“Trust men and they will be true to you; treat them greatly, and they will show themselves great.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
There has been some great discussion in our forum over the past couple of months in regards to who should be entitled to bonuses or rewards in civil engineering firms. Most of the time the accolades are given to the Project or Program Manager who saw a project from start-to-finish and who came in under budget and who got along well with the client. Often the recognition is given to the VP or Department Manager who presented the proposal to the client, who took them out for drinks or a few rounds of golf all in order to get the contract signed in the first place. If you have ever fallen into either of those categories, congratulations, job well done, you certainly deserved whatever recognition you received. I do offer to you though this small, but very crucial bit of advice:
Don’t forget to give “props” to all the people behind the scenes or in the trenches, who without, you could not succeed.
These are the folks that I am talking about:
The Switchboard Operator who hand writes your messages because you prefer not to retrieve messages from voicemail.
The Administrative Assistant who carefully screens your calls to redirect or eliminate any nonsensical distractions, who runs your errands, who makes your copies and who screens your emails.
The Permit Specialist who hustles back and forth and back and forth to the different agencies for signatures and who builds relationships with the right people so maybe the process can move along more swiftly.
The Computer Wizard who recovers all your data when it “magically” disappears, who makes sure information on the server is secure, who evaluates software and makes recommendations on the latest and greatest technology which keeps your firm’s technology ahead of the curve, or at least on it.
The Graphics Guru who is a Photoshop GENIUS that makes your presentation materials come out golden.
The Human Resources Staff that recruits, interviews, weeds through irrelevant resumes, handles disgruntled employees, solves personnel problems, evaluates benefits and answers all of your spouse’s questions in regards to the health insurance.
The Marketing Team who has been schooled on the psychology of successful marketing psychology and who has taken the time to coach you on your marketing skills…after all, you are an engineer :)
The Niche Engineering Experts who will likely be pigeon-holed for many years in the area of hydrology & hydraulics or traffic signalization, but who are an integral part of you pulling everything together.
Members of the Survey Crew who are busting their butt in 95 degree heat and 90% humidity with no shade.
The Technical Writers who polish up your proposals and know just the right words to put in your company marketing material.
The Design/Project Engineers and CAD Specialists who work 10-12 hour days in the trenches on your projects to make sure the strict deadlines are met.
Make sure you give these teammates of yours their “props.” Take them out for lunch, give them a gift certificate, share your bonus with them and give them some cold hard cash, give them a card with a hand written note. Even a handshake or a pat on the back while thanking them verbally and letting them know how much you appreciate their effort can go a very long way.
I am sure there are other experts behind the scene that I have failed to mention – if so, PLEASE let us know!
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