The Workday Diaries: Associate Recognition
It's a sunny Friday and I'm walking out of Shure HQ at 11:30 in the morning. No, I'm not taking an early lunch, nor am I sneaking away to get an early start to my weekend; I'm going to my first Service Awards Luncheon. For every five year milestone, Associates attend an annual lunch to celebrate with their peers, executive staff, and "elder statesmen" of the Company.
A History of Recognition
Since the founding of the company, Mr. and Mrs. Shure recognized that employee longevity was an important indicator of how well the company was being run. Associates don't stick around if they aren't being treated properly and Mr. Shure wanted to ensure that the company was a great place to work. He considered his Associates to be the greatest asset to the company.
There are several programs that Mr. Shure started with the intent to reward loyalty which we continue to uphold today. Each year, associates are awarded service pins on the anniversary of their start date. These are usually passed out with great fanfare and supervisors will try to gather as many friends and colleagues to surround the Associate with applause and appreciation. Handshakes and hugs are shared once the pin has been presented. In our open atrium building, it's a common occurrence to hear applause from a floor away and know another fellow employee is being recognized.
"Getting a yearly service pin is a time-honored tradition at Shure," shares Melanie Koskamp, Engineering Project Manager. "I wonder how many companies do this anymore. My growing collection has taken on special meaning; it's a small token of thanks for service to the company, and recognition of longevity."
Shure also empowers Associates to recognize our fellow colleagues for a job well done. Instant Peer Recognitions, or IPRs as we refer to them, are a quick and easy way to say "thank you" to someone for helping out with a project, coming through in a pinch, or even just being a positive influence around the office. For those Associates that really go above and beyond, we can nominate them for our Associate of the Month Award. The distinction is coveted, not only for the title but for the accompanying banner posted at your desk and reserved parking spot close to the door.
I arrive at the restaurant for the Service Awards Luncheon and head down to the private dining room. We congregate and have drinks while reflecting on our time at the company, however long or short. Many people, even with over a decade of service, remark that it all seems to go by so fast and that they can clearly remember what it was like when they started. There are stories about the old building in Evanston, lunchtime concert antics from years ago, in addition to remembrances of past executives, including Mrs. Shure.
After drinks, we share a delicious lunch and then the executive staff presents the awards. This year 110 Associates were honored, with 3 people celebrating an impressive 45 years of service! Each honoree is given a special keepsake - the women are given charms and the men pins - with a special icon denoting which anniversary you are celebrating. I was delighted to find that the five-year charm represents one of the most iconic Shure products, a 556S Unidyne Microphone.
In their own words
During the luncheon, I took the time to ask several of my fellow honorees what the Service Awards Luncheon means to them. Here's what they had to say:
"The Service Awards Luncheon is a great chance to step away from the normal day-to-day busyness to relax and celebrate with your fellow associates. I'm inspired by seeing all of the associates that have been here for decades, and it's very special to hear their stories and see the comradery that they've developed."
- Reggie Weece, Senior Mechanical Engineer, celebrating 5 years
"The Service Awards Luncheon is a great way for Shure to recognize and honor the commitment and service of associates. We are all so busy, but it is always nice to take the time and say thank you."
- Charles VanHoy, Associate Director of Engineering Project Management, celebrating 10 years
"The luncheon is just another fantastic reminder of just how much the company values its associates. This year will be the first one for me where Mrs. Shure won't be in attendance. Though somewhat sad, I know that she would be proud that this important tradition continues. It's her and Mr. Shure's legacy that lives on through all our associate recognition programs."
- Gino Sigismondi, Associate Director of Training and Product Technical Support, celebrating 20 years
"As a longtime associate, I always look forward to the Shure Service Award luncheon. It is very nice to be recognized for your service to the Company in such a formal and lovely way. Human Resources and the executive staff do a great job of making associates feel appreciated, whether you are celebrating 5 years or 40. This award luncheon is special and enjoyable, and it makes me feel proud to work at Shure!"
- Davida Rochman, Public Relations Manager, celebrating 38 years