The importance of recognizing the good work of the coworker next to you

Businesses such as Banco Santander increasingly carry out the culture of the recognition, with tools such as StartmeUp.

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Businesses are made by people. And people grow thanks to being recognized by supervisors and coworkers. Therefore, businesses such as Banco Santander increasingly carry out the culture of the recognition, with tools such as StartmeUp.


It’s understood that valuing the positive side has a good influence on the state of mind. All of us like to be recognized, and even awarded, for our good work and effort. This happens in every walk of life, the professional field included. According to the experts, one of the places we feel less recognized is at work.

According to the Rate of Recognition in Spain elaborated by Amstel and the Institute of Investigation My World, 8 out of every 10 interviewees think that Spaniards don’t feel recognized at work. 80% of the those who responded think that at work, mistakes are noticed more than good decisions; around 2/3 find it very hard to congratulate a boss for his/her merits and compliment a colleague for good work; only 50.3% believe they deserve a compliment. According to the report, envy, following just behind lack of habit, is the second reason to explain the absence of recognition.

On the other hand, the report highlights that it can take 20 times longer to “file” the positive than the negative, as research affirms that the response of the brain to negative stimulus is stronger and that we think it is more intelligent to say the negative than the positive.

Considering all this, businesses must be aware of the importance of implementing practices included in the culture of the recognition. If they recognize what we do correctly, we will be happier and more predisposed and, as a result, the development of our work will go along with our mood. According to an experiment carried out by the psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough, the groups that showed gratefulness were happier and more optimistic about the future with better physical health and were even doing more sport.

It is not about saying what a person wants to hear, but instead a form of transmitting energy to the collaborators, no matter the status; it is just a stimulus, the motivation thatthe person needs to reach the goals, which as a result has a positive impact on the profit of the company. At this point, it is important to take into account that recognition promotes commitment, the feeling of belonging, and the teams’ management.

Recognition as a formula of talent management

Digital transformation and talent management are two keys of competition that go hand in hand so they have no choice but to understand each other. The digital revolution forces the enterprises to rethink their way of working and, consequently, the management of talent, which directly affects the politics included in the culture of recognition.

Enterprises are increasingly aware that recognizing the positive aspects carried out by an employee generates in such employee an inspiring state of well-being that drives him/her to do things even better. In the long run, it positively impacts the economic results of the enterprise. 

This is the case of Banco Santander. Within its policies of the employee’s experience, it supports keeping the team motivated as key to guaranteeing its commitment and success at the time of contributing to the prosperity of people and enterprises. To do so, it has launched measures to promote listening, a balance of work and life, and a healthy, gratifying work environment.

StartmeUp is one of these initiatives. It is an international network of recognition that lets the employees evaluate those who lead by example. In all, since the initiative started, the employees of the Group have already given more than 1.5 million of stars of StartmeUp, which represents the values of the enterprise, to their coworkers. Over the last year it achieved more than 132,000 active users, exceeding 11% of the defined goal during the first months of 2018, and 689,000 stars were given.

In addition to aiding the recognition between coworkers, this tool helps the entity to disseminate its corporative culture and to detect the best talents to develop every task. Accordingly, the President of the Group, Ana Botín, stated at the time of its implementation: “This tool will let us understand what we do best and which areas must be strengthened”.

The positive numbers encourage Banco Santander to increase the percentage of users to raise the total number of employees, that everyone uses the monthly quantity of stars at their disposal and that they interact with the platform in several levels, as Miguel Ángel Dorado Barra, Director of Culture and Commitment of the entity states: “There is a phenomena for which those who receive more stars are proactive to give them, showing the feedback level of the platform”.

In spite of the important number of these types of initiatives, Guudjob works in the same line as StartmeUp. It is a platform created by a group of Spanish entrepreneurs to digitally value the work of professionals in real time. The goal of this tool is to promote professional growth through the evaluations and opinions of clients and coworkers.

It is said that our dictionary includes more words related to the negative than the positive and that most of the supervisors don’t value work that is well done. Therefore, we wonder how we could change this situation. The answer is easy: by rewarding the best professionals, discovering hidden talent, increasing the loyalty of employees… In short, by promoting meritocracy. All of these are goals of enterprises such as Banco Santander, which raises the culture of recognition to the right place.

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