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Cheer Leadership Tip 41 - The MVP (Most Valuable Player)

Set aside one week each quarter, twice a year, or even once annually during a special event (the company conference, picnic or holiday party) and place “MVP comment boxes” around the venue. Instruct your people to fill out “MVP sheets” naming their team players and sharing the reasons for a job well done. These sheets can be randomly selected and read aloud as part of the program, announcing to all what a great job people are doing within the organization. This Cheer Leadership tip isn’t intended to identify a winner, but to acknowledge all who are leaving it on the field. Depending on the size of your team and its interpersonal dynamics, it might be wise to limit how many MVP sheets are read “publicly” about the same employee. See the Resources section for an example of a nomination sheet.

Did you know that recognition from fellow team members at work holds with it an increased level of pride and validation? This acknowledgement from one worker to another not only strengthens the bond as colleagues, it also helps create an overall positive work environment and company culture.

Many organizations have the mindset that monetary rewards like pay raises and bonuses are the most effective way to keep employees engaged and loyal. In fact, one study found that “the notion that high pay leads to high levels of satisfaction is not without debate…. Despite the popular theorizing, results suggest that pay level is only marginally related to satisfaction." So if pay doesn’t affect engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction, what does?

One (often overlooked) factor that can have a positive impact is peer to peer recognition. Whether it’s through a formal program or more casual avenues, encouraging your employees to acknowledge each other’s hard work, accomplishments, milestones, and successes will go a long way in creating a culture of recognition and appreciation. As an added bonus, it also increases employees’ confidence and self-esteem!

This week, I challenge you to brainstorm ways that you can facilitate some form of peer to peer recognition among your team. Perhaps do some research on implementing a formal recognition system or program. A simple Google search will provide a myriad of results and websites like Capterra or Software Advice provide user reviews so you can get first hand feedback. Or maybe you look at the company calendar to see if there is an upcoming event where you can create your own MVP box to gather comments and accolades from those you lead. You could even rally the leaders in other departments or groups and make it a company wide initiative!

FUN FACT: The first MVP awarded in North American sports can be traced back to the early 1900s. A group of sportswriters met after the 1911 baseball season to determine the “most important and useful players to the club and to the league”.


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