A few nights ago, we attended the Annual Employee Awards Banquet at work. At this banquet, all employees who have been with the company 5, 10, 15, 20 years are recognized as well as employees/leaders of the quarter and then the employee/leader of the year is announced.
Norm and I attended because last November marked 5 years since we started working - ironically our start date was the exact same - November 20, 2003.
So apparently, come to find out, there's this award called the Chairman Award - which is given by - you guessed - the Chairman of the company. So at the dinner, Mr. Reynolds gets up and starts talking about this award, how it's not given regularly and how it hasn't been given in a couple of years. He continues to explain that the award is given to individuals who have shown creative thinking and embraced change (2008 was a great year for change). So then he goes to announce the winners of this award (4 people won) and Norm was one of them!!! It was a very exciting moment - we had no idea that he was going to receive this award. Norm got a nice plaque and a nice check to go along with it.
Norm's creative thinking (one of many) was to change the type of biscuit served at the clubhouses which allowed for a good chunk of savings without compromising the quality of the product.
All this aside, we are very lucky and blessed to work for a company that values their employees as much as our company values theirs. The dinner was excellent, everybody who helped create this event put their best foot forward for us - just regular employees - we were there that night to be thanked for our dedication to the company and this truly showed. In today's economy not many people have the privilege to work in an environment like we work in - yes, things are difficult and money is tight all around - but what a difference it makes when the owners and leaders of companies take time to get to know their employees and genuinely thank them. Wow.