United Space Alliance Case Study

Client Background


United Space Alliance (USA) was formed in 1996 from the direction of NASA, a merger from the leaders in Space Exploration including Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Raytheon. Their 12,000 employees are responsible for all operations of space exploration, including the shuttle and the International Space Station, making them the primarily organization in the world responsible for the safety and exploration of space.


In 1997 we competed with Tiffany, OC Tanner and others for the service award business. During the research phase we discovered that all the former parent companies had their own performance based recognition programs and presented the case for a holistic approach inclusive of the service award. Realizing that safety was paramount we structured the entire program around the awareness of safety through their mission and value statement.


  • Create a behavior that recognizes seven principles (Leadership,
  • Technical Achievement, Administrative Excellence, Teamwork, Safety, and Community Service) communicate daily and celebrate the success of the employees.
  • Create a culture that all 12,000 employees from over 30 companies understand and believe in.
  • Have a recognition program that is “The Best In The Country”
  • Create Peer to Peer Recognition to assure employee participation
  • Put Safety first in everything we do


The key to the success of the program is the “Spotlight “ award or the peer to peer recognition. The award is an inexpensive, symbolic item that reminds all of their responsibility The program of “Quest for Excellence Powered by the Human Spirit” is a management principle that USA believe is a key to their success.

  • Peer to Peer-Spotlight
  • Space Achievement Award
  • Monthly Award
  • Industry Partner Awards
  • Superior Achievement Award
  • Service Awards


USA does not measure its performance on a profit and loss but on maintaining a culture of performance to the highest standards. Since the inception of the program all employees have received at least one award including the peer to peer Spotlight award. All employees understand the philosophy of USA and recognition has become a true celebration of their success.