Can you remember your first real award?

100M breast stroke… cycling proficiency…. A Brownie or Scout badge for successful beans on toast?

(I studied Performing Arts at college and ended up with a DILOMA. The ‘P’ was missing on my certificate!)

Some people will have you believe that awards are just a way of patting fellow associates on the back. A chance to say ‘aren’t we great’ and a breeding ground for sycophancy!

I don’t agree.

If, like me, you love your job and aren’t motivated by money, a little sign of recognition can go a long way.

When I first started in Radio, I worked for a fantastic programmer called Steve Martin and every week, he would host ‘Friday Festivities’! One person would be randomly singled out for a piece of work they’d done that deserved to be highlighted to the rest of the team. It could be anything: a great idea; a creative promo; some amazing on air content; innovative marketing activity etc. We wouldn’t actively submit work for consideration because Steve would just notice what had been happening that week and award a bottle of plonk to a deserving individual.  It was brilliant! We’d end the week on a high and if you were lucky enough to win, you’d be buzzing all weekend! I’ll never forget it.

At GMG Radio, Group PD John Simons would make sure his programmers received a rather nice bottle of Dom Perignon  or an expensive hamper for Christmas – just to say ‘thank you’ – and John Myers would host the BEST Christmas parties EVER! These parties would double up as internal award ceremonies and you could taste the competitiveness between the different radio stations! Winning a GMG Award was akin to winning an Oscar… then we’d dance and drink until the early hours!

But that was a few years ago.

Last weekend, the team at Devaweb, Fun Kids Radio and I were nominated for two awards at the British Podcast Awards for the 2019 Santa Daily podcasts. Unfortunately, we didn’t win but being amongst a high calibre of podcasters from much respected broadcasters and production companies was an amazingly positive feeling! A nomination, at least, is a nod in the right direction and proves that what we created last year was genuinely appreciated!

Now, in 2020, it’s probably even more important to recognise the efforts of your work force. If they’ve not been furloughed, they’ve been working in extremely difficult circumstances. Whether at home or socially distanced in the office, stress levels are higher; anxiety is rife; and we’re saying ‘goodbye’ to work mates far too often. Would it be insensitive to start handing awards out to colleagues when there have been a raft of redundancies recently? Probably. Certainly at the moment. But if you lead a team or you own your own company with a workforce, it might be worth putting some time aside to think about some kind of award in the not too distant future. Yes, I appreciate that losing staff creates an uneasy atmosphere but you still have to consider the welfare of the people that you’re keeping. I’m not suggesting that you spend a fortune on hiring the nearest theatre once all restrictions have been lifted, and then throwing the mother of award ceremonies. No. I merely think a small token of thanks is enough. You don’t have to spend a fortune but do spend a little time to find out what floats an individual’s boat – and buy something appropriate. Whatever you spend, you’ll receive more in terms of loyalty and (potentially) productivity. And don’t forget a certificate of some kind to give the award some longevity!

Give it some thought. A little recognition goes a long way.

So, the award goes to…..YOU, for saying thank you!

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