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Fuzzy Feedback: Award Recognizes Employee Efforts

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Fuzzy Feedback: Award Recognizes Employee Efforts

At Mosby Building Arts, in St. Louis, managers use a company award—and polar bear totem—to reinforce the good stuff

By By Sal Alfano June 28, 2016
Ryan Boehm of Mosby Building Arts, in St, Louis, winner of the company's ICART award.
Ryan Boehm of Mosby Building Arts, in St, Louis, winner of the company's ICART award.
This article first appeared in the June 2016 issue of Pro Remodeler.

At St. Louis-based Mosby Building Arts, feedback is an important management tool. With more than 100 employees, managers need to provide regular feedback, whether positive or negative. That said, negative feedback—or what chief operating officer Mark McClanahan calls “corrective feedback”—is next to useless without positive feedback. 

“Imagine a coach watching an athlete practice,” McClanahan suggests, “but without saying anything. The athlete’s chance of improving is significantly impaired. The same principle applies to manager-employee relationships.”

One of the tools Mosby managers use for positive reinforcement is called the “ICART Award.” ICART is an acronym for the company’s core values: Integrity, Commitment to excellence, Accountability, Respect, and Teamwork. Any team member can award another team member the ICART Award, and the recipient receives a totem—a stuffed polar bear wearing an ICART T-shirt—and a written certificate explaining exactly why he or she received recognition. The award winner is photographed with the totem, and the photo is displayed on an office wall (see award poster, below) and included in the company’s monthly newsletter.

“This kind of feedback has a lasting effect,” McClanahan says. “Company culture blossoms and work results improve.”

And with positive feedback so abundant and visible, employees are more open to hearing corrective feedback. 

Ryan Boehm ICART award certificate

written by

Sal Alfano

Executive Editor

Sal Alfano is executive editor for Professional Remodelersal.alfano@gmail.com, 202.365.9070

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