Giving a High Five to Recognize and Award Those Most Deserving

by Sarah McVanel, Chief Recognition Officer, Greatness Magnified

You know how I love sharing stories of how other recognition rockstars have had huge success retaining great people through recognition – and how they ended up loving their job even more as a result!

Take Randall Craig for example.

Randall has run a number of successful businesses over the years. One in particular comes to mind for him. He found himself reflecting one day: How could I reinforce positive behaviours and collaborative cultures?

Great question right? Here’s what he came up with.

image of the High Five AwardThe “High Five Award” for going the extra mile. The way it worked was whoever received the award the week before, everybody would send an email to that employee anytime they observed someone going the extra mile – how a customer was treated, reaching a goal, supporting a coworker, etc. There were no “rules” about what qualified what “going the extra mile” meant.

At the weekly group meeting, the previous week’s winner would read out all the high-five nominations. They would then share who was deserving of the award that week, but wouldn’t share their name until the examples were read out. Everyone felt fantastic about the recognition.

That following week, the newest High Five Award winner would be the collector of the nominations, and so on…

image of a group of coworkers all giving each other a high fiveThe interesting thing was that the award winner got a $25 gift certificate to a local restaurant, yet after a few months, the group said that they didn’t care about the gift certificate; that the gift certificates were not necessary. The experience of a truly peer-to-peer recognition experience, they said, was rewarding enough.

Randall also mentions that when he sold the company, he was both surprised (and shocked) that his employees presented him with the High Five Award: “we have something for you, Randall, for going the extra mile for us.”

It’s a relatively low-tech spin on peer-to-peer recognition, but it can be just as easily done through digital communication channels.

What resonates with you about this example?

Here are even more ideas to help you create your own recognition award:

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

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Organizational Development, Purolator Inc.

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