There is no I in TEAM, but recognizing the I is critical

February 04, 2011

We have all heard the saying, “There is no ‘I’ in ‘Team’”, which encourages us to let go of our individual needs and selfishness in order to focus on the goals of the team or the group. Although team work in a team setting is critical to success, the individuals that make up the team are equally as important. Without the commitment and the effort of each team member working towards the common goal, the team will weaken and the result will be a less productive and less efficient machine.

Your employee recognition programs must not only award team, organization and company success and achievements. It is important that employee recognition programs take into consideration the people, the individuals that make up your team and are the reason for its success.

Individual recognition propels performance and boosts employee morale. In a team environment, it is imperative that there exists a combination of individual employee awards and collective team recognition.

A fine line
Employers and managers need to be careful though. Too much emphasis on individual performance can hinder teamwork and lead to a competitive environment. Yet, only acknowledging the team’s accomplishments can result in the top performers becoming demoralized, particularly if these individuals get the impression that they are leading the team in its success. The solution is to recognize both the team’s performance and the individual contribution while maintaining and encouraging a team environment.

Individual and personal recognition
Individual employee recognition focuses on the reality that employees are individuals. Each one of your employees has his (or her) own personality, skills, strengths and weaknesses. Employee recognition awards need to be personalized and meaningful…think of how you feel every year when your sister gives you a cutting boards for your birthday, when you don’t cook. The same holds true for each employee who is given the company’s “token” recognition gift.

Recognize unique abilities and interests
Nobody is the same and no two individuals will want to be recognized in exactly the same manner. While one employee may love being the centre of attention, another would prefer to receive praise and acknowledgment in a more private setting. To achieve a successful individual employee recognition award, managers must first establish the following for each team member:

  • How can this employee skills and talents best contribute to the success of the team and the organization?
  • What does this employee cherish in terms of recognition?
  • What type of personalized reward would successfully recognize this employee’s distinctive input and role in the organization’s success?

Maintain group recognitions
While seeking to recognize individual contributions to the success of your organization, it is important to continue acknowledging and recognizing the team and group efforts. These types of rewards celebrate group achievements and foster teamwork.

Williams Recognition Ltd. has been creating custom employee award programs that allow you to recognize your employees both as team members and as individuals. At Williams we will not only help you personalize your employee recognition programs, but we will also provide you with an extensive assortment of high quality gifts and awards. Our selection of gifts includes items such as watches, fine jewellery (lapel pins, sales rings), crystal, silver and pewter, cameras and clothing. Contact Williams Recognition.

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