Celebrations and awards not only serve to honor the accomplishments of successful Quality projects and employees, they bolster and endorse the specific actions, behaviors and values that your business is striving to put in place as a Quality culture.
You’re Black Belt or Green Belt has completed their training project, or maybe their fifth business project. The project saved the business $1 million, or maybe $10,000. The project may be a best practice to share with other regions of your organization, or maybe a specific productivity improvement project for your department. Whatever the magnitude of the achievement, the people involved, and the benefit to the business, take time to celebrate the Quality accomplishments.
Everyone realizes the value of goal setting, time management and project management. But few actually take the time to celebrate the successful accomplishments. Some of us hang the carrot at the end of the stick, whether it be a promotion, bonus or handshake — make sure you deliver so the taste doesn’t turn sour to employees.
We are all trying to drive certain behaviors within our business through employees. Here are a few ideas that may help drive Quality projects and the culture within your organizations:
- The compensation of many employees (especially Master Black Belts and Black Belts) is tied to performance of their duties, which includes successful completion of projects. This type of incentivized compensation (i.e. bonus) can vary from 5 to 50% of their yearly salary. It can be linked to reduced defects per million opportunities or yearly dollar savings to the business.
- ‘Quality Hit’ awards are nice to quickly award performance. This may take the form of a meal at a local restaurant, a cash award, or maybe even a few movie rentals at the local video store. Whatever your employees feel is a valuable reward for accomplishing tasks in a timely fashion. How much do you give? Start with determining how much the project is going to save annually and make sure the award is commensurate with the savings.
- Luncheon celebrations with the entire team will not only show the team how important their contributions are, but will also allow them to reminisce about hurdles they overcame and other ‘war stories’ of the project. It’s a great way to bring everyone together in a close environment. Don’t forget to say a few words about their contributions to the business and the importance of the project.
- ‘All employee events’ are a perfect way to showcase projects that may have exceeded the norm or are exemplary of the process or outcomes you are trying to achieve. Use your senior business team to select only the most significant business projects. Highlight them, bring project teams and leaders up to the stage, display their accomplishments and present their behaviors as ones you value in the business. This will go a long way not only for the project team (being recognized), but in all the employees’ minds as something to strive towards.
- Talk it up, Sponsor! Nothing hits home more than an unsolicited congratulatory remark from a co-worker or senior manager within the business. How are they going to find out about a project? — you need talk it up at your staff meetings, with co-workers, any chance you have. If the project has significant business benefit, why not ask your General Manager or CEO to hand write a congratulatory note to the team leader or team? (You may need to draft it for her or him. Be prepared to make the offer.)
Celebrations and awards not only serve to honor the accomplishments of successful Quality projects and employees, they reward and endorse the specific actions, behaviors and values that your business is striving to put in place as a Quality culture. Implement just one of the ideas above and see the results for yourself.