2014 was an exciting year for all of us at Dittman and for me personally. I thrive on variety, and I'm always looking for something new to think about. So last year, in addition to expanding my regular role in Marketing and Engagement, I also helped out a colleague who was on leave in Travel during the most intense fall program schedule we’ve ever experienced. (Don’t worry. . . they wouldn’t leave Travel programs to the amateurs. For many years, I managed incentive travel programs before taking my current role).
Our days are typically quite busy, so taking on a good part of a second job was a challenge. But Travel deadlines wait for no one, so I put in extra hours, asked for help when I needed it, and reassessed my priorities every day. And with a little bit of juggling and a great deal of teamwork, somehow everything got done, and the programs went off flawlessly. It was quite an accomplishment for everyone on the team.
At the end of the year, I was honored to receive the company Director’s Award. I’ve received recognition before, of course. After all, I do work for a company that specializes in employee engagement and recognition… But this particular accolade meant a great deal to me for several reasons:
Extra Effort Is Valued
Sometimes in life, you can feel like a gerbil on a wheel . . . running for all you're worth, but not getting anywhere. That was not the case for me. The team and I were certainly working hard, but others within our organization, including our company’s most senior leaders, were consistently supportive and made it clear that the extra effort was valued and appreciated.
Part of a Bigger Picture
The Director's Award is for the company director or vice president who has modeled our company values throughout the year. I’d like to think that I live our company values every day. They are in line with my personal values – Collaboration, Accountability, Respect, Ethical Behavior, and Service (CARES - an appropriate acronym, because we do care).
Providing impeccable service to both our internal and external clients really matters to me and I knew that by digging in and getting it all done, my colleagues and I were living up to those values both within the company and working with our clients on their programs.
Share the Reward
My family contributed to my efforts. The extra time I was in the office sometimes meant I was missing a meal at home or had to ask someone to help me with school pick-up. It also meant less time with my daughter.
But with recognition, came reward. As a result, I’ll be able to take my daughter to Costa Rica for a mother/daughter trip. We’ve been looking forward to it for weeks! It has been on our wish list (monkeys, sloths, and volcanoes are pretty exciting, after all!), and this reward will make it possible.
It means the world to me to be able to share this success with her, doing something that she’s always wanted to do. So, I’ll be zip-lining through the canopy, grateful for the opportunity, and glad to work in an environment where I know I’m on the right track, and my efforts are valued every day. I'll be happier still to have the gift of one-on-one time with my daughter and that she'll be having the time of her life.