Friday, July 13, 2012

Lessons from an Intern

Today I learnt a remarkable lesson from an Intern.  He was voted as our Star Performer for the month by the team, the reward being to drive our BMW Z3 for the month and park in the allocated 'Star performer' car park. 

The interesting thing was when we found out he didn't have his licence, he went on to say how pleased he was he was voted the Star Performer.  The smile on his face said it all, he was beaming.  He didn't even know about the prize and didn't care.

The recognition from people he respected to vote him as the 'best in the team' for the month was the reward.  He did not nead the car or the car park. 

We often over-look the power of peer-praise as an important leadership tool which should not be under-estimated.  Some-times acceptance and recognition of a job well done means more than a physical reward.  Its human nature, anyone can get a tangible item, but how hard is it to get an intangiable reward and what does it mean to people.

Creating a culture and the silutation where public praise can be provided peer to peer in front of others is a vital part of building a teams culture.  Interns are brilliant, they are a fresh dose of new ideas, passion and look at the workplace in a different light and often overlooked when looking a cultural change in team environments.