Everybody Gets a Trophy

While the phrase, “everybody gets a trophy” has become aligned with a sense of entitlement, or the idea that one person works hard and the rest of the team reaps the benefits, I would argue that this phrase still has some merit. The phrase can apply to our proposal and business development teams. But that doesn’t mean everyone gets the same trophy. It means that every member of the team is seen for their strengths during the proposal effort.

Each role on the proposal team is important, no matter the size or scale of the effort. Your team has worked hard and put in long hours, maybe even sacrificed personal or family time and responsibilities to complete their tasks. Recognize their efforts, accomplishments, and value to your organization. Team members who feel appreciated are more inclined to support subsequent proposal efforts and do so well.

How do we recognize the team?

Hold a victory party (virtual or in-person). It may suit your team best to hold the first—yes, first—victory party immediately after submitting the proposal.

Then, schedule a second victory party if you win the contract. Holding a victory party, win or lose, allows the team to celebrate their personal and team accomplishments, recognizing the hard work each of them put in. During this party, you can reward each team member and thank them for their personal contributions to the team, the effort, and your organization. When team members feel valued, they will produce quality work again.

How do we reward the team?

That’s for each organization to decide and might even be more of a question of company culture. But creating a culture of winning, where everyone feels seen for their efforts, has the power to create more wins, better performing proposal teams, and ultimately more business. An organization where everyone wins.

So it’s not just a participation trophy, it’s personalized according to hard work and achievements. A recognition for a job well done. Everyone on the team serves a role and there are no small parts.

Give everyone a trophy.