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Staff development is important… so much so that we created an award for it

October 24, 2014 Blog 1 min read

Back in June, I wrote a short blog about metrics and making sure that we’re measuring the right things—those that can effect positive change versus those that may inadvertently promote undesired behaviors (the law of unintended consequences). We approach awards at Plante Moran similarly. We don’t give out a lot of them, but when we do, we make sure they’re honoring what’s really important at our firm.

Until recently, we had awards for team spirit and suggestion of the year. All are handed out at our annual Firm Conference. In June, however, we introduced a new award: the Bill Hermann Staff Development Award.

Staff development is a critical component of our culture. People succeed at the firm because they learn from those who came before them. We’re very intentional about mentoring and developing staff to be successful both at Plante Moran and out in the community. Our partners and staff are even rewarded for their staff development efforts. It was only natural, then, that we developed an award honoring those who so selflessly give their time and talent to help others succeed.

Anyone who’s ever worked with former Managing Partner Bill Hermann knows that he excels at staff development. He’s been a mentor—formally and informally—and helped develop so many PMers to associate and partner over the years. So what makes him so good at it?

Lots of things. He cares. He’s always impeccably prepared. He’s deliberate in his intent. And he’s creative. He’ll go into what I affectionately call the “Bill Hermann trance” where he just delivers idea after idea after idea—and you don’t interrupt him! You just keep taking notes.

Of course, in a firm as large as ours, Bill isn’t the only best-in-class staff developer we have, hence the award. We don’t have a lot of awards at Plante Moran, but I’m proud to add this one to the bunch. In fact, I’m surprised we didn’t think of it sooner!

What about you? What kinds of awards do you give out at your organization? What are some specific ways you recognize behaviors that are critical to maintaining your values?

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