Celebrating Outstanding Employees: Why It’s Important and How to Do It Right

Posted by
Hollie Ellison
Senior Marketing Manager, Events
Tuesday, April 26, 2016 - 10:56

We employ some of the biggest A players in the tech world. Recently, LivePerson director of partner success Barry Lamm hosted our second annual Outstanding Employee Awards to celebrate some of the best and the brightest among them.

One thing that differentiates our rewards and recognition program is our peer-nomination process. We do this because colleagues working side by side often have greater insight into each other’s daily operations. Plus, peer-to-peer recognition exemplifies our environment of collaboration and connectivity, augments our in-office yet global culture, and strengthens the bond between individuals.

Yes, employees appreciate top-down recognition, but the peer-to-peer model has proven to be even more meaningful. It creates a greater sense of team spirit and keeps employees motivated and engaged to do their best work — not only for the company but for their coworkers, too. It gives employees a sense of ownership in the process. It’s a high-five from peers...not a pat on the back from management. And it just feels good to know your coworkers appreciate your efforts. For all parties involved, it’s a win-win.

>> Related read: Owner to Owner: An Opportunity to Connect and Grow

To do any awards program well, you need to carefully plan before you execute. Below are four of the most important aspects of creating one that resonates with your employees.

Build a better awards program in four steps.

1. Be transparent. Our Outstanding Employee Awards is a months-long process. We solicit nominations and ask employees for anecdotes about the peers they’re submitting. In turn, we share these stories so everyone can read about their colleagues around the world and get a better sense of who we are collectively. And, for the second year in a row, we received more than 500 nominations (accompanied by rave reviews) from our 1,000+ employees. These stories and outpouring of support help foster the LivePerson community and keep employees invested in its culture and success.

2. Incorporate it into the company culture. Culture, culture, culture! We talk a lot about it here, but that’s because it’s a big part of what makes LivePerson LivePerson. Make sure the categories of your recognition program make sense for your company and values. This year, we crafted our Outstanding Employee Awards to align with our newly concepted success formula. We recognized individuals and groups for their leadership, community involvement, behind-the-scenes action, teamwork, innovation, and core values, and, as always, we celebrated the “LivePerson(s) of the Year.” These buckets cover everything we hold near and dear to us and makes our company who we are today.

3. Recognize talent from recent acquisitions or reorganizations. The people you acquired and the people who made the acquisition work also deserve to be recognized. We recently acquired Contact At Once!, an Atlanta-based company, and, over the past few years, we’ve worked hard to seamlessly unite as one under the same roof.​ Marlene Kassens, Atlanta facilities manager, was nominated multiple times and actually won for LivePerson of the Year. This was greatly due to her efforts bridging the gap between two very different companies  making sure the legacy family felt at home in Atlanta and Contact Act Once! was welcomed into our culture.​ This year, several of our colleagues in Atlanta were nominated by their LivePerson peers. Even if they haven’t been with the organization long, it’s important to appreciate dedication and hard work where it’s due. Remember: Tenure doesn’t always mean value. Sometimes new team members are your greatest assets.

4. Don’t make it all about the money. Everybody likes a little extra cash in their pockets, but money isn’t what motivates your best people to do great work. Experience is king (we’ve said this before). It inspires ambition and action. We send our winner’s circle on a trip that’s unlike anything else. Last year, they went to Mexico, where they connected with one another, stretched themselves outside of their comfort zones, and learned a little more about who they are as individuals. This year, who knows? Stay tuned for more on our winners and their journey.

As you can imagine, choosing the winners from 500+ amazing nominations was no easy task. We are all moved by the hard and meaningful work these individuals and LivePersons everywhere do each day to fulfill our mission, live our values, and make us the company we are. And that’s why we rely on the people in the trenches to elevate those deserving of special recognition. Perhaps Marlene put it best in her acceptance speech: “This is probably one of the best awards you can get — when you’re recognized by your peers.”

Without further ado, here are your 2016 LivePerson Outstanding Employee Award winners!

  • LivePersons of the Year: Marlene Kassens and Dalit Sadeh
  • Outstanding People Leader: Mariam Reza
  • Outstanding Team Player: Seetvun Amir
  • Core Values: Eyal Peleg
  • Behind the Scenes: Andrew Hayes
  • Innovation: Front-End Infrastructure Team
  • Community: LivePerson Tutoring Academy
  • Outstanding Team: Pay-for-Performance Team

Congratulations to all of our winners and nominees! We’re honored to have you on the LivePerson team.

Want more like this? Subscribe to the Connected Customer blog and never miss a post.  

Blog Posts by Category