Integrating Recognition Into An Organizational Culture With the Orange Program

April 2, 2024
Industry Public Sector

About the SPVG

The Gatineau Police Service (SPVG) is a municipal police force whose mission is to maintain peace, order and public safety, preserve life and protect property, while enforcing the laws and regulations in force, and respecting the fundamental rights of individuals.

As with any police force, the daily lives of our employees can be punctuated with challenges. This is why some 600 employees, both civilians and police officers, work together with the common goal of creating a positive and motivating work environment for teams and managers, with the aim of improving customer service for the people of Gatineau.

Setting the Scene

An internal survey revealed that recognition is practiced at various levels, but in a more informal and unstructured way. As a result, the SPVG saw a need to improve recognition practices so that they were integrated into the organization’s culture, to create a lasting impact on employees.

Managers were invited to participate in a one-day training course on recognition; however, this was deemed insufficient for implementing sustainable, high-impact actions.

Why did the SPVG choose the Orange Program?

Following an Internet search, Michaël Côté, an inspector in the criminal investigation division, discovered the Orange Program and was intrigued by its approach, which was different from traditional training. The weekly challenges and practical tools were of particular interest to him, as they enabled participants to put what they had learned into practice and develop new recognition habits. Finally, the program’s microlearning formula, spread over several weeks, considerably reduced the time investment for managers to just a few minutes a week.

Solution: Enrollment in the Orange Program

The inspector decided to enroll seven managers from different departments in the Orange Program. Over the course of a few weeks, the participants learned about the various recognition strategies and experimented with the tools to integrate them. In parallel with the online courses, the participants decided to meet on a regular basis to discuss what they had learned, and which tactics have had the greatest impact on their team.


The Orange Program has helped high-level managers extend their ability to recognize achievements beyond the obvious,  in a natural manner. It also raised awareness among their colleagues who were not used to recognition, helping them to understand the benefits of this practice.

Recognition now starts at the top of the hierarchy, so that it becomes an integral part of the culture of the SPVG. Participants observed a positive and lasting transformation in their behavior, inspiring other managers to adopt the same attitudes.

Finally, the Orange Program encouraged SPVG members to develop new tools for practicing daily recognition. In addition to celebrating life events, the police department launched a recognition newsletter inviting employees to recognize their peers.

Colorful Celebration Background

Participant testimonial

I’ve found that by actively practicing recognition, the benefits quickly become apparent. Now it’s fully integrated into our daily action plan, without having to force it.

The challenges of the course were an excellent way of getting managers out of their comfort zones. Physical tools like the challenge cards remain useful to refresh memories and keep progressing, even after the program is over.

— Michaël Côté, Inspector—Criminal Investigation Division.

Next steps for SPVG:

Managers continue to practice the lessons learned along the way and remain attentive to new developments in the field of recognition in order to perpetually reinforce their culture. This is notably facilitated through Altrum’s monthly communications.

Discussions about recognition are also brought to the table at meetings with the Board of Directors to continue improving day-to-day practices.

Before, it was rare for managers to meet to discuss recognition alone. Today, it’s a subject that’s regularly brought up at board meetings. Thanks to the Orange Program, the floor is open to talk openly about this subject in the organization,” said Michaël.



Download 4  challenges from the Orange Program for free to integrate recognition into your everyday life today.


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