Recognition matters – Ask the Invictus Games competitors

I-am-the-Master-of-My-Fate-INVICTUS-GAMES-2016

This blog was written a few years ago during a previous Invictus games, however watching the introduction program last night, hearing the stories and accomplishments of the incredible participants reminded me that the message contained in this is still relevant.

Whilst watching the closing ceremony of the #Invictusgames where Prince Harry handed every competitor an Invictus foundation medal something caught my eye.
As the camera panned across the crowd it focused on a heavy set, highly tattooed serviceman with no gold, silver or bronze around his neck, he was holding the medal Harry had just given him like a new born child.  As the tears streamed down his face you could see it meant everything to him.
It struck me how important it was for him to have been recognised for taking part in the games and what it represented for him.

This lead me to reflect on how we recognise our own #teams. Too many times I am told that people only want money, they don’t want medals, stars or badges.
I disagree, that image said everything.
Our teams want to be recognised for their participation and the blood, sweat and tears they have invested in their achievement, whether it is years of service, exceeding expectations or excelling in a particular area of the job.
Yes money is important however according to a recent study by psychology today, 70% said that the most important form of recognition had no monetary value. Daniel Pink came to the same conclusion in his book Drive.

Since the rise of social media, forms of material recognition have taken on a new significance. I recently attended a presentation about social media at the Master Innholders conference where they described how people now post to #Instagram, #Facebook, #Snapchat and #Twitter as a form of bragging rights; they use it post photos showing awards and letters of recognition.
Never under estimate the power of giving your team a certificate or some form of visual and tactile #recognition.

Chewton Glen give their team members the golden duck award, it is highly coveted and only presented for exceptional service. It encourages the team to be even better, raise the standards across the business and contribute to the success of the hotel. It is no surprise therefore that the standards at Chewton Glen far surpass it’s competitors. I am sure the quality of the leadership and the learning contribute to this, however recognition plays a huge part.

Principal hotels spend time catching people doing it right and recognise those that show excellence in living the values. The result is that these values have become part of their culture and are the foundation from which their cohesive, engaged and successful teams are building a chain of iconic hotels that are fast becoming THE place to stay and work.

The Trafalgar St James’ team are given a golden ticket contained within the wrapping of a wondrous chocolate bar to use for whichever reward they wish up to a certain amount, from Gin experiences to weekly travel cards encouraging the team to want to be the best and ensuring the guest experience is truly wondrous.

How do you recognise your team?
Our teams may not have had to overcome the challenges that the Invictus servicemen & women have had to endure but that should not negate the effort and will power it has taken them to reach the heights they have done or the contribution they have made to our business.

Why not review your recognition strategy, perhaps one of your team will quietly stand in a corner admiring the symbol of your appreciation and say to themselves, I did it, they noticed, I can do even more.

Why not send your management and supervisors on bootcamp – Inspiring learning in 90 minutes. This month they can develop their #emotionalintelligence and #mentoring skills. We still have a few places left for Monday 22nd in central London.

Mary Jane Flanagan
Creative Director and Founder
mjinspire Ltd

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