Awards and rewards, the best way to recognise a team performance and reward a group of staff for outstanding effort, or is it?

I recently presented an award at the inaugural Centre of Excellence (COFE) awards for business intelligence and what if analysis, a great award title, and the team that won were ecstatic, motivated and ready to innovate further to improve the health care capability of their area, but it did get me thinking, what about those that didn’t win. There were lots of entries in this category and it is not ‘fashionable’ to give everyone a prize anymore so a question struck me, how do we try to maintain the enthusiasm and sheer will power of this kind of talent.

On a micro level we can do this. The Informatics directorate in my organisation try very hard to recognise individual and team effort and provide work related rewards, after all this is the pubic sector not banking! What sort of rewards can we provide though, well the service management team have achieved some complex and difficult milestones in the last six months, reducing a back log of issues raised with one of our systems to zero and then successful outsourcing the support of the same system, this was no mean feat. So the reward for the team, funding and permission for the team to attend the ITsmf together as a team and the time to enjoy the social side of this as well the learning side.

Rewarding staff for effort is really important to me sometimes that can be when something has not been as successful an outcome as the member of staff wanted. Applying for an internal role is a daunting task, if you are not successful and its an internal role a stigma can be attached, however if the applicant has performed outstandingly and has just missed out or you can see the real potential for the next role I have a rule of thumb of trying to reward the effort in this through access to training and development, and the kind that will stretch the team member a little further than they would have perhaps gone for themselves and therefore give them the opportunity to think about how next time the outcome could be different.

“Great employees are not mercenaries,” said Dr. Richard Chang, CEO of Richard Chang Associates Inc., a performance-improvement consultancy. “They don’t just want to enjoy their work, they want to be passionate about it …”.  Rewards come in all shapes and sizes, we are trying hard to ensure that rewards are something that increases the passion that a team has for a subject.

We are a lucky organisation, today we can point to areas we are innovative in, success we have had in putting information systems in place has ensured that we are starting to be able to reward the whole organisation through the development and implementation of new systems that are able to change the way clinical research is delivered in England, truly a great reward.