like, the best recognition I get. And, you know, I've got some great recognition at Gallup; don't get me wrong. But the best recognition is when I hear stories of impact. You know, when I, when someone says, Hey, I just want to let you know, we were listening to this, and then we did this. And then this happened. Great opportunities there, you know, for me to just feel -- to go back to what we talked about in Part 3 of this, that fuels this mission and purpose idea for me, right? I just come back around going, "Oh, that's why I never sleep -- to do these things!" Because they're that -- they're important when they have this kind of impact on people.

Jim Collison 19:51

I am fueled by impact. That's just one of those things. I don't need gadgets and gizmos and gadgetry and trophies. I don't need any of that stuff. What I want to hear is what I did, did it make an impact in someone, you know, in somebody's life? That's what's kind of important to me. Don't get me wrong; many of us want that. And many of us do like the, the gizmos that come along with it. And I am not, I am not saying we shouldn't like those. But, but for some, right, hearing the impact is more important.

Jaclynn Robinson 20:21

It goes back to our Gallup principles, too, of making sure that, that feedback is meaningful, authentic and timely. And meaningful, I think, does tie into impact.

Jim Collison 20:30

There's -- so a couple good ones coming in. Let me show these up. So our district team was recognized by our CEO for hard work. It was good to hear that, right, to hear that from the CEO. By the way, also sometimes good when you're on a team and your manager gets recognized at that level, good to know they're paying attention, right. And, and great opportunities there. Justin says, I once had a manager that only truly recognized me as I was leaving: "I couldn't have done it without you Justin. The bottle of fine cognac was great but I would have preferred -- but I would have preferred to be recognized as we went along.

Jaclynn Robinson 21:04

Exactly. Timely, timely feedback where it's just in the moment and feels meaningful. I hear you, Justin.

Jim Collison 21:10

Yeah, well, and before we cover that one, so often (how are we doing on time? OK), so often, the best recognition gets saved to the end. And it doesn't, it doesn't have to.

Jaclynn Robinson 21:22

It doesn't land as well. You would have rather heard it in the moment. And --

Jim Collison 21:26

Yeah, and I think Justin's a lot. Schedule regular gatherings to view educational or inspirational TED Talks, rallies, colleagues and cookies. That sounds good to thank local firemen, policemen, postmen. Give away gift cards anonymously; that -- and, man, the power of anonymous recognition. Like, you don't get anything out of it. Like sometimes, recognition is more about us than it is about them, just to be honest, right?

Jaclynn Robinson 21:56

And we want to remove the self-orientation. Don't we?

Jim Collison 21:59

Yeah. Lisa says, we have a Facebook Workplace channel called, "Rock Stars and Rock Bands," where people express gratitude. One star and one band team it's recognized at our monthly calls, our all-hands calls. Works remotely! Yeah, that's a great, it's a great idea. And then one more before we go here: We do peer-to-peer recognition -- employees are able to send "You make a difference!" cards (that's our version of a "Drop," right) -- "You make a difference!" cards anonymously through a portal. And I don't think, I don't think this has to be hard. Like, if recognition is hard, I'm not sure we're doing it right. These should be, these should be fairly easy that come from -- and you want them to be measurable and meaningful, and write all those pieces that go along with this.

Jim Collison 22:44

One summer, and I'll wrap it with this, one summer for the interns, we had a "Superman" award. And it was a little, actually a little Superman I had gotten in a Happy Meal from Burger King. Right? Cost me nothing. That thing became the coveted weekly indication of performance. That silly little thing kind of became the prized, you know, and whoever had it at the end of the summer got to take it with them. And it, it can be things like that too that don't necessarily -- you don't have to go spend a million bucks to get something done, right. It can be a little meaningful Happy Meal. For folks outside the United States, that's a little toy that comes with a fast-food restaurant gift for kids. So you know, it comes in a, it comes with a meal and the kids play with it for like 10 seconds. And then it gets -- usually gets chucked. Jaclynn, anything else you'd add before we close it up?

Jaclynn Robinson 23:38

Yeah, there's one more thing I would add, and this is this is even if you have cross-collaboration between teams. A really good way that I've seen a team recognize one that isn't front and center with customers, clients or students is to share pictures or pieces of recognition from that community to the team that's behind the scenes. To say, Hey, you know, this is the work that you're doing. So either these are the people you're impacting, and they can see the physical pictures, or these are the notes we're receiving, and it's because of you that, that you're making this type of impact. That was huge in helping those that are often unseen and unheard feel like they're, they're being recognized.

Jim Collison 24:17

Yeah. We have a group of employees who stayed on campus while we've all been off, and they did a video for them during our last recognition, where they came in and videoed them and they're working, masks on, and just did a really nice job of recognizing those we don't see and they didn't get -- they haven't gotten a lot of -- they're the ones mowing the lawn and making sure things stay up to date and the building is secure and we can get physical materials out, and those kinds of things. And a great opportunity to recognize them with that. So that, I think that fits right in.

Jim Collison 24:46

Jaclynn, thank you for spending these two sessions with us and, and appreciate that. If you've just caught us for [Part] 4 here, as we think about success and recognition, head back, and you're like, "Oh, I gotta get, I gotta get more Jaclynn." You go back to Session 3 as we talked about values and purpose and, and we look forward to doing it again with you here in the very near future.

Jim Collison 25:07

With that, we'll remind everyone to take full advantages of all the resources we have available now on Gallup Access. Head out to; pretty easy to remember. If you actually enter access from that page, you'll go right to your Strengths Dashboard. So pretty cool. Everything is there; all the webcasts, all our information, everything we've written on that page -- including, at the bottom of the page, a way to sign up for our monthly CliftonStrengths Community Newsletter. So if you want to do that, you'll just get an update of all the things that are going on in the strengths world. Stay up to date; be in the know; be one of the cool kids. I never was a cool kid, Jaclynn. You were, but I was never a cool kid. So I always want to join those things.

Jaclynn Robinson 25:42

I was like -- I was just hanging out with everyone. Hi! Want to be friends?

Jim Collison 25:47

If you have any questions -- exactly -- if you have any questions about anything, you can send us an email: If you want to follow us on our live events, follow us over at Eventbrite: If you want to be one of those cool kids, you might want to join us for the 2020 Gallup at Work Summit. It's just a couple weeks away. So maybe -- if it's after June 2, 2020, you missed it. It's OK. We're gonna do it again in 2021. But if you're listening live or in the near future, we'd love to have you join us at our summit; all the cool kids will be there. We just crossed over the amount we had last year. And so we're get -- we're in record-setting territory now. 20 hours, great learning, all recorded, all available to you. Super great price. You'll want to join us there June 2, and you have up until the 1st, but don't delay; get it done today. Wow, that kind of rhymed. It's like, it's like I work in marketing! So we want to have you join us:, and we'd love to see you there virtually as well. Join us in our Facebook group:, and many of you come in on this. Appreciate you doing that. And then on LinkedIn -- maybe you're not a Facebooker -- on LinkedIn, head out to "CliftonStrengths Trained Coaches" and find us there, and we'll let you in. If you're listening live, thanks for coming out today. Appreciate that. If you're listening to the recorded version, just go to the next one. With that, we'll say, Goodbye, everybody.

Jaclynn Robinson's Top 5 CliftonStrengths are Achiever, Strategic, Maximizer, Positivity and Relator.

Learn more about using CliftonStrengths to help yourself and others succeed:

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