Accolades: The 3Cs of Team Building

Do we really need awards and accolades to validate our self worth? These days isn’t having a job and decent paycheck enough? Before you answer that, let me tell you that I’m a big believer in awards and accolades. Not just for ourselves, but for our teams and clients. We’re so busy “doing” there’s often no time to look back at our accomplishments, let alone meet our goals by EOD -- if “end of day” even exists anymore.

If you manage ANYONE, I recommend a steady flow of compliments and occasional accolades for a job well done. I encourage a 3Cs policy to strengthen your teams. Don’t wait for the annual review. Compliment, congratulate and celebrate the hard work and success of others.

Here are a few ways you can do this in your everyday life:

1. Compliment- Pull that frontrunner aside and give a positive remark about how much you really appreciate their work or skills. For groups, compliment the entire team at once, bring them out to lunch or surprise them with a special treat the next morning. A great example of one of the nicest compliments I remember receiving went like this. “Wow, this is outstanding!” The person then looked me right in the eye and said, “You’re really one of a kind. I hope your wife and family understand how talented you are. This is amazing.” That little personal touch beyond “outstanding” makes all the difference. Try it.

2. Congratulate- Highlight business success in a more formal manner. Arrange a special meeting to praise the actions of others such as a nice dinner. Also, look for opportunities to publically congratulate and reward success. Is there a regional, national or association award you can enter for your team, your client or even you? For example, GES entered me in the international Stevie Awards (which I never thought I would win). I ended up being honored as the International Business Award’s 2011 Creative Executive of the Year, and my jaw almost dropped to the floor when I found out.

3. Celebrate- This is top tier of the 3Cs. This could be a simple “Surprise WebEx.” This sounds silly, but disguising a business meeting with a quick five to ten minute call where everyone online suddenly praises that person’s or team’s accomplishments. Get creative, the sky’s the limit. Another great example; I remember coordinating an impromptu celebratory event for my hardworking team. We hopped in the car, picked up some sandwiches and drove to a state park nearby. It was 85 degrees and sticky humid, but we ended up eating and hiking up a granite cliff (in dress shoes and work attire may I add) to catch a glimpse of the Boston skyline from the summit. We all ended up dirty, sweat-soaked and tired, but despite it sounding like a celebration gone wrong, we look back and laugh about a truly memorable time together as a team.

Starting today, closely observe the true contributions of others. What are they doing that really makes a difference? It’s more than you might think. How have you celebrated your employees’ accomplishments? Share them with our Facebook fans!

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