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2013: The Year of WOW!

Wow | Exclamation (also wowed) – Expressing astonishment or admiration: “Wow!” he cried enthusiastically. Noun – A sensational success: Your play’s a wow. Verb – To impress and excite (someone) greatly: they wowed audiences on their recent tour.

At Hughes Marino, our core values aren’t just talk. We live and breathe them every day. That begins with every member of our team making a personal commitment to uphold the core values that we developed together two years ago. In 2013, we decided to take one of our core values – “Deliver excellence in everything we do.” – to a whole new level. What resulted was what we called “the Year of WOW!”

Nik Bandak
WOW card recipient Nik Bandak saved a client’s building from flooding late one Saturday night.

At the beginning of 2013, every team member was given a WOW card to be used to recognize a colleague for not just delivering excellence, but for delivering a WOW experience, whether to one of our clients or to a colleague. Team members would recognize one another by presenting their WOW card at one of our bi-monthly team meetings, explaining how this person had gone above and beyond the call of duty and had created a WOW experience for someone else. While the WOW cards came with a monetary gift affixed, the unanimous feeling amongst our team was that the recognition for their efforts in a company-wide setting was the real reward.

Some of the selfless acts of WOW included abandoning a Saturday date night when a panicked client called with an overflowing toilet at their office and no luck getting a hold of building management or a plumber. What could have been a disastrous flood for the company turned into a very grateful Hughes Marino client, who praised construction manager, Nik Bandak, for dropping everything to help out. Nik even brought his wife, Kelly, along to help, since they were out on a date at the time of the call. The client was truly WOWed by Nik’s responsiveness and quick thinking.

Another WOW recognition came from one of our most senior team members, John Jarvis, who recognized downtown broker, Star Hughes, for being a stellar role model when it comes to our company’s three areas of personal development: Lead, Write and Present. John said he was WOWed by Star, who managed in just one month’s time to co-chair a large charitable fundraiser (“Lead”), publish three articles in local papers (“Write”), and speak at two other events as well as on a local live television interview (“Present”).

Star Hughes
Star Hughes WOWed her colleagues by embodying the HM leadership development mantra of “Lead. Write. Present.”

In lieu of singular awards for “top producer” or “rookie of the year,” presented at a yearly holiday party, each team member had the opportunity to praise another’s efforts in front of the entire team throughout the year. This served to motivate our individual team members, and strengthen the bonds of teamwork that are so vital to our success. In fact, sometimes a WOW card was given to two or three team members at the same time for their amazing dedication and teamwork.

These semi-public shows of appreciation for a job well done created an atmosphere of encouragement amongst all of our team by highlighting the inspiring work of one of our fellow teammates.

The results from the implementation of the WOW program were so extraordinary that we are continuing with the WOW program in 2014, but will be changing it up a bit this year. Instead of giving one WOW card to each team member, we will be giving out five smaller cards, in hopes of more frequently recognizing extraordinary efforts in 2014. If you’re interested in implementing a similar system for your team, feel free to download our WOW card template and adapt it for your own use.

We wish you a very healthy and prosperous New Year filled with WOW experiences!

Shay Hughes is president & COO of Hughes Marino, an award-winning commercial real estate company specializing in tenant representation and building purchases with offices across the nation. Shay writes about business leadership and company culture on her blog, Lead from Within. Contact Shay at 1-844-662-6635 or shay.hughes@hughesmarino.com to learn more.

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