Reward and recognition rules

A reward can be simply defined as a financial or not-financial award that reflects the recognition to a good performance at work.

Having said that, the road to obtain these rewards is a complex process full of written and non written rules that needs to be known.

These are some of these mistakes and tips you should know when you are looking for being rewarded or recognized.

  1. If you want to be recognized, ask for it. You will not be rewarded if you don’t look for it.
  2. Your performance at work and the consequent rewards have to be aligned. If your performance is great and you are not rewarded, it’s your fault, and your managers will see you as an idiot. You are not pursuing it with the enough attention.
  3. As you are the owner of your professional career, you are the responsible of pursuing the rewards behind this evolution.
  4. You have strategies and plans for your projects, business initiatives… in the same way, define your own 3 horizons vision for your professional career and your strategy with the company you work with. Define milestones.
  5. Companies always talk about employee commitment, what is the commitment of the company with you? what is the commitment of your line and functional manager with you? If you don’t know, ask for it.
  6. There are different type of rewards, understand them.
  7. All companies have a reward strategy and plan. Do you know it?
  8. Everytime your line manager change, you have to ask the basic questions again and look for your position. Do it as soon as possible, because otherwise the reward cycle will be delayed.

Any other one?

Visit Customers, real life

I had a basketball coach that always repeated to us:

One game is equivalent to five training sessions, you guys are more concentrated and pay more attention to all, the productivity you have is huge. The evolution of the players just training is poor, this is not real life.

This was the reason because he was always looking for friendly games with other teams or old players, to put you on real situations.

In my honest opinion he was right.

Now, 20 years later I have remembered these words but in a different environment: IT industry and customers.

When I started to work as developer I visited my customers and this was something usual to do; nothing strange. I work in a back-office and travel to visit my customers on the front office, but no everybody have these opportunities here.

The other day I read this fantastic comic and found that in the office I work there are so many developers that they never have met a customer face to face.

What will happen to them the first time they play their first real game?

Joomla 2.5 Language Switcher

The problem I had was that the language switcher plug-in was not showing the flags. The way to enable that the language switcher plug-in works, I have followed these steps:

1. Enable required plug-ins and modules.

(Extensions -> Plug-in Manager) -> enable : System – Language Filter

(Extensions -> Module manager) -> enable : Language Switcher (and publish it to become visible in front page)

2. For languages to appear in Language Switcher on front page, you must create dummy published menu for EVERY language you want to use.

This is example how to add dummy menu item for English language, so english language will be available as choice in Language Switcher. You should repeat it for every other language you want to add.

2.1 (Menus -> Menu manager -> add new menu) -> Title : menu-en

Menu type : menu-en

– Press Save & Close
2.2- Find your languagemenu in below table and click its name in “title” column.

– Click “New”

Menu Item Type : “Simple Article”

Select Article: I entered the article shown in the front page (in this case the article language has to be english).

Menu Title : menu-en

Status : Published

Default Page : Yes

Language : English

Press Save & Close

2.3 You will See Flag Appear near menu which meant this language will appear now as a choice in Language Switcher.

The art of waiting

You plan things, work hard during months and suddenly after a while an opportunity appears, a train you don’t want to lose. Reach this point you do your bet and then you have to wait, some days, some weeks, some months.

During the decision making process for this deal, that affects personally to you, there are different emotional stages:

  1. Happiness: an euphoric feeling that makes you think: you played hard and smart and now you did the last move. You cannot do more, just wait.
  2. Calm: you cannot do anything, and you start thinking on the next moves for this chess game. You know things require time and you feel comfortable waiting.
  3. Worried: well, you accept to wait for some time, but now you have the feeling that this waiting time is being finished. You start the first sings of frustration and you are not happy with these feelings.
  4. Frustrated: It’s late, the waiting period is gone. something that should be easy has become a problem and you have to react to the situation.
  5. Positive resolution: you jump to happiness and calm, the wait is gone and you walk again.
  6. Negative resolution: Sad, frustration, resignation, a stop in the road, the need to change to a no desired direction but with the enough rage to do it because the present status quo is not valid for you.

Changing the direction of the trend

We finished the year with less revenue than budgeted. These are not good news but the positive evolution in terms of new deals and recently signed contracts is doing the behaviour to be better for this first half of the year than expected (or budgeted if you want).

There are some basic reasons:

  • We are visiting our customer more and just limiting to listen their problems.
  • We are not going to all opportunities. This is being annoying for our customer.
  • We have meetings with people with budget, and take coffee with people with influence; no others.
  • We are talking more risks in the sense of betting for some solutions approach and defending them.
  • Everyone has a list of priorities with must wins.
  • Their problems are our problems.

This is starting, and there will be bad periods during this year; but this is a change in the way to direct the things.

Let’s see how it works.

(Marismas de Puerto Real, Cádiz. Diciembre 2011)

It’s easter, we’re closed

Our Application services are very simple in the way they are organized: critical services and key services. The first category are covered 24×7 and 365 days. The second ones are just 8×5 on working days.

The rule is simple: what service do you want to pay? just pick one.

This year the finance closing period coincides with Easter season and the people supporting key services are at home. I have received an interesting escalation asking why the support is not available Today for the closing period. Funny, isn’t it?

I’m so sorry for the problems that it could generate to you, but we are closed Today. We can have a meeting next week to review if the extra availability requirements you have for these services.

You can make a customer aware that something is important, but they sometimes do no take care. But these senior escalations in the client, where they do not take care about why nobody is available, are really good compelling events.