Recognition Can Make Dreams Come True

Posted November 17th, 2009 by tyanovitch and filed in Recognition
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I was just sent a wonderful blog that came from the Journal of Wawa CEO Howard Stoeckel.  Values Day to Remember  Wawa is a chain of highly specialized convenience stores located over a 5 state area in the upper northeast United States. The company’s first store was opened in 1964 and their core purpose is to “simplify the lives of our customers”. They offer superior quality foods, fresh brewed coffee, gasoline and ATM’s.

Their core values include:
Value people
Delight customers,
Embrace change
Do the right thing
Do things right
Passion for winning

CEO Stoeckel walks the talk to instill these values and shares news and events to all employees through regular blogs. This one in particular is giving recognition to a highly deserving employee by the name of Samantha Eller who was awarded Wawa’s 4th ever Dream Maker award. The recognition was presented to her in front of 150 cheering associates, her parents and family. Yes, it was quite a dream come true as Samantha’s colleagues, friends and family all helped craft the perfect dream package which included a salon and spa trip, new wardrobe and a 5 day Disney cruise!
While extravagant, the CEO says the reward is trivial in comparison to the impact Samantha has had on her fellow employees. Every month, associates submit stories about their co-workers who exemplify the 6 core values. Samantha was selected from among 16,000 employees for her deep compassion and commitment to these values and her colleagues.

 In our chapter on Recognition, we talk about the importance of Recognition to “inculturate” the Service Philosophy and Service Standards into an organization.  Showing employees you appreciate and value the behaviors leads to repetition of the behaviors and they become contagious. Employees participating in acknowledging fellow employees allow their input and lets management free itself from the blame of favoritism that sometimes accompanies recognition that is always chosen by management alone. While wonderful to offer extravagant Dream Maker awards, the key we’ve found is really about the acknowledgement and “presentation” of the award. Simple recognition cards can be just as effective if done properly and sincerely. See example of a Sample Recognition Card