In 2019 our agency decided to launch a core values award program. Our original goal was to recognize two employees – a “rookie” who had been with our agency a year or less and a “veteran”. These awards would be handed out twice a year, once at our annual company anniversary celebration mid-year and at our end-of-year holiday party. The folks that were nominated for and ultimately won the awards could be nominated by anyone in the agency for a demonstration of one or more of our core values:
- Build transparency through trust
- Value everyone’s authentic self
- Support the team through personal accountability
- Care about people as whole individual
- Never stop learning
The hope was that the winners would exhibit multiple if not all of the values over the course of each nomination period. All nominees were presented to the executive team with identifying information removed, and these leaders voted on the winners. Winners were presented with an award, a certificate, and much appreciation from the team.
We were able to conduct our values awards this way only one time before the pandemic hit. As we made our way through 2020 and realized that we would not be having our mid-year company anniversary celebration because of COVID-19, we tried to reimagine how we could keep the spirit of our core values awards program but in a way that fit our new normal of working from home. We also felt that team recognition was even more important in a world turned upside down for people personally, and knowing that those struggles were now inseparable from the workplace, just as much as the actual job was now inseparable from physical home life. In consultation with the Statwax Squad (our culture team) and the value sub-committee of that group, we decided as a company to change our values awards to be given out to one employee each month at our monthly staff meeting. The basics of the program remain the same – employees nominate each other and a winner is selected by the executive team. Each winner is notified during the Zoom call we have for our staff meeting and is presented with a certificate and the chance to select a prize from our internal prize program.
As we rolled out this program, we saw a flood of nominations for colleagues and realized that our people were doing small things every day to help their coworkers that are in line with our values as a company. We know that it can sometimes be harder to uphold core values, especially when work doesn’t look like what you signed up for – whether that is working from home all the time, resources arriving in a different way, or adding/gaining team members all over Zoom. Our executive team was proud to see our people still upholding and in fact promoting our core values in ways we didn’t know but that had a huge impact on their fellow team members.
Our 2020 core values award winners are featured in this post along with some of the things their co-workers shared about them that showed how they live and uphold our core values each day.
2020 Core Values Award Winners
Emmelyn Brandt, Sr. SEM Specialist, Fishers office – “ Emmelyn supports the team through personal accountability. She continues to prove herself as one of the most consistent, trustworthy, accountable team members there, really, could ever be. Emmelyn’s dedication to owning her areas of expertise and being a reliable teammate is a great example to our Statwax team and has helped push our team/agency forward in achieving great results the past year.”
Zack Henry, SEM Team Lead, Dallas office – “Zack has demonstrated a growth and maturity in his role as SEM Team Lead that is an example for all of our team members. He truly cares about each of his team members by teaching, mentoring, and guiding them in addition to getting to know them personally. He is always an active participant in agency activities and actively engages in any opportunity to learn and better himself and his skills personally and professionally. He is a great leader for his team and always eager to take on the next challenge.”
Scott Murff, Sr. SEM Specialist, Fishers office – “Scott embodies our value of never stop learning. Whether it be new tools or strategies, he’s always discovering new opportunities that could benefit our teams. Scott also supports the team through personal accountability as he has been able to adjust and deliver what our clients want/need from us in his own work while also managing and onboarding a new team member in the last few months has been awesome to watch.”
Our goal is to continue this program even when the time comes to return to the office in a more full time capacity. It has been truly fulfilling for the whole team to help each other and to receive recognition for it (though that isn’t the motivation for the aide).