Monthly Archives: October 2012

    • 5 Tips for Great Recognition in the Workplace

      We are in the business of recognition.  We especially love Meaningful Recognition.  We don’t especially love recognition just for the sake of recognition.  But we do know it exists.

      In a 2008 study published by Randstad, employees were asked to identify the employer attributes they value most. The number one attribute was recognition of what the employee brings to the organization.  However most also said their employer did not do this. Employees want to be valued, but they are not ‘feeling it’.

      After working in the recognition industry for 5 years, I have a few thoughts. Here are 5 tips for the Great Recognition, from me.

      What’s important to your employees?  Make sure you are recognizing with something of value for that person.  Recognition that is motivating for me may mean nothing to you. Giving tickets to a sporting event to someone who doesn’t like sports won’t feel like recognition.  In fact, it could do more harm than good.  What is says to that employee is “You don’t know me very well and aren’t interested in taking the time to find out what is important to me.” All recognition, formal and informal, needs to be sincere and specific.  No token, meaningless, one-size-fits-all recognition please. If you need help discovering what’s important to each employee, check out this book The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, by Gary Chapman and Paul White.

      Be consistent.  If you have a service awards program, where you recognize employees for their length of service with your company, don’t miss an anniversary.  This implies indifference.  That you really don’t care how long the employee has been loyal to your company.

      Don’t phone it in.  A large part of the importance of receiving recognition is that it is done in front of peers.  Make sure the recognition you give isn’t incognito.  Don’t do it over the phone and don’t have it delivered.  Make it in person and in front of peers.  Do it at a recognition event if possible. And make sure they have something to put on their desk or wall so others can see it regularly.

      Recognize with something that is meaningful

      Go the extra mile. When recognizing someone, highlight their accomplishments.  Why are they getting recognized?  What have they done? Shout it to everyone, “Sharon has done an amazing job getting the project done on time and within budget. She’s a great leader and an asset to this company.”

      Tie it to what’s important to your company.  Showing how an employee’s great works ties back to the company’s vision, mission and goals is motivating to that employee, and to others. They want to contribute to the company’s vision also.

      I’d love to hear from you.  Share your best tip for great recognition in the workplace here.

      Blessings, Anne

    • Teaching Good Sportsmanship

      At a recent after-school Girl Scout Meeting, the topic being discussed was Sportsmanship.  The girls were earning a badge for their work that day. They were developing their own definition of Sportsmanship, listing 5 Things to Do and 5 Things Not to Do.   They had some great ideas for their things to do list like play your best, don’t argue with the referees, say ‘good game’ to your team and the opposing team.  I was surprised at how many examples of bad sportsmanship they had personally witnessed.  Some in games they were playing in and some in games they were watching. One shared how she saw two coaches yell at each other and resort to fighting.  One shared how she was at a MLS soccer game and the fans were yelling at the players ‘you suck.’  Great lesson there. One of my favorite comments came from a scout whose brother had participated well in a chess match.  Sportsmanship can happen everywhere.

      The next morning, my daughter had a soccer game in her rec league.  They didn’t win, but they played real hard.  And after the game they celebrated the birthday of one of their teammates.  Our coach actually got an email from the coach of the other team. He wasn’t able to be at the game, but his daughter told him that the team they played was really ‘nice’, they played well, showed good sportsmanship and actually shared birthday doughnuts with her team.  Sweet.

      Trophies2Go is a sponsor of the National Alliance for Youth Sports.  NAYS provides some great training for volunteer coaches that can help them teach sportsmanship to their players. You can check them out here  . In their Fall 2012 member publication they have a two-page spread titled Out Of Bounds.  This section includes stories of terrible sportsmanship including a little league mom who received  60 day jail sentence and 5 years of probation after threatening an official when her son didn’t make the travel team. Not a great teaching moment.

      David McDaniels, NAYS Coach of the Year 2011

      NAYS presents a ‘Coach of the Year’ award each year.  You can read about David McDaniels, the 2011 winner here:  Coach McDaniels teaches good sportsmanship and acts as a role model.

      We all need to remember that the lessons learned on the field will transfer over to the real world. The kids we raise, and coach and cheer on from the sidelines will learn their sportsmanship from us.

      Blessing, Anne.

    • Honey Badger Trophy

      Ewww!  What the heck is that?  Why it’s a Honey Badger, the most fearless animal in the animal kingdom.  A pop culture icon, the Honey Badger don’t care, he takes what he wants!  He just eats that cobra!

      Honey Badger Trophy This crazy nasty creature is our 2013 Product of the Year!

      If you don’t know about The Honey Badger, you need a YouTube education!  Check the video out (warning:  This contains R-rated language, not ok for young ears!)

