Making it special!

Most organizations have their fair share of awards ranging from the most prestigious to the ones not as big. As HR’s, sometimes our focus shifts to the larger awards and we tend to begin giving less importance to the awards that in our opinion are ‘not as big’.

Similarly in our organization, we have an award known as the ‘Spot Award’. This in a way could be considered as one of the lesser important award (though it is wrong to assume so). Let me quickly define the objective of the award. The award was instituted to award resources on the spot, much like the name suggests, for something the employee has achieved or characteristics that you would like to reward and others to inculcate.

Because of the low monetary value the rewards holds, many employees, managers and HR alike has come to view it as a minor award.

Last year alone, between various departments, we gave out 700 spot awards. This number for an organization which is smaller than most, is a significant number. There is no standard format for giving away this award and it varies from the manager handing it out to the awardee in front of his team to holding a high tea for the same.

Today, in a conversation with one of our leaders, something he said stayed stuck in my head for a long time – hence leading to this post. He said, ‘For a large majority of employees, this could probably be the biggest award that they might receive. While we would like to believe that he would go ahead to win many more in his lifetime, there is a chance that he might not. Hence, on our part, it is our duty to make this moment as special as we can and not let our opinion of the award cloud it.’

There is nothing stopping us from making this small award a little bigger in the way it is given out. This holds true for all kinds of appreciation. If you think someone has done something well, why stop at a verbal appreciation? You could sit down and type out a small ‘well done’ note. It will make it a hundred times more special to him.

It may be just a passing statement but for me, it was a realization. No matter how small the appreciation, it is our responsibility to make it special for the person.

The same leader left me with this statement, “There is one award which lies in my living room. It’s not a big award but it is special. It was one of my first.”

What if you missed out on making some employee’s first award feel less important than it could have been?

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