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Blog about Digital Asset Management

What is a DAM Award?


Recognition for going above and beyond the ‘call of duty’ is not often rewarded. Sometimes not even mentioned in the workplace. While we do not need a ticker tape parade or gold medals for ‘just doing our job’, mentioning and/or rewarding real achievements is one way to recognize individual overachievers and your organization’s top performers. Anyone who has worked with Digital Asset Management (DAM) knows it is not as easy as pie.

A DAM Award can  recognize your organization’s top DAM users and top performers. How do you find these top performers?

By using reports directly from the DAM on a periodic basis (weekly/monthly/yearly) in a objective, predefined, quantifiable manner, it is possible to find out:

  • Who uploaded the most number of assets (not garbage, without metadata, just to boost your numbers)
  • Who metatagged the most number of assets (while following the established guidelines as to what metadata is needed within your organization)
  • Who downloaded the most number of assets for a specific project (and used those assets)
  • Who ordered the most assets from the DAM for projects (if you use an ordering system within your DAM)
  • Who created the most downloaded asset(s) in the DAM (it may not even be your organization’s logo)

You could even find out who uploaded milestone assets such as the:

  • ten thousandth asset
  • hundred thousandth asset
  • millionth asset to the DAM
  • and so on…

It is recommended to establish ground rules and fair prizes for the DAM Award. These awards could be issued to the top performing individual per group or department. DAM administrators should not be eligible to win a DAM Award. Since patterns of heavy use may occur depending on the role of the individual or project they happen to be working with the DAM, all winners may need to be limited to a specific number of times they may win the award in a row. If you have the number of DAM users which can be counted on one hand, you may want to consider adding more users to increase ROI before issuing DAM Awards.

A DAM Award can quickly establish itself as a welcome surprise since  it is fair recognition for a job well done if it is:

  • Measured and issued objectively
  • Openly documented
  • Quantifiable with numbers

The award also invites friendly competition to beat each others’  achievement every period of time. Individual winners have been known to add the fact that they are a DAM Award winner to their internal email signature line.  It often evokes a sense of pride. Yes. Pride in the individual’s achievement, due to the recognition of hard work and encouragement to continue on. DAM Awards are often prominently displayed in the individual’s workspace.

As a tangible award, create an official certificate (from a uniformed template) to hand out to winners of the DAM Award.  This award could also be emailed as a PDF to remote users. Check before issuing tangible monetary awards in case it is considered taxable compensation.

The official DAM award certificate could include:

  • Individual’s name
  • Individual’s title
  • Group/Department
  • Award date
  • What was their achievement
  • Period of time when achievement occurred
  • Quantifiable measure (numbers) to back up the achievement/milestone

Consider using the organization’s logo to make it even more official (if permitted by the organization). Otherwise, consider using a graphic element of a DAM mascot…the beaver, for example, to add as a sense of fun.

To date, I have not seen any DAM vendors create DAM Awards for their clients to use.

The recognition could also include an email to their department/group and their management to advise everyone of their achievement. Being a recipient of an objective, quantifiable award can be favorable in an annual performance review.

Various organizations use DAM Awards as a supplement to:

Do you issue DAM awards to recognize your top DAM performers?

Author: Henrik de Gyor

Consultant. Mentor. Podcaster. Writer.

5 thoughts on “What is a DAM Award?

  1. While we’ve not issued DAM awards, we have used DAM contests as a part of user training. As an example, we had a contest during search training where an asset was “hidden” in the repository. A communication was sent out to users containing clues to find this asset. Using the advanced search engine and the published clues, users could find the “hidden” asset, which contained instructions for claiming a prize. The first 5 (or 10, or whatever) people to follow these instructions were awarded the prize.

    This is a great way to train users, drive awareness of system capabilities, and have fun. We’ve had great feedback from both users and management on contests such as these.

  2. Hi Henrik. A friend of mine works in an institution for the mentally ill. She was tasked with the responsibility of getting doctors to fill out their paperwork. Not an easy task at all. Using a similar technique (and believe it or not, it worked with doctors!) she gave stars to those who completed paperwork on time…and it worked. A little friendly competition and reward is evidently a great motivator.

  3. After year one of our DAM implementation, we held our first “DAMMY Awards.” It turned into quite the project. My staff and I had a sew and stuff party at my house to make the DAMMY Beaver statuettes. We held a ceremony in the executive boardroom, complete with PowerPoint slides announcing the categories and then announcing each winner, awarding them with the DAMMY, a certificate, and a goody bag. Not only were many of our users present, but the president of our company was there to receive an honorary DAMMY for “executive level support.” Food is usually a powerful incentive, so refreshments were served, too. It was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and just a bit of fun, but our library director liked it so much that we had to hold the DAMMY Awards for the next two years. We certainly got a lot of mileage from holding these awards, but each year, most of the same power users received the awards and I felt that we had to make each ceremony better than the last. Year two, we had a gold theme and created gold lame DAMMY Beavers, with gold-dusted cupcakes with the word “DAMMY” in chocolate perched on top.

  4. Our DAMMYs continued…

    By year three, we had enough of making the awards and opted to purchase little pewter beaver pins on cards with a congratulatory message. The wording couldn’t have worked better for our purpose. For anyone who may be interested in obtaining them, here’s the link to the site: Type in “beaver pin” in the search box and you’ll find it.

    We found that these awards helped with awareness of the DAM system throughout the institute. We haven’t had the DAMMY Awards for about three years now. While we now have a blog for our DAM users and a monthly image review newsletter, I’m not sure how many people are actually reading them. It may be time for a new tactic to reach out and gain more use and acceptance.

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