Recognize Employee Recognition For What It Is: GOLD!

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At the corporate sales meetings where I give presentations, I am often asked to participate in giving out sales awards. The customer is elated when I say okay. Little do they know it’s one of my favorite things to do – and one of, it not THE most important parts of their event.

PLEASE NOTE: These are not “contest” awards. They are sales achievement awards.

People’s names are called for one achievement or another and their name and photo are shown on big screens in front of everyone (especially their peers). They walk to the stage to accept their award – smiling, beaming, and full of pride.

Statuses are given, plaques are awarded, inscriptions are read aloud, hands are shaken, photos are taken, and prizes are given to the people who won – nay EARNED the award. All their hard work is recognized and rewarded. In public.

What’s the value of this type of ceremony? Can’t be measured (Or to quote MasterCard, “Priceless.”) You can measure performance, but you can’t measure pride or achievement. Nor can you measure the motivation and inspiration to continue to achieve.

Their stimulus is not measured in some government handout or bailout. It’s internal stimulus created from personal pride and accomplishment. Winning. Selling.

When someone wins an award there are several unspoken benefits. There is an incentive for that person to maintain or improve his or her performance to stay at the top. And there is HUGE stimulus for others in the audience to try to win an award next year.

Here are the benefits of recognition, rewards, and praise:

  • Recognize salespeople for a job well done, and they will recognize you.
  • Praise salespeople for a job well done, and they will praise you.
  • Reward salespeople for a job well done, and they will continue to reward you.
  • Recognize people for a job well done, and they will recognize you.
  • Praise people for a job well done, and they will praise you.
  • Reward people for a job well done, and they will continue to reward you.

Why don’t you take a look at your company, your employees, your salespeople, and your awards and rewards? Maybe some recognition re-org is in order. Maybe instead of “cutting,” you might try “investing.” Especially in salespeople. They are your bailout.

NOTE: Instead of figuring out how to change (reduce) compensation plans as a disincentive and morale breaker to all, why not invest in a sales meeting and celebration to reward those who have achieved at the highest level, and challenge those in the audience that they too can win these awards next year if they decide to dedicate the time and effort to do so.

KEY POINT OF UNDERSTANDING: Incentives and awards are economic stimuli of the first degree. Real stimulus. In challenging economic times (how’s that for putting it mildly), sales are what will make a company recover. Oh, you may have to make some cuts for the safety of your business, but no company ever cut their way to success. You must sell your way to profit and success.

KEY ACTION TO TAKE: Award achievement in public. Not just in front of your own people – make sure it’s on your company’s blog, in your weekly e-magazine, and posted on your website.

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