Celebrating unsung heroes at an awards ceremony last week reminded me just how important it is for businesses to recognise their employees when the time is right. The joy and delight on winners’ faces made this an unbelievably heart-warming event to be involved in.

Last week’s ceremony in Hong Kong was the culmination of six months’ hard work by theblueballroom on a Rewards & Recognition campaign for global airline, Cathay Pacific.

It encouraged employees to go online to nominate both customer-facing and behind-the-scenes colleagues for going above and beyond to help others.

Each nominee had their story published on Cathay Pacific’s website for all to read. More than 2,600 of these stories featured on what is called the ‘Recognition Wall’, showcasing true excellence, compassion and perseverance.

The nominees displayed quick-thinking, skill and courage – in some cases, literally saving lives. Vulnerable customers facing a crisis in a foreign country were helped with amazing kindness and compassion. Personal holidays put on hold, nights without sleep, and hours spent helping sick customers are just some of the inspiring stories. Then, there are stories that are less dramatic but equally impressive. Stories of exceptional people working hard every day – innovating, pushing for improvement, inspiring teams, introducing new systems, and getting new aircraft into service.

Choosing 20 winners was a particularly difficult job, but the most important thing was that so many stories had been shared and celebrated in the first place!

It’s essential in every workplace to acknowledge colleagues, and make them feel valued, appreciated and special. I always feel that a little of this goes a long way in getting the best out of people and in the words of Harry Truman: “It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.”