There’s a Simpson’s episode I love, called “Brother, Can You Spare Two Dimes?” The plot starts: A routine physical exam at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant reveals that Homer Simpson has become infertile after being exposed to radiation. Fearing a lawsuit, plant owner Mr. Burns awards Homer with the “First Annual Montgomery Burns Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Field of Excellence” and a $2,000 prize in exchange for a legal waiver freeing the nuclear plant of all liability. Homer is dazzled by the award and Burns is off the hook. Good work Mr. Burns. Eeeeeexcellent in fact.
Employee recognition is a topic which seems to divide folk. I know people who love to get formal recognition, a certificate and a prize similar to Homer’s, and I know folk who hate it. However it is done, one of the things which sits at the heart of good recognition is a sense of immediacy, and another is authenticity.
With this in mind I want to share a couple of fantastic award categories which have been sent in to me. I’ve made them anonymous, apart from that they are repeated verbatim, in full. These were ‘awarded’ every two months, and the wording on the certificates was always the same.
Significant contribution award
For demonstrating outstanding quality ingenuity or perseverance and maintaining an excellent level of professionalism
For teams displaying initiative through innovation by improving current practices or identifying and solving problems
Monty Burns would be proud of these – how might you feel if you received one?