Celebrate good times…and careers…come on!

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That’s one of my favourite feel good songs of all time! It makes me feel happy and often leads to some very bad but extremely enthusiastic dancing! Today though it’s inspired me to share a story about celebrating careers… 

I’ve had a bit of an epiphany since joining O C Tanner two months ago. My previously held beliefs about long-service awards meant some points in my recognition account given to me via an automated email response some time near the anniversary itself. And that was Ok because I didn’t know any different!

Presentation is everything!

This week I’ve been in Salt Lake City completing my training and I had the privilege of being able to watch one of my lovely colleagues celebrate his 25th career anniversary with the company. It made me cry, it was so moving! Colleagues from across the business including our CEO stood up with him and told stories about his contributions over the years. His family were invited along to watch him receive his award including six gorgeous grandchildren! I looked around the room at people’s faces whilst the presentation took place and it was so powerful seeing the impact on everyone there. There was such warmth in the room! This emotional connection can only get you thinking. That night eating dinner with my colleague (who has also just started with the company) there was a pause in the conversation and he started to look pensive and then said to me, “I know this sounds sentimental, but this is the company I want to retire from’. This was the impact it had on him! For me, I was already thinking about what kind of contribution I could make in the next 25 years…I like to plan!

The best nomination and award ever!

I’ve got my dad as inspiration here though. My dad received the best career achievement award possible…not from the company he worked for although they did nominate him, but from the Queen in the form of an MBE. This is a quotation from his nomination… 

“He is a role model for customer care and always places the requirements of others well above his own interests. No-one else does more than Geoff to engage with the public, the residents groups, and the voluntary sector sports clubs, elected members and officer colleagues. He tackles every problem as solvable and carries a smile in the most difficult times to reflect his general good humour. He wholeheartedly believes in providing a first class public service and deals with people as he would wish to be dealt with himself; in short he is the perfect public servant.”

So I’ve got a very inspirational and rather lovely dad to live up to! Although MBE’s cannot be given out to everyone, you can inspire people by recognising their own individual contributions to your organisations success. At O C Tanner, we talk about career achievement, not long-service awards. Just a little re-positioning makes you think about celebration not survival and that’s powerful stuff!

A question… 

How do you celebrate careers within your organisation?