Awarding and rewarding – The value of recognising teams

Words by Worx Group Managing Director, Jessica MacRoberts

Anyone who knows me knows that, as both a manager and a person, I’m passionate about people and teams. As a through and through extrovert, I love engaging with my colleagues, and developing relationships with them is one of my favourite parts of my job as Managing Director of Worx Group. Our annual team Breakaway is central to those relationships – by getting out of the office for a few days, interacting with each other in a different setting, and discussing the future of our business, we inevitably come back as a much stronger team.

While so many aspects of the team getaway are important to me, the highlight is undeniably our annual X Awards evening. Here, we take the chance to award those who have taken every opportunity to go the extra mile, who work each and every day to put our clients at the heart of everything that they do, and who show real passion for operating in what we’ve penned the “Worx Group Way”. We love running awards ceremonies for our clients, and always drive the idea  that recognition and awards are an incredibly valuable form of employee engagement – but we walk the talk too. And so,  we work just as hard to make the X Awards a truly wonderful experience each year, just as we would for a client.

However, an award ceremony should never be hosted just for the sake of hosting them, so with our 2017 Breakaway having just taken place, and the X Awards still fresh in our mind, here are our three most important things to remember when giving out company awards.

1. They need to be democratic and peer nominated

We run our awards through a digital survey so that there’s total faith on all sides that the process is completely fair. Also, in previous years, we had separate categories for votes from managers and peers, but as we’ve refined the process we’ve learnt that the value for teams is much greater when everyone’s votes carry the same weight. By giving each employee’s vote the same significance, we believe that we’re strongly backing up our value of being a team driven business.

2. They need to be authentic

Rather than simply mentioning a name, each nomination requires the nominator to share a story that substantiates their vote. This personalises the experience of voting, and also ensures that the team have to really think about their votes, and the awards don’t just turn into a simple popularity contest. Exerts from these stories are then read out when the awards are presented, helping to create a sense of both occasion and recognition.

3. They need to tie in to a broader message and reflect the company values

To be authentic, your awards can’t just be something that is focused on once a year – they need to tie into a deeper purpose or message to be a successful form of employee engagement.

We theme our awards around our company values, ensuring that these values are continuously enforced with our staff members in a meaningful way, and that the teams actively work towards fulfilling them. The values may be being celebrated for on this one night, but they’re  entrenched for the entire year.

This year, it was particularly awesome for us to have one of our newest employees, Thato Selau, win the Opportunity Focused award – just six months after taking up a full-time position with us, illustrating that our team, no matter how new, are really striving to live  our values.

“To me, winning an X Award means I am doing something right. It means that the team recognises and appreciates the effort that I put in, and it also means that I need to work even harder and continue living the Worx Group way,” says Thato.

Congratulations to all of our awesome winners from the evening:

Energetic – Yvonne Mirfin Phelps

Optimistic and Opportunity Focused – Thato Selau

Performance Driven and Proud – Peaches Khumalo

Team Driven – Karabo Sinoamadi

Courageous – Solly Gebashe

Winner of the Worx Group Way award for the most overall votes – Karabo Sinoamadi

Winner of the Worx Group Way award for the most Number 1 votes – Peaches Khumalo