How does a growing professional recruitment and staffing firm inspire camaraderie and unity while tripling sales and opening offices in new locations?

RECOGNITION GOAL: Service and performance

THEME: Values. The Whitaker Way Award is bestowed by Bruce Whitaker, CEO, to an individual nominated by co-workers who best embodies the company’s Core Principles of Respect, Balance, Professionalism, Performance, Integrity, and Teamwork.

ARTISTRY: The artist created a custom physical representation of the Whitaker Companies’ trademark. The “W” in their logo symbolized a bar graph that is finished “Off the Charts.”

COMPOSITION: Individual award – polished granite; Lobby tribute tower – wood, crystal

Each year at Whitaker’s State of the Business meeting, division managers present their group’s performance and goals for the coming year. During the event, Bruce Whitaker presents a custom award to a staff member. It is the highlight of the event.

Visible Applause worked closely with Mr. Whitaker to create a custom icon that embodied the corporate image.   At the annual meeting, the award is presented and the recipient’s name is added to the pedestal lobby display at corporate headquarters.

Bruce Whitaker, founder and CEO, expressed his challenge this way: “Although we can fly new employees in to Houston headquarters for a week, the obstacle was transferring the knowledge and inspiring the message for a lasting impact. And that’s where we came up with the Whitaker Way modeled along the lines of the Big Blue Way for IBM chronicled in the book Good to Great.”

zachry visible applause
zachry visible applause

Each year at the State of the Business meeting, each division manager presents how their group performed and their goals for the coming year. As a wrap-up, Bruce bestows the Whitaker Way award, “It is important to me, annually, to honor an individual who, based on the opinions of co-workers throughout the company, has modeled our company’s Core Principles of respect, balance, professionalism, performance, integrity and teamwork.”

zachry visible applause

The individual honorees we learned later would display the medallions at home … treasured physical symbols of excellence that last years beyond caps and jackets.

zachry visible applause
“The artistry of the lobby display visibly reinforces the honored recipients and is a daily reminder of Whitaker’s Principles to employees, clients and visitors.”


For organizations that aspire to improved performance,
we design recognition programs for executives
that visually anchor employee excellence
in a way that deepens culture
and gives work intrinsic value and meaning.