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Anderson’s thirty-five employees are young, technologically savvy, professionals between the ages of 25-45. Most are married with children and, as a group, the staff tries to maintain a fair balance between work, family, and community involvement.
The “Leveraging Excellence” program was designed to motivate positive changes in employee behavior that would improve each employee’s knowledge, increase their performance, and thus, contribute directly to their own success, as well as their organization’s success.
“Leveraging Excellence” acknowledged that excellent performance can be delivered in many ways. Multiple opportunities were created to recognize and award employees for achieving a variety of performance goals. Employees participated in rules-based programs in which they were told what the regulations and expectations were to earn points to redeem awards. The “Focus on Your Goals” program recognized individuals for achieving personal goals for profitable growth, efficiency, and customer satisfaction. The “State Your Case” program gave employees opportunities to earn awards by participating in monthly knowledge-sharing sessions. Employee teams also earned awards for on-time, on-target, and on-budget performance.
The Anderson staff also earned awards through discretionary programs in which they were recognized for outstanding performance based on observations of their peers and managers. The desired behaviors included: ‘collaboration’; ‘out-of-the-box contributions’; ‘process reinforcement’; ‘proactive quality assurance’; and ‘trying something new’. In the “Manager Observation, Spin & Win” program, employees who were recognized as exhibiting one or more of these behaviors by their managers had a chance to go online and spin the wheel for award points. Each employee was allotted three “gift recognitions” each month that could be awarded to fellow workers for helping to meet a deadline, offering a brainstorm solution, or suggesting a positive change in process.
Employees earned points that were redeemed in the customized E-Points online catalog. Critical to the success of the program was the fact that the merchandise and travel awards were carefully chosen to appeal to the target audience. One employee planned to outfit her family’s vacation home with awards from the E-points catalog.
Also critical to the success of “Leveraging Excellence” was the fact that the award recipients were recognized with personalized certificates and their accomplishments were announced at staff meetings and two award ceremonies held semi-annually.