I’m passionate about our core values as a business. They’re much more than a poster on the wall for us. We talk about them regularly, hire based on them, even look for clients and partners that exemplify them.
We have for years had an employee recognition award based not on performance but based on adherence to those values. In the past, each month we would select a team member to win what became referred to as “The Heinzie”, which was (and still is) a plush Heinz ketchup doll with a face and stubby arms and legs.
I loved this award, but didn’t like that we were only recognizing one person each month. There are examples of our values being performed on a regular basis throughout the company, and I wanted something that would let us better celebrate that more frequently.
This line of thinking coincided with the start of last fall’s college football season which made me think about….helmet stickers.
If you’re not familiar, many college football teams award mascot or logo-related stickers to players after each game. Some are for great performances, some are for being great teammates, working hard during the practice week, etc. Towards the end of the year, you’ll see helmets filled with these stickers.
So that’s basically what we did. Every Heinz Marketing employee now has a full-sized, authentic football helmet with our logo on each side. And each time we have a team meeting, we dole out helmet stickers featuring the now-retired Heinzie.
Sometimes people get no stickers, sometimes they get one, sometimes they get three. I’m less interested in making it “even” and more interested in being generous and liberal in recognizing exhibits of our values in real life more often.
When a client recognizes how well we are serving as a partner to their team (vs. simply an agency), that’s helmet sticker material.
When a team member goes out of their way to help another without expecting anything in return, that’s helmet sticker material.
When my assistant gets a voicemail from a caterer in South Carolina trying to place a ketchup order (true story) and then not only calls him back but finds the right phone number with Heinz for him to place his order, that’s just awesome and helmet sticker material.
So as you can tell from the photo below, we’re having fun with this and I love the physical reminder that sits on everyone’s desk every day.