Challenge Coins in Contemporary Times

Military | Posted by Frank Smith
Jan 05 2015

Some people doubt the authenticity of the challenge coin’s traditions, origins, and purposes. Quite frankly, that’s okay. Knowing about its exact and properly documented significance in history would have been nice, but history is being made all the time, and if the traditions of military challenge coins didn’t exist as far back as fifty or a hundred years ago, it wouldn’t matter very much because the fact remains: the traditions exists NOW.

They say numbers don’t lie and, though photo editing software have tried their hardest, neither do pictures. If multiple photographs that captured “secret handshakes” involving a challenge coin, a deserving individual, and the President of the country are to be believed, then the significance of these special coins (never mind the impact on history) could no longer be denied. In the contemporary context, giving challenge coins as recognition for deserving individuals is well-grounded in reality. It helps that this ritual (which is engaged in not only by the President, the Vice President, the various branches of the military, etc.) is always done in plain sight and could almost be considered as an open secret. It would take a serious cynic to not believe its authenticity.

Challenge coinsOne theory states that the military challenge coin’s allure stemmed from its rarity back in the days. Before the 1980s, for instance, very few in the Air Force (where it’s generally thought to have originated) had them. High ranking officials had been sparing in giving them away, so receiving one had truly been sought after by the units. It purportedly boosted morale, teamwork, loyalty, and revealing the challenge coins for others to see was a great source of pride. Now, even though it’s true that the coins are not so rare anymore, the old “allure” is largely unchanged because the rarity has successfully traded itself for tradition.

In fact, this custom of commemorating and individual’s service, commitment, and dedication was so powerful in later years that non-military and non-government entities have recently caught on. Presidents and Generals don’t hold monopoly over the coin minting industries after all, nor are they the only ones who are bound by honor to recognize the people who have served, protected, and assisted them.

Challenge coins are increasingly becoming more popular in corporate or business settings. Like the discerning Chiefs in the military, Bosses from far and wide don’t just acknowledge deserving subordinates with a smile and a nod anymore—they put out a hand in the manner of the “secret handshake” and the employee who had garnered special recognition would receive a surprise token in their palm. Some even forgo the whole secrecy and announce the recognition to all, reasoning correctly that everyone would know about it before lunch anyway.

Managers, Team Leaders, Supervisors… more and more of them are recognizing the value of tokens like the relatively inexpensive challenge coins in boosting the workers’ drive, unity, and overall productivity. People like being made to feel valued, and they especially like being part of something unique and worthy to be proud of.

To add more importance to the coin, one can seek to increase its actual value by having them plated or else made entirely form gold or silver. These could then be presented as smaller steps or levels that employees could strive towards in between the odd pay raise or promotion. This method was modeled from the Olympic Games, where athletes win medals that have actual or corresponding monetary value. Owning a miniature “Olympic medal” could make anyone so proud and flattered that they’d much rather keep it for display rather than sell it. As with military challenge coins, contemporary coins could trump all because of their special significance.

Author Bio:

Challenge coins have a distinguished history, dating back at least to World War I. If you’re shopping for military coins, Challenge Coins 4 Less is your one-stop, no-hassle solution to all your custom coin needs!

Common HRCI Certified Programs Questions

Technology | Posted by Shawn Dorsey
Jan 03 2015

No HRCI Certified Programs is the same. After all, different companies have different structures, different visions and missions, and different kinds of products and services they offer. However, there are several questions that are applicable to many an HRCI Certified Programs being conducted all over the world. After all, employee retention is on the line.

“Do you feel good every time you come to work every morning?”

HRCI Certified ProgramsBesides the requisite breakfast, there are several factors that affect the mood of an employee, especially in the morning. The employee may get stuck in a traffic jam. The employee may learn that his close friend or relative was in an accident or died of some disease. The employee may have read or watched depressing news items when he or she first turns on the TV or browses online news sites. If the employee arrives at the office in a bad mood, there is a higher chance of that bad mood lingering throughout the day and affecting the employee’s drive and productivity.

“Do your superiors inspire you or at least treat you as a person?”

No one wants to work for a boss who is like a merciless taskmaster who treats his men as slaves. Both employees and superiors must remember that positive reinforcement is a must at the workplace. Employees are human, after all; and they have their limits. While positive reinforcement is good, a superior should never spoil especially one favored employee to avoid jealousy.

“Do you feel confident about declaring to others where you work?”

Good publicity is the best policy here. If the company and its superiors treat the employees well, people outside their company will eventually learn how awesome the company is. This good publicity will lead to the following things: they will recommend that company to fresh graduates, they will think about doing business or establishing partnerships and joint ventures with that company, and the morale of the employees will be boosted since the people are confident in what the company is doing.

“Do you have enough materials, tools, and equipment to do your job well?”

An ample amount of supplies and a business-compliant computer for office workers, regularly-maintained machinery for factory workers, and a working set of tools for manual laborers – it should be no question that the company must provide enough supplies for employees to perform their tasks. Of course, employee theft may happen if the employee is given an excess set of consumable supplies and he or she is therefore tempted to take them home.

“Do your opinions that may shape the decisions being made that affect all personnel count?”

There is a reason why labor unions exist: they serve as the voice of ordinary workers to improve their working conditions. And even if an employee does not belong to a union, he or she still must have a say on anything that will affect the company’s operations. Even a tiny voice can be a huge catalyst for change.

“Do you know what is expected of you that will contribute to the company’s goals?”

The superiors must clearly delineate the roles of every employee in every department, especially corporate fresh meat. If the employees still do not know what they are doing even after their orientation, productivity will be affected. In a nutshell, the superiors must be like shepherds.

“Are you valued and given recognition and praise for the work you do?”

This question in an HRCI Certified Programs is usually manifested in the form of the “employee of the month” contest. And even without that contest, a simple pat on the back or a short yet rousing speech from the boss is enough for an employee to know that he or she is valued, recognized, and praised for his or her good work. This will be reflected in the HRCI Certified Programs that will be filled at some later point.

Author Bio:HRCI Certified Programs and modules can be applied as standalone offerings or in combination with your existing leadership development program.