      Now that we have that out of the way, we love Honey Badgers, and decided that we needed a Honey Badger trophy.  We worked with our supplier JDS, and they designed a custom Honey Badger Trophy just for us!  Only available at Trophies2Go, this is our newest and most fun trophy EVER!

      If you know someone who’s a real spitfire and just goes for it, consider awarding them a Honey Badger.  Or if you have a group full of spunk, perpetual-ize your Honey Badger for years of enjoyment and laughs!

      That Honey Badger – what a crazy, nasty critter!  He don’t care!


    • Teacher Appreciation Ideas

      “The dream begins with a teacher who believes in you, who tugs and pushes and leads you to the next plateau, sometimes poking you with a sharp stick called truth.”Dan Rather

      "A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops." Henry Adams.

      Most of us can remember a specific teacher who believed in us, pushed us, or lead us. Really, where would we be without them?  Teachers help us move in the right directions, explore new worlds in a safe environment and introduce us to what our future might look like.  When we are young, they are so special to us and we often form very strong bonds with them.  When we are older we appreciate how amazing they are.  So giving of their time, attention and knowledge for not quite enough in return.  In college we hold them in such high esteem, they are the experts.  We often look back and for the first time realize how much an elementary or high school teacher taught us.  And when we have children of our own, we trust them to do the same for those we hold most dear.

      We show appreciation to our teachers in many ways.  At the elementary school that my kids attended, we had a luncheon for them every year the week before school started.  We volunteered in the classroom helping with the kids or cutting out snowmen shapes or making copies of assignments so the teachers wouldn't have to stay after school.  At holiday time, many of the kids will bring in small gifts of appreciation (including Starbucks gift cards).

      We celebrate National Teacher Appreciation Week the first full week of May.  This normally includes a different activity each day of the week.  One day the kids bring flowers from their gardens or make paper flowers.  One day they write personal notes.  The next might be a breakfast or lunch.  Parents are organized to bring in the food and serve the teachers.  Lattes are brought in one morning and sometimes we even offer free chair massages.  It's all crammed in one week, but they feel pampered that week.

      We can do more though, throughout the year.  Encourage your kids to verbally thank their teachers often.  A teacher's highest reward is being appreciated by his or her students.  They, like all of us, need to know that what they are doing is meaningful to someone else.  That they make a difference.  I'm sure they know that they make a difference 'in general'.  But to be told 'Thank You' for a specific act of assistance really brightens their day.

      I asked my middle school age daughter to help me brainstorm some great gift ideas for teachers to help them feel appreciated.  I was thinking tickets to a concert or play.  She said it would be best to make something personal for them.  A card, a picture, something to put on their desk or hang on the classroom wall.  Something that shows that you spent time thinking about all they do for you and you wanted to do something for them in return.  Smart girl.

      When my daughter left elementary school, she felt nudged to do something for her principal.  (I'm pretty sure they met in his office on her first day of kindergarten, so they had quite a history.)  So she made a card, drew a lovely picture of herself for him, and from her heart wrote about how much she appreciated all he had done for her over the years.  I could tell he liked it.  Later that day when he saw me, he went to get the card out of his office and sat down with me so we could read it together.  It was obvious it touched him.

      How can you thank a teacher today?  How can you tell them you appreciate all they do?  Spend some time thinking about this with your kids, then do it.  You'll be happy you did!

      Nominate your favorite teacher!

      Here are some ways we, here at Issaquah Trophy & Awards, like to recognize our local teachers.

      Macaroni Kid Teacher of the Month.  Recognizing the dedication of teachers in the Snoqualmie Valley, Issaquah and Sammamish areas.  You can nominate your teacher here.

      Star 101.5 Teacher of the Week.  Honors outstanding teachers for their hard work.

      Have fun recognizing the teachers that are so important in your family's life.

      Blessings, Anne

    • Issaquah Trophy Links With Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation

      Issaquah Trophy & Awards has selected the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation as it's 4th quarter Awards for a Cause recipient.

      This foundation was created to support children in need, primarily in three target areas:  children from low socio-economic backgrounds, mentally and/or physically challenged children and children at risk.

      The Foundation affords young individuals the opportunity to realize their potential and achieve their dreams by supporting charities and children’s organizations.  For more information on Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation, visit and make sure to check out their Facebook page

      We have selected a variety of football, soccer and corporate awards as products that will benefit the foundation. Purchase any of these awards during the 4th quarter of 2012 and we will donate a portion to the the Jim Mora Count On Me Family Foundation.

      The recipient for the 3rd quarter of 2012 was Susan G. Komen, 3-Day.

      Blessings, Anne

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