Recognising and awarding performance: inspiring excellence when we need it most

It’s often that during challenging times, the hardest work, longest hours and extra effort are put into a job, a task or a project. It’s also during these times that great performance needs to be recognised and acknowledge because when the going gets tough, we need our best-performing teams to be at their best, writes Trevor Hill, Head of Audi South Africa.

These dynamically changing times have left many organisations faced with numerous challenges and uncertainty, but it has also reinforced one timeless truth: An organisation is only as good as its people. This notion is more important now than ever. Businesses need to keep employees and teams engaged, motivated and involved, as we all operate in a new world and order.

This holds true for the automotive industry as well. Our Dealerships like many other retail outlets, are operating under new health and safety protocols; altered processes; and, a fundamentally transformed social environment. For our brand to prosper during this unique period, we will require the very best from our people, who are not only the driving force behind our organisation’s success but who are operating under very different personal and professional circumstances than a couple of months ago.

People need to feel acknowledged for the work they do. This makes them feel motivated and empowered to perform at their best, which in turn allows them to share the full extent of their talent and skill for the benefit of the organisation and the broader teams that they form part of. When high performance within a team or an individual is recognised and awarded, this systematically encourages a winning culture within the organisation and lives on as important values and principles behind the brand.

At Audi South Africa, we have found a highly effective programme for recognition and inspiring performance in the Audi Silver Arrow Dealer Awards. These awards stem from a successful motorsport era of the early 1900’s, where the Audi Silver Arrow racing vehicles dominated international racing circuits and thereby represent excellence, personal progress and achievement. These awards represent the pinnacle of performance within the Audi Dealer Network and celebrates outstanding achievements by Audi employees within the areas of Sales, Service, Audi Financial Services and Parts & Accessories.

Employee recognition can take many other forms – there can be tangible rewards or intangible actions. When adopted and invested as a key project for the business, employee recognition is an opportunity to authentically engage, boost morale and future performance.

The Audi Silver Arrow Dealer Awards have become part of the Audi brand’s tradition in South Africa. Although taking a different form this year, the online event was a first-of-its-kind virtual experience for the Audi brand which innovated an awards ceremony and instilled a sense of celebration and comradery throughout the Audi Dealer network. This year a total of 41 awards in 8 categories were awarded in front of an online audience of over 300 attendees.

While the end goal of employee recognition based programmes, like the Silver Arrow Dealer Awards, is to drive personal progress in our people in order to develop high performing teams and ultimately business results, it does an equally good job at building internal brand love. There is no better way to build brand advocates (in your employees), who are not only proud to work for your organisation but who also embody your brand’s passion when interacting with your customer.

With budgets being tightened during these times, I encourage organisations to hold onto tradition and continue to celebrate and recognise excellence in employees and teams. Inspiring excellence amongst people is needed now more than ever.

The equipment, data, information and prices stated in this document refer to the Audi model range and current brand initiatives offered in South Africa, at the time of print and/or upload. Subject to change without notice; errors and omissions excepted.