By Mike LaManna — General Manager, Midtown Athletic Club, Bannockburn, IL
As General Manager of a unique athletic club (more resort than club, and more club than gym), it’s not always easy to see what’s going on in every department throughout the day and evening. And yet, it’s my job to help motivate and unite a diverse group of employees, including tennis pros, personal trainers, receptionists, childcare and housekeeping personnel, spa and café staff, and more. I’ve learned, however, that the power of strategic recognition can truly inspire excellence, break down silos, and even increase the kindness factor.
I See You
What does strategic recognition mean? It’s not just a pat on the back or even a thank you. It means really, truly seeing the extra effort and professionalism that employees bring to their jobs every day. It means describing how their behaviors have a positive impact on our members, our associates and our business. We use the Brand Integrity Recognition Platform to ensure that everyone can post and recognize one another. But, however you do it, capturing and sharing success stories is critical.
I’ll give you an example. We recently had a Receptionist receive numerous recognitions. I may never have witnessed how this person continually exemplified “Providing Personal Attention”, (one of our company values) to our members. However, her behavior was recognized on the platform, and as result, several directors and managers took note and we ended up promoting her to our Front Desk Supervisor. She now models and trains the desired behaviors of “Delivering warm welcomes and genuine good-byes” and “Remembering our members’ names and preferences” on a daily basis!
Strategic recognition has also contributed to associates gaining a new appreciation for other associates’ job responsibilities. It’s incredibly stressful trying to ensure all shifts are always covered. Now, when someone from one department covers a shift in a different department, they usually receive a recognition post. It really contributes to the overall teamwork in the club and inspires others to do the same.
It’s Nice to be Nice
Finally, this one may sound corny, but I honestly think many associates are just nicer to each other! They read about other associates, commend them on it or post a comment, and it seems to be contagious. In a business focused on delivering an exceptional member experience, having a kind, thoughtful staff is priceless. It reminds me of a great quote I heard a long time ago:
“It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”
So, don’t hold back on strategically recognizing and sharing the everyday successes occurring in your business. You’ll be amazed at how powerful an impact it can have on your culture.