As a manager or business owner, you know it’s important to recognize contributions individual team members make toward the success of the team. You might even find it easy to identify and reward individual performance toward specific individual goals.

However, many times in our efforts to recognize and reward successes, we may overlook “behind the scene” contributions which were necessary to achieve that success.

Consider this:
As Joe was watching Diane receive her achievement award from the team leader, he was feeling very uncomfortable. Diane’s objective was to decrease the amount of time required for processing between billing cycles. She had coordinated the efforts of many people and had exceeded the expectations of the team. Joe agreed that Diane deserved to be recognized for her outstanding leadership ability.

At the same time, however, Joe was aware that Diane’s objective could not have been met without his significant contribution to the work effort. He had spent the last three months pulling double duty, doing his work as well as covering Diane’s regular assignments. It would have been nice for someone to at least say “Thank You “for his additional effort.

Have you ever been where Joe is standing? 
How did it feel? No matter how strongly we identify with the team or how proud we are to be a member of the team, we still need to be recognized as an individual.

Individual recognition in a team environment also helps build a sense of involvement, ownership, and commitment. This encourages team members to help each other whenever possible. And this type of commitment will make your business more successful.

Take a look at your current procedures for rewards and recognition. Use the following questions to help you improve.

  • What types of achievements do you recognize and reward?
  • Are you aware of the many ways to recognize folks besides money?
  • What action have you taken to ensure all team or department members feel valued?

Smart Moves Tip:
Create a reward and recognition plan that is easy to use and spontaneous. Rewards don’t have to be expensive, but they should be timely. Make a big deal out of them. Demonstrate to your team members that each and every one of them is important to your business success.  Here are 50 ways to reward your people and not break the bank. Which ones would work best for you?

Marcia Zidle, the smart moves executive coach and speaker, is host of The Business Edge on the VoiceAmerica Business Network. The show features the Smart Growth System providing small to medium sized businesses the proper foundation for expansion: a Growth Agenda that becomes their roadmap, a Growth Engine that attracts and engages the best talent and Growth Leaders that make it happen. Marcia, the CEO of Leaders At All Levels, brings street smarts to help businesses get on the right track and not get sidetracked on their path to higher performance and profitability.