Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Employee Engagement; Part 3

Nominate, Collaborate and Enhance your Corporate Culture

I was a top performer in a Fortune 500 company. Always hit my numbers, was a leader to my team, won every contest that was initiated and was well respected throughout the organization. There was one problem: The company's track record for promoting from within was abysmal.

To be frank, I had hit the wall...or so I thought.

A special meeting was called at the end of the year. My entire team showed up at Headquarters and our VP walked in, "We have a special recognition award like this comes just once in a lifetime". She proceeded to give me a award that only 20 of 20,000 employees would receive. This award named me an Iconoclast of Innovation in the organization. We all enjoy recognition for our efforts, but I was immediately humbled by this paramount act of appreciation.

When our VP was done speaking the 10 people on my team each gave me a piece of paper displaying their justification for my nomination to Senior Management. It was a true 'Rudy' moment. I will never forget the men and women that validated my contributions to the organizations on that day!

Today, nomination programs are more easily accessible, allow a more structured appreciation on a more consistent basis and are usually driven through an online portal that is highly visible to Senior Management.

Mutual appreciation is the key to teamwork and teamwork drives results!

Every organization has diverse departments with diverse job functions and diverse styles of business productivity. This can create turmoil in the heat of battle:
* A Sales Rep that needs an order placed by Customer Service (right away).
* IT Director that pulls her team in @ 3am to complete a project by deadline.
* Union Professionals that battle safety standards to go 'above and beyond' to assist their company.

Some times we yell at one another in the heat of battle, occasionally a 'thank you' or 'sorry' is not enough, and often the extra effort goes completely unnoticed.

Consider this: The task is completed, customers are overjoyed by the extra effort and the business doors are locked for the day. As the under appreciated Customer Service Representative sits back at his cubicle an email pops up: "you have been nominated for a special achievement award"...this person follows a link to find a note from the Sales Rep who often makes his life hell: "Bill is a consummate professional, he takes on every task with pride and never fails to keep our customers elated. In Sales the pressure is great as we are the face to the customer, if Bill fails to deliver, I am in the customer's board room explaining.....Bill never fails...we always win....and our customers know they cannot get this type of attention anywhere else. Thank You Bill! Your efforts mean more than I could ever explain to you!"

Bill's manager sees the nomination and approves it (as does the Sales Reps).

In Human Resources we are required to remain level headed and unemotional. It is my contention, however, that human compassion is not only relevant in today's workplace; it is essential.

PEOPLE are what make our organizations great, and while they are always forthright in their determination to succeed, they all enjoy a pat on the back.

Through implementing a well manged nomination program your organization will:
* Enhance Collaboration
* Provide Validation for seemingly Unrecognized Effort
* Create a Drive to Succeed through the need for Continual Recognition
* Brand a Culture of Appreciation
* Bridge interdepartmental gaps
* Reduce Turnover (see above)
* Improve Revenue efficiency by encouraging extra effort!

Want to know how to synchronize nominations with service awards and corporate responsibility...visit this blog next week.

Don't Forget to Remember!

- Dave



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