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Why The Couch?



[Today’s post is provided by one of our Program Managers – Michelle Ball. We hope you enjoy!]

I was challenged by the question: “are potential clients reflecting much on the ‘why’ when researching for a potential provider for their employee recognition systems?” Why do they need a new program or a retooled program?  Do we need to tell them why they need us?

The first thing that popped in my mind was to give the example of my quest for a new couch.  Lately I’ve been trolling through retail sites and Pinterest like a woman on a mission.  This is a big purchase.  I don’t need to be told why I need a new couch.   I responded to my teammate’s question that once I start researching, my mind is already made up…I just need a new couch.  That’s my “why”… enough said.   So consciously, at this point, I’m only thinking about the “what” and “how.”

After thinking about it more, if the “why” is what drives me to research in the first place, what catches my attention to dig deeper?    What speaks to my “why?” And if my “why” is simply the fact that I need a new couch, any ole’ couch will do.  The “what” and “how” is enough and I can just focus on the dimensions and list of features.  However, what resonates is speaking to something deeper.

I thought more about my “why” and I told you that I was shopping for a new couch because I just need one…period.  Is that the first response of the person or team charged with looking into a recognition provider?   They just need one.  It’s a new year.  The contract with the current provider is about to expire.  Is there something cheaper out there? We need to check that line item off.

So, back to the couch…why do I need a new one?  I am entering a new phase of life.  My old couch represents my old life.  There are even some not so great memories associated with it…i.e. the home it once sat in. My life looks different now and I like how it looks now and want my home to reflect that.  I want color. I want something more vibrant reflecting energy, freshness…new life…hope.  That’s the real “why” driving my decision to purchase a new couch.

Recognition programs provided by most providers have the same basic “frame”, but what kind of “home” (i.e. culture) will it reside in?  What do our clients want it to reflect– Life? Energy? Innovation? Change? Hope?  Does your current program represent a past that is no longer the present reality?  Does it point to where you want to be?

We’re not going to tell you why you need a recognition and reward system.  We will guide and challenge you to dig deep and excavate that deeper “why.”

For more information on finding your why – below is a link to a great TED talk about the “why” by Simon Sinek called How great leaders inspire action.



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3 responses to “Why The Couch?”

  1. Terence Lee says:

    I had the immense pleasure of meeting Michelle Ball last week to discuss recognition, rewards, and the business of recognition and rewards. Great solutions are created, implemented, and supported by great people (like Michelle, Dani, and Lori) and you can see their deep understanding of “why” in what they do. I ask my clients “at what moment did you decide to had to really DO this?” and unless it’s something mandated from elsewhere in the organization, most can pinpoint the moment – a meeting, chance feedback from an employee, etc. That is their moment of Why – their catalytical (ok, that’s not a word) moment to move forward with a recognition program. Hopefully the Why is driven deep enough so that it is supported by passion, commitment, and conviction; otherwise it will be pushed aside with time and shifting priorities. Great post, Michelle!

    • Michelle Ball says:

      Thanks Terry! I like what you call it…a “catalytical moment”. I’ve had many since I’ve started working in this industry over 4 years ago. My biggest one was found in reporting I pulled from a recognition platform I manage for one of our clients. One comment in the feedback section confirmed my understanding of why employee recognition is vital…and why I love what I do. But more about that in a future post.

      • Terence Lee says:

        This is one of those markets where asking the customer “what do you want?” doesn’t work so well. They seek recognition and engagement to have better relationships with their employees, better service for their customers, and all that comes with that – higher profits, higher revenue, etc. There isn’t a single home run to “what makes you go wow”, more like a series of base hits. 🙂