Monday, August 4, 2008

Are Company Awards a Positive or a Negative?

After another successful event (I think???), I like to reflect on how the evening went.  My company, like many others, recognizes outstanding individuals for great performance.  We reward "Shining Stars," as we call them, in categories for managers, leasers, techs, supervisors, construction, and administrative.  We recognize these associates with quarterly awards, and then at the end of the year we also have an "Of the Year" award for these categories.  We do two events that get the entire company together once in Aug. for the 1st and 2nd qtr. awards, and then again in Feb. for the 3rd and 4th qtrs. along with the "Of the Year" winners.  The events are always a great time and people enjoy being able to socialize with others in the company that they might rarely see.

Generally this is how the evening goes.  The president of the company gives some speeches, talks about the industry, and just gives some words of wisdom.  Then other V.P.'s/Execs may have some other words of wisdom or speeches before we begin the award presentations.  The V.P.'s/Execs share in presenting the awards and we generally sum it up by saying everyone is a winner, but we could only choose one.

This is where the "I think???" comes into play.  Are we creating a positive with these awards or a negative.  While the winners and maybe their co-workers are excited and happy, many others "I think???" feel they got the shaft.  Because these awards are somewhat subjective I can see why some would feel slighted, and in a world of people motivated by rewards I wonder if we are actually doing more harm than helping.  It's not just a situation of someone feeling they are being slighted, but a situation in which people might feel unappreciated or ignored.  Is this a risk we are taking by continuing to do these awards, or is this an opportunity for us to help motivate those "Shining Stars" that really help make a difference in the company.  Should I/we be worrying about the people that think they got the shaft?  Are we missing something?  Is there still value to "awards," or do we just need to make some changes in the way we give/present them?
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