Talking Point: The Disney Institute Blog

Spring Into Action: Catch Employees Doing ‘It’ Right

March 10, 2015 by Bruce Jones, Senior Programming Director, Disney Institute

Spring Into Action

Leaders, take a cue from Mother Nature and spring into action to catch employees doing something right…right now!

As spring is the season of new beginnings, now is the perfect opportunity to refresh and renew your focus on cultivating recognition within your organization. Just as a freshly planted seedling must be nurtured with water and sunlight, so must employee engagement be fostered through consistent recognition and genuine care.

Let’s reflect on this for a moment. Frequently, we hear from participants in our Leadership Excellence course that the tendency of management today is to focus on finding what’s wrong and repairing it (or even punishing it), instead of finding what’s right and rewarding it. While spotting shortcomings, providing feedback and making appropriate adjustments are all necessary and important, at Disney Institute we believe leaders must proactively search for, and recognize, people who are doing “it” right (i.e., demonstrating your organization’s desired behaviors) versus looking for those who are doing “it” wrong.

This principle represents a critical aspect of our company culture. Why? Because, not only does catching people doing things right increase the likelihood that these good behaviors will repeat, the positive reinforcement that comes from acknowledging good behaviors nurtures an individual’s self-confidence. Increased confidence further enables people to do their best work, which, with continuous reinforcement, has the potential to make a dramatic and lasting impact on the organization.

Positive reinforcement is also one of the easiest and quickest ways to improve employee happiness and effectiveness. So, as we spring forward to welcome the new season, I encourage you to renew your focus on proactively searching for – and recognizing – people who are doing things right. After all, a tiny seedling just needs a little support to help it establish strong roots, spread its branches and flourish into a thriving tree.

How can you provide immediate recognition to people doing “it” right? What forms of recognition will be most appreciated by your team?


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Disney Institute uses business insights and time-tested examples from Disney parks and resorts worldwide to provide relevant illustrations and engaging stories that help you deliver the type of long-term results your organization is capable of delivering. Ultimately, Disney Institute can help you operationalize and sustain business results through leadership, culture, service and more. Explore our solutions for a team or an organizational initiative by visiting Our Approach page. To learn more about options available for an individual, please explore our Scheduled Courses.

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Posted in Employee Engagement | Tagged Culture, Company Culture, Organizational Culture, Workplace Culture, Care, Employee Care, Genuine Care, Recognition, Employee Recognition, Employee Engagement, Engagement, Bruce Jones

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