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I think your first point is dead on. When someone is able to pick up almost immediately the tension and the "wow I'm glad this isn't my job" feeling in their gut, doesn't say much for the company culture. Companies with positive office cultures reek of recognition

I like that, Drew: "Reek of recognition."

It's true -- your company culture is palpable, to everyone -- employees, customers, the stranger walking in the door. Companies better be sure they are proactively managing their culture to be the one they want.

We believe that small steps can make a big difference in the long run. Small goals such as: Take a minute to “catch your employee or co-worker doing something right” and then give him/her a sincere compliment/thank you for what they did.

But we also believe that recognition starts with the right attitude. Do you REALLY care about the well-being and motivation of your employees? If so, what are you doing about it? And if not, maybe it's time to start asking yourself the hard questions.

You touched on this in your first point but I think the behavior of the employees is a good indicator. If people appreciate each other at work as a matter of course you probably have a pretty good recognition program.

LTC, yes, precisely. It's about first having the desire to "catch employees doing something right" and then putting in the effort of the follow through. Without the follow-through, you send an equally clear message that you truly do not care about the employee.

Laura, indeed! It really is as simple as that. If people are actually saying "thanks" on a regular basis, then you likely have nothing to worry about.

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