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January 30, 2017

Awards, Rewards and Recognition

Keith Jackson

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It's the change from one season to the next. Christmas trees have been taken down, twinkling lights no longer adorn suburban homes, the last of the turkey has finally been used up... We're now into Awards Season!

And this new season is still one for giving.  Here in the U.K., we've had the traditional New Year debate about the merits of the honors system.

Many people applaud royal recognition of those who have devoted years to public service, or who have championed good causes in their local communities. And an equal number criticize honors as undeserved "gongs" for "establishment cronies."

The worlds of literature, theater, movies, and TV will also be rolling out the red carpet as Golden Globes, Oscars, BAFTAs, and the like are handed to tearful recipients in tuxedos and "posh frocks."

But glittering award ceremonies are not solely the preserve of celebrities. Almost every industry or trade, and even individual organizations, have their own accolades.

No matter what your job is, chances are you can find a regional or national award scheme to recognize excellence in that role.

A bit of a confession here. Many moons ago, as a young and keen newspaper journalist, I sometimes (OK, quite often!) had half an eye on the career-boosting likelihood of an award. I’d be working on a cracking story and think, "If this doesn’t put me in the running for Reporter of the Year, I’ll eat my hat!" I ate a lot of hats. But, happily, I did add a few laurels to my resumé over the years.

Awards Offer a Valuable Advantage

Chasing a few gongs wasn’t just vanity or a desperate need for recognition or validation. It was both a motivational exercise and a career move.

If you're trying to stand out or make your mark in a highly competitive job market, then having industry-recognized awards to your name could give you a valuable advantage. It also doesn't hurt when it comes to salary review time with your employer.

For many people, the work they do is its own reward. They are the lucky ones who have found real personal value in their jobs. If your job is also your "calling," then chances are rewards and recognition are less important to you.

I don't know many nurses, teachers, carers, or charity workers who do it for the recognition. In fact, to my mind, even the salaries that they get seem scant reward for the pressures and stress that they endure.

Rewards don't need to be engraved crystal ornaments or silver-plated trophies. There are ways for leaders and managers to show their appreciation of hard-working or high-achieving team members. As our article, Rewarding Your Team, explains, it can be anything from a sincere "thank you" to a bonus day off or a team lunch on the company tab.

If you think that your good work goes unnoticed and unappreciated, there are ways you can bring it to your boss’s attention without coming across as boastful. Our article, Get the Recognition You Deserve, can help you to do this.

Does the prospect of awards and recognition motivate you to perform better? Share your comment in the box, below.

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2 comments on “Awards, Rewards and Recognition”

  1. The value of any actual award pales in comparison to the joy of feeling, "Hey, they notice me and appreciate my contribution!" Good timing for this reminder at the start of the new year. Thanks.

    1. Great point Bruce about the feelings we get when what we do get noticed and appreciated! We can recall those feelings with great pride that we have been seen.

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Managers and leaders have been using Mind Tools for over 25 years

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Find out more

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