I meet super-achievers, those with the real love for their craft beyond simply trading an hour for $x, almost every day. They don’t get paid overtime. They sometimes grumble about their hours. But their drive for excellence keeps them going long into the night. And the businesses they work for reap the unmeasurable rewards.

The team of designers and coders I am currently working with is testament to this. Their love for their crafts often drive them to stay later than they have to, they rework and rework a project unbidden – just so they can do even better. I often find myself telling them to go home.

These people do what they for the joy of achievement. They aim to better themselves. To elevate their craftsmanship to the next level. They push the boundaries of their abilities for that sense of Excellence.

Many if not all businesses rely on this love to survive. To innovate. To be better than their actual raw resources could ever enable them to be.

This love is sometimes not recognised. And seldom formally and fully remunerated. But it does not seem to matter too much, as long as no one is actually starving. Isn’t it amazing that there are people out there who do things for love and are not overly concerned by bean-counting?!!!

(And yes, there will be those out there who look askance at this sort of behaviour; how could anyone be so stupid as to not monetize everything they do! Boo to your limited view of humanity I say.)

This Christmas, let all businesses stop, reflect and appreciate those who give of their love to their work.

If businesses had to pay for this sort of commitment, not many will survive financially. Recognition can be (and is sometimes) awarded in other ways – greater work hours flexibility, good tools, the occasional toy even, good culture, great environments, good leaders, good peers, and fun perks like movie nights etc.

Appreciation and recognition of this extraordinary contribution is critical for the sustainability of the business. Take your people for granted too long, even those driven more by greater love for their craft than their pay cheques will get jaded and leave. Or worse, they will lose heart in what they do and turn bitter at the world. We so don’t need that!