Recognition is an acknowledgement of achievement. It’s rewarding effort and a form of validation. It’s saying, “thank you,” and it fosters a sense of belonging.
At Abrasive Technology, we believe in The Carrot Principle and utilize several effective forms of recognition:
• Day-to-Day – done frequently and specifically and timely
• Above-and-Beyond – reward achievements that support values
• Career Recognition – acknowledge associate loyalty
• Celebration Events – celebrate important moments that show “we’re in this together.”
We have developed our Champions Program to align with each of the aforementioned forms of recognition. We also have directly tied some Champions initiatives to our company’s values ingrained in our LEADERS program (Learn, Excellence, Appreciate, Dependable, intEgrity, Respect, Safety).
In the Champions Program, our Diamond Awards cards are the most frequently used method of day-to-day recognition, allowing associates to provide positive feedback to colleagues and reward them with small prizes. Nominations allow associates to recognize an individual’s contribution to their team, individual goal achievement, as well as contribution to the organization’s values and goals. Every Abrasive Tech associate can read the Diamond Awards cards on the company’s intranet system, though it’s far more fun to see someone walk up to a colleague, thank him or her for their work, and offer the card as a special token of their appreciation. We’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t like to scratch the card and reveal their prize.
For Above and Beyond recognition, we have created the AT Individual Impact and Team Impact Awards. To be awarded an Impact Award, associates must demonstrate an achievement in alignment with Abrasive Technology values. Nominations for Impact Awards demonstrate how the associate/team positively influences the goals of the organization and/or impacts all components of our AT Values. The Impact Awards culminate with a cross-company committee review of all the submissions, then a vote for the winners. Prizes for Impact Award winners include cash bonuses, activities with the CEO, and recognition throughout our facilities.
We hold an annual appreciation dinner to recognize associates for milestones of service with Abrasive Technology at 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25+ years. Everyone gathers for dinner and a lighthearted “roast” of the year’s newest inductees. Talk around the “water cooler” following the appreciation dinner continues for days. The company also hosts celebration events around Memorial Day, a Summer Picnic, a Fall Tailgate and Winter Holidays, to name a few.
We believe recognizing, celebrating and rewarding our associates fosters a happier and more engaged workplace. And when people are happy, we see improvements in attendance, productivity, and overall morale.