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The recognitions shared by your employees in the Brand Integrity Platform® are powerful. They reinforce good work, spread best practices, showcase your organization’s values in action, and help employees understand how the work they do makes a difference for their peers, the business, and your customers. These recognition stories are meant to be shared and can be incorporated into your marketing messages to current and prospective customers, future employees, and the community.

Here are five ways to harness the power of these recognitions beyond the walls of your organization:

  1. Set the stage by promoting your values.  Make your values a part of your company message. Include them on your website, in your social media, across the office, and in your new hire orientation.
  2. Include a recognition post on your organization’s LinkedIn page a couple times a month. Doing so is a great way to show the kind of teamwork and atmosphere a potential candidate can expect from working with your organization.
  3. Use social media as a platform for featuring your “wow moments”—those stories about employee actions that have a significant impact on the organization, coworkers, and customers.
  4. Encourage employees to like and share posts about themselves and their team members. What a great way to showcase teamwork!
  5. Educate people on your values by featuring one per month, promoting a related recognition as an example of that value in action.

(As always, be sure to follow your company’s social media and confidentiality policies.)

We all know the adage, “the squeaky wheel gets the grease.”  And, as a manager, you may feel you work hard to eliminate squeaks by coaching and mentoring your weaker performing team members.  That would seem to make sense, knowing that high performing employees can be depended on to stay engaged and keep things moving along smoothly. Or can they?

According to an article from Gallup, you can’t tell how engaged a team member is by performance alone. Engagement raises performance, but your best people may be high performers even if they are miserable. Managers make a fatal mistake if they assume that their top performers can be safely left alone.

The opposite is actually true, as described by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman in their classic management guide, “First, Break All the Rules.” The authors write that when a manager spends time with an employee, “if you pay the most attention to your strugglers and ignore your stars, you can inadvertently alter the behaviors of your stars. Guided by your apparent indifference, your stars may start to do less of what made them stars in the first place and more of other kinds of behaviors that might net them some kind of reaction from you, good or bad.”

In summary, not engaging top talent is a serious risk. However, the good news is that it’s very fixable:  when managers reinforce how high performing team members are critical to the organizations’ purpose, and give them the recognition and respect they crave, then both engagement and performance remain high.

Firm culture wasn’t allowed to just spontaneously develop at upstate New York-based firm The Bonadio Group. Deliberately fostered over a number of years, what the firm calls “The Bonadio Purpose” today has been designed by firm management to give its employees a sense of satisfaction and, as its name suggests, purpose in providing accounting and advising services to its clients.

But the firm had help.

Eight years ago, when Bonadio was considering its core cultural principals, it saw no reason not to automate that part of their business just as it would its tax workflow or document management processes. So, the firm recruited software company Brand Integrity internally to help establish and automate its cultural vision across its 10 offices, which house 89 partners and 760 employees.

The Bonadio Group's Management Committee: (left to right) Rochester office managing partner Bruce Zicari, CEO Thomas Bonadio, chairman and Buffalo office managing partner Mario Urso, COO Robert Enright

The Bonadio Group’s Management Committee: (left to right) Rochester office managing partner Bruce Zicari, CEO Thomas Bonadio, chairman and Buffalo office managing partner Mario Urso, COO Robert Enright 
Courtesy of the Bonadio Group

Almost a decade later, this January, The Bonadio Group became the first official reselling partner of Brand Integrity, and clients of the firm can now access the employee engagement software with advisement from The Bonadio Group’s client-service professionals. Bonadio’s core principals are threefold, falling under purpose, promise and vision; but clients who buy Brand Integrity from the firm as a value-added service can implement their own cultural precepts using the tools the solution offers.

Over its lifetime, The Bonadio Group has completed a dozen mergers, and so it’s been “very important to perpetuate our culture in all these new offices that have been merged in from outside,” the firm’s Rochester office managing partner, Bruce Zicari, told Accounting Today. Brand Integrity, Zicari said, helped the firm do this by helping them automate the kind of culture they were already trying to cultivate.

For instance, firm management believes that one of the primary ways in which staff perform better is if they’re happy, and the firm tries to improve happiness with a program around employee recognition. Brand Integrity offers an employee recognition tool through which employees can send in stories of something a colleague did that was impressive of helpful in some way.

“Then every week, we email out all the recognition, and every recognition tells a story — who was involved, what they did, how it relates to the Bonadio purpose,” Zicari said. “It really tells a story about our culture.”

The technology also offers a module for organizations to define their core values and behavior expectations, so employees have clear guidelines to view; and employee as well as customer assessment surveys so organizations can get insight into how much adherence they’re achieving, and decide whether to adjust accordingly.

Brand Integrity provides an e-learning and in-person “academy” on its platform, meant to help managers develop communication skills and habits, aimed at helping them become better leaders. The module includes resources on hiring, onboarding, performance conversations, and other operational processes.

Bonadio management feels that automating culture is logical because it’s one of the most important factors in recruitment and retaining of new accountants.

“For potential hires, especially young people, it’s extremely important to them to work with a firm that aligns with what they believe in,” Zicari said. “Our Bonadio Purpose has been with us for few years now, and it resonates with everybody. Everything we do is around those ideas.”

Gregg Lederman, CEO of Brand Integrity, sees Bonadio as a natural fit as a partner because the firm leaders understand that “lack of employee engagement is really expensive.”

“By partnering with us, Bonadio is helping their clients to save money or make money,” Lederman added.

The reselling partnership is meant to be organic — typically, according to Bonadio, partners or managers from the firm will refer a client to Brand Integrity if the client is seeking to impact business outcomes through improved employee engagement or overall culture initiatives. Once an introduction is made, the Brand Integrity team works directly with the Bonadio client to craft and implement a solution.

The Bonadio Group placed at no. 40 on Accounting Today’s Top 100 Firms list for 2018. For more information on Bonadio’s services, visit https://www.bonadio.com/our-services; and for more on Brand Integrity, visit http://www.brandintegrity.com/.

Click Here to view and download the complete PDF

 Click Here to view the article on accountingTODAY

Brand Integrity has been identified as one of a few companies blazing new trails in employee engagement by The Starr Conspiracy, a leading HR technology consulting firm. In their 35-page report, “Talent Management 2018: A Category at a Crossroads,” The Starr Conspiracy noted there are just a handful of companies “doing things truly different that have an opportunity to redefine what the employee engagement category can be.”

Brand Integrity’s unique combination of technology and support services is helping organizations drive positive business outcomes and giving employees what they crave in ways unlike any other firm!

Click here to view and download the complete report.

Generation Z is here—and organizations that don’t understand what this generation craves at work may find it difficult to attract or retain them. As highlighted in this article from Forbes, leaders need to realize that the wants and needs of employees are changing—especially as it regards frequency of feedback.  Check out the chart below to see what’s important to each group, and some of the key differences between millennials and Generation Z.

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