We have a team member of the year award every year. All the staff get the chance to vote on all their colleagues and the person with the lowest score wins, easy.
Although of course it is never that easy, for a start people are worried their scoring will be made public, (it won’t, it is completely confidential) and some just feel awkward having to mark friends and of course many really struggle to put people in order of merit. However amid protestations, complaints, and avoidance we get all the votes in and have a winner. You also have to give your marks on two separate areas, professionalism and commitment. The reason we make everyone mark everyone else is to try and get as wide a field as possible. It is clear that people use different criteria, and that is as it should be, what is important to somebody might not be as so to someone else and so on. In the five years we’ve been doing this I’ve never disagreed with the winner chosen, some years it has been close, some years less so, but so far we’ve never had a tie.
For the third year in a row the winner came from our creative department. That wasn’t the case in the first couple of years when an agency secretary and a junior account assistant won. It is also the third year in a row that a senior member of staff has won it. That pleases me, it tells me the senior people in the agency are communicating well, treating people fairly and leading by example, as it should be, but we all know it’s not always how it is. It also tells me we are all pulling in the same direction, and that we all agree with what that direction is.
This year’s winner was our studio manager Iain Clark. Iain is an industry veteran now, but when some of his peers might be getting cynical or anxiously looking over their shoulder as the next draft of employees seems even younger Iain has shown that experience counts for an awful lot, that it can’t be taught, and that the best way of knowing how to do something is to have done it before.
In many ways Iain epitomises what we want the agency to be, experienced, willing, enthusiastic, skilled, forward looking and the place you turn to when you really need it done.