Recognition, a road to organizational success

Every day, people work hard at their jobs to attain their objectives and hope that their work will be appreciated and their efforts recognized. It is a question of basic human needs, of the recognition and appreciation we all need because human beings, by their very nature, like to feel important, that they are being taken into consideration, and that all their achievements are celebrated. This occurs not only in our personal lives, but in the workplace as well, where emphasizing achievements positively generates a motivating work environment.

Thus, recognition becomes a part of the culture of organizations, which carry out different strategies, such as focus groups, surveys of the work climate, roundtables with the workers, meetings with the leaders, etc. to find out what motivates people to keep reaching objectives.

In the case of CIAT, this year the Management Team asked Human Resources to review the Recognition Plan for its workers. The result was the Awards and Recognition Directive, which reaffirms and identifies institutional actions that recognize fellow workers’ patterns of positive performance in their work and in their contribution to the Center’s mission.

“Recognition as an organizational practice improves the working climate and productivity, since it generates a pleasant, motivating, and energetic work environment,” said Adriana Cardona, CIAT’s Coordinator of Development and Wellness.

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Likewise, Adriana explained that a culture of recognition strengthens an organization of high performance, and CIAT recognizes those who do well, in addition to giving a positive sign to those who must do better in order to improve their individual performance and thus the performance of the entire organization.

Taking all this into account, this year the Center has proposed to reinforce the process of recognition, through the design of this plan which contains two modalities:

Formal Recognition: is the result of a structured process, where an employee and/or work teams are nominated to receive a prize for the achievement of objectives.
Informal Recognition: all those actions or informal and spontaneous practices carried out continuously to generate a culture of recognition.

Likewise, under the modality of Formal Recognition we find the CIAT Prizes, which feature the following categories:

  • Best Scientific Publication: is awarded to the person who produces an original scientific article that contributes to CIAT’s mission and to science, and whose methodology is innovative.
  • Best Research Outcome: is awarded to the best research outcome that can bring about changes in knowledge and attitudes, in policies, practices, and institutional agreements.
  • Best Institutional Support: It is a recognition of the outstanding contribution achieved by a work group, as regards their contribution to the fulfillment of the Center’s mission or to the well-being of the Center’s institutional life.
  • Young Scientist Grant: It is a recognition that supports the scientists who are starting their careers and who have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to doing creative research.

Other recognitions are given at CIAT as well, such as:

  • Recognition for achievement: a bonus is given to award outstanding performance.
  • Recognition for Seniority (years of work): it is a recognition given in December to people who have completed 15 or more years of work in the organization.

As for the modality of Informal Recognition, this will be reinforced through the following actions:

  •  “Recognition toolbox for leaders” training: Training sessions will be held with the area supervisors to provide them with tools and practices that they can implement with their work teams.
  • Celebration day: It is a space created to recognize good work, outstanding results, and to strengthen relationships through the celebration of special events such as: birthdays, weddings, etc.
  • Recognition survey: It is a survey in which people may recognize anyone they want,
    co-workers from their own or another area. Each person is sent an email with a message of thanks or recognition for what they did.

In this way, the Annual Recognition Plan seeks to motivate and provide incentives, to generate a feeling of belonging and, lastly, for people to feel valued in the organization.