Richard Branson celebrates employees

Richard Branson recently blogged about the Virgin Stars of the Year Awards – and I gotta say it looks like a fun affair :o)

Sir Richard sums up his philosophy in this way:

I have always believed that the way you treat your employees is the way they will treat your customers, and that people flourish if they’re praised.

These are people who have gone above and beyond in their everyday jobs to make a real difference. I was delighted to meet so many interesting and outstanding individuals and reward them for their hard work.

The event is always one of the highlights in the Virgin Group calendar and a chance to highlight what we are doing right and also learn how we can improve in the future.

This is exactly what businesses need more of and it’s a consistent practice of happy workplaces that they celebrate the people who do something extra. We’ve seen this at workplaces like Disney, Souhtwest Airlines, Zappos, Google and many others.

Unfortunately, many workplaces simply don’t notice when people do stellar work. In other words, if you do great work you won’t hear a word but the moment you screw up or don’t perform adequately, you may be punished.

Of course we should fix mistakes and help people who are underperforming in the workplace, but we can learn as much (or more) from our successes victories.

And that’s why celebrating great performance and great people is one of the hallmarks of happy workplaces.

Your take

How does you workplace celebrate great performance or great people? Do you do it at all? What would you say is the ratio between fixing the bad and celebrating the good? What ratio would you prefer?

11 thoughts on “Richard Branson celebrates employees”

  1. My workplace does a little bit of praising every weekly meeting (small company, everyone attends) and after the last trade fair a small price was given to the best three “customer-hunters” ;) that was fun for all, since every price was done with some small inside-joke.

    Sadly I am in IT and we get next to never any praise, but I easily get some flak when a project is taking longer than expected or something isn’t working…

    I would really prefer to get some praise for the mindnumbing grinding I do every day to keep our shitty software system up and runnning. At least we do some peer-praising inside of our IT. The only one getting at least some public praise now and then is the webdesign guy, who creates the “shiny things”, the other two (including me) only do the “under the hood” work which no one ever seems notices, except when something fails…

  2. Sebastian, that sucks :( Can you and the other IT guys make what you do more visible? Maybe assemble a report of what you’ve accomplished every week/month/whatever and get it to the person responsible for handing out praise? It sounds like your supervisors mean well; they just don’t realize what you do for them.

  3. Sebastian:

    Maybe you could propose to your boss an “Uptime” board? Similar to the “20 days without an accident” that would make more visible that you’re NOT having issues? Every week you have record uptime would be a great time for a shout-out.

  4. Sebastion,

    Thank you for bringing this up. Our IT department (three people to manage a company with over 300 employees) is in the midst of preparing for go live on a project in a week. I made it a point today to send them an email thanking them for the hard work they do.

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