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Recognition on Small Scale: It's Not About Rewards, It's About Team Chemistry...

One of the things that I'm interested in and probably a little jaded about is the topic of recognition.  You see, I've never needed praise to be motivated, so I naturally am a little cynical when it comes to the topic of recognition.  That's not a great fit for a VP of HR, but hey - we all have strengths and weaknesses.

My natural disposition of not needing a lot of recognition makes me especially skeptical of formally celebrating small things that happen daily in an organization.  After all, the feeling goes, if we celebrate EVERYTHING, how can we truly distinguish between the little things and what REALLY matters.  Then I saw the video below at my friend Steve Boese's HR Technology Blog

Watch the video below and then let's talk.  REALLY watch this basketball player (Andrew Bogut of the Milwaukee Bucks) after he makes a free throw:

For those of you that don't know the culture of basketball, it's now common and customary for teammates to come up after a free throw and give the shooter a high/low five before he shoots his second shot.  Being the old school guy I am, I've from time to time moaned that the guys on TV don't need to celebrate everything.

This video puts me in my place.  The small encouragement for a teammate isn't recognition at all.  It's team chemistry.  I'm wrong to have felt the way I did.

Let's look at what Bogut did.  His team (the Bucks) are in the dramatic minority in that the two teammates on the side of the lane did not come up to encourage him after the first shot.  I'm guessing Bogut is used to this, because instead of staying on the line, he comes forward and is either trying to give himself encouragement or is mocking the fact that his teammates won't give him encouragement that has become customary at the college and pro level.  Get with the program, he seems to be saying. Either way, it's bad.

Is there any doubt after viewing that the Bucks are in decline as a team?  If they refuse this level of chemistry, what happens when teamwork and chemistry is really required?

Small recognitions in the day-to-day workplace.  It's not always about recognition, sometimes it's about encouragement and chemistry.  Don't be jaded (like me) and kid yourself that it doesn't matter.



You said, "Is there any doubt after viewing that the Bucks are in decline as a team?" Doesn't that predicate the Bucks were ever on an "incline" as a team this past decade? Otherwise, good points.

Loren Paulsson

I identify with your original feeling. Maybe the key is to know when a "celebration" shows value for a person and when a "celebration" would confuse a person's perception of what's important.

Steve Boese

Nice take on this one Kris, my guess is part of 'The Secret' is being the guy that gives the encouragement and recognition and realizes that wining and losing is made up a hundreds of these little things.

Rick Roasrio

Another strong take Kris. I particularly like this one as I'm from Milwaukee and a life long Bucks fan.....I know, its been pretty bad. (@AkaBruno: no need to kick us while we're down)
Anyway, I feel you're "right on" regarding chemistry, in many cases it's not about the recognition at all. Team members that can rally around each other when times are tough are those that will feel a unified sense of success when things turn around. Steve Boese's point is spot on as well, those "little things" that are done especially while a team is in a funk is what makes a team gel.

fran melmed

i'm no basketball follower, but what strikes me is that this guy's looking for recognition from his peers, while HR primarily debates and tries to drive recognition from managers.



Some time ago, I did need to buy a building for my corporation but I did not have enough cash and could not purchase something. Thank goodness my mother suggested to take the personal loans from banks. Therefore, I acted so and used to be satisfied with my collateral loan.

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