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What’s in a word or two?

Thank you. Two words or eight letters that can make such a difference…

Jeremy GaddWe all know them. Most try hard to recognise a contribution or act of kindness, whether from a team member, a peer or even our boss, by saying them. So what makes these words so important and why are they drummed into us from an early age?

In our culture, and many others, recognition is a key component of successful relationships. Business success is built upon successful relationships and recognition in the work place is essential. Is this also true in an employee owned business?

A leader once told me that ‘the rules around appreciation in a co-owned business are different. After all, the leadership is ultimately accountable to the employees, labour and capital is intrinsically linked, metaphorically if not literally, compared to a ‘conventional’ business, where the labour capital relationship is different. Here, I offer my labour (or skill) and you give me a reward (or salary). A thank you, is an emotional add on that demonstrates you appreciate my labour.’

The protagonist went on to argue ‘in a co-owned business, all share the responsibility and the risk, this is what makes the dynamic so much more productive and rewarding for all. Therefore in a co-owned business the need for recognition from a manager is much less.’

Now I must stress, this was an intellectual discussion and I had seen this leader praise and thank their team on many occasions. However it did leave me thinking are there other ways to recognise great contribution within co-owned businesses compared to a ‘normal business?

One effective way is to publicly recognise a co-owner for a Philip Baxendale award. I have been fortunate to be involved in the process of encouraging nominations for these awards in the past. These are the only annual awards that recognise contributions within the employee ownership space. They are organised by Baxendale, in partnership with Employee Owners Association and are awarded at the Employee Ownership Association’s Annual Conference. This year it is being held on 17 November.

The positive impact on those nominated, let alone those who were successful, is tremendous. Both individuals and teams have a great sense of pride to be involved in the process and have the opportunity to have their stories shared. To have co-owners acknowledge and recognise other co-owner’s achievements is incredibly powerful.

To make your thank you have real impact explore making a nomination. But hurry the nominations close on the 11 September.

If you wish to unlock more in your business, whether employee owned or not, through the power of recognition. I would be delighted to discuss the opportunities and benefits, please check out my website or contact me direct – Jeremy Gadd



Founder and MD of J Gadd Associates. Coaching, advising and supporting businesses achieve their goals.

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