The baseball hall of fame honors greatness. Whether it’s 300 pitching wins or 500 career homeruns, entry into this exclusive club of heroes is sought by many, yet obtained by few. Those gaining admission must jump several hurdles, including recognition by a vast majority of journalists devoted to following America’s pastime. 

Though many factors are considered for admission, the common denominator to earning a golden ticket to Cooperstown remains on-field performance and statistics — or, “the numbers.” Only the best of the best are considered. And, while execution on the field is the most notable way to get in the door, foul character and poor personal decisions also factor in (See: Roger Clemens, Barry Bonds, Sammy Sosa, etc.).

Honoring Your Employees

Without a doubt, your employees are your greatest asset. With that in mind, are you giving them the recognition they deserve?

In a previous life, I worked as a community newspaperman. The staff consisted of about 10 reporters and six salesmen covering different regions. Within our break room was a giant white board split into a tracking table. Each reporter was given a row, with columns representing weeks and months. The board tracked the number of weekly stories written/posted online, and the number of clicks each webpage (region) garnered. The most-read story for each region was highlighted as well. This open transparency allowed each individual to see how he or she fared among his or her peers. Once a month, the lead “horse” would share tips on how he or she leveraged SEO keywords, topics, coverage, etc. to attract the attention of the community.

This concept was also utilized by the sales staff. Each dollar of ad space sold was tracked and shared with the entire company. No more guessing which salesperson performed the best. Salaries were no longer invisible as compensation closely followed performance — “the numbers.”

The company would then average performance on a cumulative and monthly scale and reward an “employee of the month,” complete with spiffs and recognition on a plaque.

And guess what? It worked. Each reporter and salesperson strived to achieve. Everyone wants to be the best; no one wants to be last. Have you considered this approach for your business? Could such transparency motivate your crew?

Hall of Fame

Have you considered creating your own version of Coopers-town? Such an honor would recognize commitment, performance, achievement, longevity, etc. Perhaps one employee could be “elected” in on an annual basis, based on a vote of all staff members. Much like MLB’s version, you could set parameters such as years of experience, minimum installations, upsell achievements, etc.

Many companies are already doing something similar. Cool Check Air Conditioning Ltd., Toronto, hands out Faithful Service Awards and grants an Award of Merit, which includes a cruise for an employee and a spouse. Along with service awards, Cool Check rewards employees with pay raises according to their union advancement, and contributions to retirement savings plans based on various factors.

Manufacturers such as Trane and Carrier have their own Hall of Fame honors, and The NEWS offers its own versions, as well, through its “Best Contractor to Work For” contest, Best Instructor and Best Trainer awards, and NEWSMakers accolades.

In today’s era of tight labor and increasing compensation costs, companies must develop ways to retain employees. Perhaps it’s time to give the best of the best wearing your uniform the recognition they deserve.

Publication date: 8/4/2014 

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