The end point of recognition in the workplace is typically after an employee receives their recognition. But TINYpulse client Optimized-Marketing pushes their recognition beyond their office walls. To them, employee recognition starts from the heart.
In March of 2013, they started the OMEGA (Optimized Member Going Above) Award as a way to inspire their team. The concept of leading with love helped this organization create a stronger sense of community in their culture. And as result, their employee engagement level has dramatically improved not only because they’re appreciating each other, but because they’re also doing good in the world.
How It Works
Instead of having a designated team or leadership vote, Optimized-Marketing takes a more democratic route.
Peer nomination: Every month, employees use an anonymous online survey to nominate one of their peers.
Concrete examples: With the nomination, employees provide a brief description of why this person deserves the award. Did they go the extra mile by helping out a team member? Perhaps they did exceptional work on a project.
Giving away the prize: Whoever receives the most votes gets $250 to donate to a charity of their choice. Or even better, they can donate time through volunteerism.
So not only do employees get recognized for their stellar work, but they also get to give back to the community through charity. “We started by donating $50 a month and are now up to $250 a month. We hope to be at $2500 a month some day,” says Bryan Trilli, Team Leader of Optimized-Marketing.
The Benefits of Happiness
There’s an overwhelming sense of fulfillment when you do something that makes another person happy or betters their life. One team member donated to Peach’s Neet Feet, and he was filled with joy when he received a picture of a girl wearing her hand-painted shoes, thanks to the donation. Another team member donated their time by volunteering at a soup kitchen. So besides making employees feel great about themselves, this type of recognition has amazing benefits for the work culture:
- Strong community that collaborates: Employees praise each other for their hard work. And when employees feel appreciated, they are more willing to give out more recognition to their peers, according to our Engagement Study.
- Leading by example: Learning happens through action. And when you have employees giving each other shout-outs and doing good for the community, others will follow suit.
- Increase personal satisfaction: We spend so many waking hours at work that it only makes sense that we enjoy what we do, right? By giving work a higher sense of meaning (one that goes beyond productivity), it improves workplace satisfaction.
- Positive community presence: By giving to the community, it’s showing the world that you’re not in it just for the money. You’re willing to give your own resources to improve the lives of others, and that gives off a strong message to the community that you have their back.
Employee recognition comes in many shapes and forms. But the angle that Optimized-Marketing takes is a unique one that many organizations can learn from. If you’re looking for ways to make your employees feel appreciated at work, take a cue from Optimized-Marketing.