We recently heard about a great informal peer to peer recognition program being used by a company in Mentor, Ohio. This manufacturing facility was looking to encourage employees to catch fellow workers doing extraordinary things and was charged with finding a way recognize these actions.
The program they developed, the NICE CATCH award, started when Human Resources and other company leaders initially saw an employee doing something above and beyond their normal responsibility. The awarded would be presented with a full-size football and a Sharpie marker. The recipient would sign the ball and then it became their responsibility to “catch” fellow employee. When they were able to locate the individual, the football and marker would be passed along for signature and of course, it became the next recipient’s job to locate the next winner.
The program took off very nicely and the business had 8-10 footballs in circulation at any given time. When a ball was covered with names it would be retired to a display case near the door where employees entered the building. In the display case the balls were supported by tees that were signed by the company’s leadership to symbolize the fact that management supports the program and the employees.
The feedback from company leadership has been very positive. They feel they’ve developed a traveling trophy that acts as continual reminder to employees about what the company values and how great catches happen every day!