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:
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.