Many companies are finally realizing what sales managers have known all along: Recognition should play an integral part in managing employees. According to the National Association for Employee Recognition, a nonprofit organization based in Naperville, Illinois, 80 percent of poll respondents said their companies plan to do more to recognize staffers in 2005.
Finding creative ways to make recognition more memorable, however, can be a challenge. Sure, it's always great to get a pat on the back in front of the team, but truly exceptional staffers should be recognized on a much higher level. Awards from trade and networking groups could provide the level of recognition these stars-or star managers-deserve. "Most of the people who nominate individuals [for our awards] are going that extra step for the employee," says Rich Marsolais, director and chair of the Marketing and Sales Executives of Detroit's (MSED) awards gala. MSED is a professional organization in southeastern Michigan that honors local frontline sellers and executives for their accomplishments at a black-tie charity fundraiser each May.
"Internal recognition is great, but nothing is better than getting recognized by your peers across several industries," he says.
Carolyn Boccia, president of Krystal Marketing Inc., a promotional-products firm based in Troy, Michigan, received an MSED Platinum Award last year after being nominated by a colleague for her long tenure as a female business owner and her success in growing her business. "I was ecstatic and honored to be recognized by my peers," Boccia says. "I had to give a little speech, and there were a lot of highly professional people in the room." The event was motivating because of the recognition and the ample networking opportunities; Boccia has even joined MSED as the chair for the Platinum Awards this year. "The key to business growth is building...