Everyone in the workplace likes recognition. Recognition is a powerful way to show employees what an organization values. It visibly displays the values and priorities. I would like to share with you two ideas to create powerful award programs that will make a real difference.
New Award 1: Mentor of the Year
Honestly, I have never seen this given by any of my hundreds of clients. Seems to me that it’s kind of a no-brainer. People development is a huge part of our business and there is often a time barrier for leaders to engage in it. Why not raise it up the flagpole? Why not give accolades to those who are not only working for the company and their check, but for the success of their co-workers? If you do this, remember it does not only have to be the senior people mentoring the juniors. I have seen some great technology mentoring being done out there from the younger bucks to the old dogs.
New Award 2: Innovator of the Year
How do you gain input from your field operations personnel? The day of the suggestion box has long passed. The best way possible is to provide a visible set of rewards for those willing to participate in improving performance or operations. Now, the biggest barrier to this is often middle managers or even field leaders. The problems that exist include, not wanting others to get credit, not taking the time to listen, and no compelling reasons to do so. Innovator of the Year is not the person who has the best idea. Instead, it is given to the leader or manager who got the most ideas and innovations out of their people. Recognition is two-fold here—it goes to the leader and to those who he or she has elevated by pushing their ideas up the chain of command.
In pushing innovation though you must be willing to follow up on the ideas and innovations. You can’t put them in some file to “get around to eventually” or you’ll lose buy-in and credibility.
Remember, when people see their ideas in action their loyalty and extra effort are all yours.