We love to talk about “going above and beyond.” Many of us have this award in our team and organization. Warning: if your recognition awards stop there, I guarantee you that you are missing an abundance of greatness all around you by formally recognizing only a select few.
Kind of like one of those “Where’s Waldo?” books. You buy the book for the act of finding Waldo, yet consider what is finding that Waldo character all about? The fun part, the bonding part with your kids, the motivating part to turn the page and start looking for the next Waldo is all the good stuff all over the page that happens when you cannot find Waldo. Why does Waldo get the glory when there is so much deliciousness all around him? (Actually, is Waldo a ‘him’? I’m going to check myself as that is an assumption.)
My kids and I used to love most exploring what the non-Waldos were getting up to. And sure, Waldo has a cool hat and is boss about hiding and had mad skills in time travelling and seems to avoid the wacky stuff happening all around him. AND what if there were many more Waldo-esque people that get none of the credit?
Imagine if those folks walked right off the page because they weren’t as valued as Waldo? That would be a pretty boring book, right?
Creating recognition for your whole team will pay off in ways you never imagined.
Let’s make a shared commitment to value every single person on your team as much as the obvious top performer. If you haven’t already done so, consider if “Employee of the Month” type programs are actually demotivating others? (And frankly, most of those snaps of employees seem like could double as a mug shot.)
Unless you can safely ride on the coattails of just one or two top performers, it’s time to dial down the “top performers” focus and dial up the “together we perform” focus.
Disagree? Have another factor to consider? Want to talk more about how this applies to your workplace? Comment below or reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more ideas about creating recognition for everyone, take a look at these other resources:
- 4 Ways to Be the Amazing Workplace Everyone Buzzes About
- Why We Don’t Recognize in Organizations (and how to change that)
- How to Create a Recognition Movement (that everyone can get behind)