Why Every Company Needs a CRO?


images-45CRO stands for Chief Recognition Officer and in my opinion every company should have one of these and ideally it should be a board member role.

Recognition is a basic desire, and it’s often stated that people crave recognition more than money. Yet so few companies do a good job of providing recognition to their staff.

We should always look to provide positive feedback whenever people do a good job, as what gets recognised gets repeated, and this will encourage the good work to be repeated.

The more senior the level that this feedback comes from, the bigger the impact and consequently the benefit.

I remember working at one company, and we’d had a major system outage and it required the computer teams to work through the night to try and fix the problem. By 10am the problem was resolved and the several of the team had been working on it for a full 24 hours.

I said to the CIO that he should come with me and say well done to the team. He said “I’m busy can  you do it for me?”.  I said “No! It has to come from you”.

Now of course I could have done it, but the impact is different, I was second-in-command and I often saw how people responded to my praise, whilst it was very much appreciated, but when people received positive feedback from the top, the impact was more than double.

My boss came with me and I introduced him to the team, he smiled, shook their hands and said how proud and grateful he was of their effort. Then he asked them if there was anything he could do, just to let him know.

The chief engineer then looked at him and said “Just coming down here and saying thanks personally means everything to us and thats the only thing we need.”

My boss looked at me as we walked back and said “I can’t believe how easy that was, I thought they would be expecting more from me, but that simple thanks seems to have made their day”.

From that point on he made the point of visiting, in-person, every time there was an opportunity to provide praise to the teams as he had seen first had  the benefits.

This is why the CRO should be on the board, imagine how much impact positive feedback coming from the board would have.   This is something very easy to set up, its low costs, and yet the benefits are significant. Ideally every board member would play this role, looking to praise at every possible opportunity, and this will have a dramatic impact on performance.

This helps to build engagement and with engagement comes better results.


If you want to know more about how to increase employee engagement email me at gordon@leadership-principles.com