"The deepest principle in human nature is a craving to be appreciated." William James
There are many resources and articles that talk about the importance of employee recognition and how they benefit companies. While many firms are putting an enormous amount of effort into staying competitive with various programs and initiatives, they often forget what really matters to most people. Being appreciated.
It’s an innate human desire to be useful, or feel needed. A desire to believe that we have something valuable to contribute. Whether it’s a particular skill, understanding or experience, we want to know that what we give matters to others. Receiving appreciation is merely a confirmation of how we judge our own personal value.
Coming to this understanding has motivated us to take more action in terms of showing our appreciation, so that we can nurture a company culture where people feel seen, respected, and motivated.
Operation Appreciation: Taking Action
To create a ‘Reward and Recognition’ program at TradeCore, our main focus was centered on acknowledging people as individuals with rewards that would be meaningful and thoughtful.
The chief idea we had in mind was to provide as much real value as possible by finding out what we, as TradeCoreans, find most important to feeling appreciated. Following several surveys and internal meetings, we found that having the opportunity to be more vocal about each other’s achievements would be the first step towards better recognition. Going straight to the source was our best resource!
Using our findings, the first initiative we came up with was to create a principle that “everyone can nominate, and everyone can be nominated." Through various channels, employees are now able to give frequent, specific and contextual feedback to their colleagues, and recognize both small or significant achievements. This also includes behaviour that embodies TradeCore's core values and translates into meaningful contributions towards company success.
To reward these actions, we established an award calendar that is spread out on a quarterly and yearly basis, including one-off occasions where exemplary achievements take place, or where length of service is marked within the company.
Through our awards we are recognizing the amazing work our people do, and the dedication it takes to realize our collective goals.
All-Star TradeCore Awards
Rather than have a bland, one-size-fits-all type of award, we wanted to create a selection that would fit each specific type of achievement. So far, we have created the following and may add more as we continue to develop the program:
TradeCore MVPs is a peer to peer award for those who have achieved any type of accomplishment large or small, or have contributed towards promoting our culture. Our dedicated #kudos slack channel allows us to appraise each other on a daily basis. Every quarter, we announce and celebrate our MVPs.
TradeCore ACE EMPLOYEEs are for our unsung heroes who are making things happen behind the scenes by consistently providing high quality, reliable and critical work, developing innovative solutions to business challenges, and breaking down boundaries. With this award, managers have the opportunity to nominate their teammates and celebrate exceptional achievements.
TradeCore CITIZENs is an award for those who foster teamwork by building bridges for TradeCoreans to come together for intellectual or social connections. They are role models who positively influence others in working towards TradeCore's objectives. They are our culture engine driving TradeCore to the moon.
Every year of service is celebrated at TradeCore because every moment of loyalty matters to us! In these times of uncertainty, we want to make sure our Tradecoreans feel appreciated for every single year of their commitment and dedication.
We even have a special award for TradeCore veterans, those with six or more years of service, with whom we would definitely love to "Grow Old Together!" This includes unlimited days off, travel vouchers, and much, much more.
Never Underestimate The Power Of “Thank You”
It usually comes as a surprise to find out that non-cash rewards tend to perform better as incentives. Since Tradecoreans are company ambassadors, we wanted to find a way to support their intrinsic motivation and create a suitable reward for their award.
To do this, we carefully created and chose a system of rewards that are firstly value-based, personalized, and then aligned with achievement. Almost every reward is composed of a non-cash component (such as ‘Flex Friday’ day, unlimited number of days off, branded swag bag, personalized vouchers, e.g. ‘WIM HOF Method’ course, or online credit for gamers) and cash component (e.g. budget for ‘Flex Friday’, one time bonus pay, etc).
We also made sure to separate cash rewards from regular performance appraisals or merit increases, which have a system of their own.
People Are Our Power And Our Strength
What we are ultimately trying to do is to enjoy our time at work more and feel that our contribution is making a difference. We spend a large portion of our day working, possibly almost a third of it. The pandemic crisis has only served to blur those lines even further, making us unsure whether we work from home, or live at work.
However we experience life, we’d like to enjoy it as much as we can and focus on satisfaction, even when trying to meet goals or deadlines. Anything is possible with the right support and input of positive people, which always leads to greater resilience and a higher sense of achievement.
As TradeCoreans, we are committed to recognizing those who are fulfilling our mission.
Join our tribe.