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Rewards and Exemplars

June 26, 2009

Wow.  What a week!  It’s been a long, long time since I’ve on-boarded anywhere, and I’m feeling it.  It sort of like if you haven’t been to the gym in awhile, you know?  That first work out leaves you sore for days.  In this case, it’s my brain.  Ding, ding, ding…  I’m full.  LOL.  It’s a good feeling though.

The team continues to impress, and I keep finding little nuggets that I love.  Two examples:  Learn gives out reward “tokens” to clients when they act as a reference, refer prospects our way, speak on our behalf, write on our behalf… and on and on.  These tokens can be used as cash to buy services or solutions from us.  How cool is that?

They have a similar program around employee performance.  Learn.com employees who are caught doing outstanding work or who are identified as key contributors by clients can receive cash awards or non-monetary awards like additional time-off.

Needless to say, Learn has really nailed the concept of “rewarding performance.”  The rewards aren’t so big as to become an extrinsic motivator, but they aren’t too small to go unnoticed.  Rewards can be tricky; for most people, they’re not really about money as much as they are about recognition and feeling appreciated.  And for the company, it’s not only about acknowledging and rewarding good people, it’s about identifying exemplars and models of behavior that result in desired performance.

Another nice aspect of the program is that any employee can nominate any other, which brings a nice peer-to-peer, social aspect to the model.  After winning an award, the employee is listed on an internal LearnCenter site (our intranet) so that others can see who won.

This week I suggested that we interview these top performers with a Flip and then post the videos to YouTube.  From there, we can link the videos back into our Facebook site and into our LearnCenter listings.  That way we can share these great folks with the world, and our own internal Learn.com employees can learn more about their ass-kicking colleagues.  Do you know what happened when I suggested this?  They said, “Awesome idea; let’s do it…”  Have I mentioned how much I love it here?

Yeah, so that’s my first week.  Good stuff.  By the way, it turns out that I’m going to be at SHRM next week in New Orleans.   Hopefully, I’ll have an opportunity to live blog or live tweet a session or two.  If anyone wants to connect while there, leave me a comment or hit me up on Twitter: @dwilkinsnh.

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