What makes someone an Everyday Staff Recognition Hero?
That likely depends on who’s answering the question.
In response to an invitation I extended to Briefly Noted readers and others in August, two people stepped forward with their descriptions.
The people they identified as their Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes illustrated that meaningful recognition can come from two sources—managers and peers.
One of the people whose names were submitted is a manager, while the other Everyday Staff Recognition Hero is someone who acknowledges the contributions of colleagues.
What both these heroes have in common is their use of simple, easy-to-do ways to acknowledge the contributions of others in their workplaces.
In other words, they do a good job of recognizing others regularly for what they do, in simple ways that recipients would value and by using techniques that any of us could use.
The 2019 Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes are Brittany Mosenko, a teacher at Mother Teresa Catholic School in Grande Prairie, Alberta, and Vicki Reeve, an Operation Manager in the 311 Communications and Engagement department of the City of Edmonton.
Mother Teresa Catholic School principal Nichole Gerein said, “Brittany takes time to recognize all members of our staff. She remembers special days and celebrates success. Brittany goes out of her way to plan activities to show all members of our school community that they are valued and appreciated.
Nichole backed up her belief that Brittany’s “small acts of kindness help to create a positive work environment” with specific examples of what she does:
- “[Brittany] recognizes our custodians for the work that they do to keep our school looking great.
- She worked with our parent group to design and build an outdoor learning classroom.
- She started staff wellness activities to lift spirits and build staff relationships—High Five Fridays, yoga, paint nights, etc.”
Of Vicki, administrative clerk Shrinaben Patel wrote, “Vicki is understanding, warm-hearted, thoughtful of others and helpful. She is a hard worker and inspires others to do the same.”
As well, “She is simply never too busy. Vicki takes the time to acknowledge everyone in the office, even as they pass by her in the hallway. Whether big or small, she recognizes everyone’s efforts. Even when her calendar is full to the brim, her office is always open to drop-ins and she will create time to squeeze in a few minutes [to discuss] any concerns or for a quick chat.”
The identification of Brittany and Vicki as Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes is the result of the latest in a series of annual searches for people who do a good job of acknowledging the contributions and achievements of others in the workplace.
Since 2013, this has evolved from looking for a single “Recognizer-of-the-Year” to listing “Staff Recognition All-Stars,” to this year, when the search has been reinvented to seek “Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes.”
An Everyday Staff Recognition Hero could be your supervisor, someone you supervise, a co-worker (remember the power of peer recognition) or someone with whom you don’t work, but who you are aware has great staff recognition practices.
They could work anywhere—in a school, a health-care facility, a non-profit or a government office. Or maybe they work in the energy sector, in a manufacturing plant, a retail business or in the hospitality sector.
The search for those who do a good job of recognizing others is scheduled each year during the weeks leading up to National Boss Day, which is observed on October 16.
There were two thoughts behind the decision to link the searches to National Boss Day.
First, there is the traditional view that taking time to recognize the people they supervise for doing a good job is an important expectation of leaders in any position. Those bosses who do a good job of this are the leaders that others want to follow, no matter the industry they are in.
Secondly, bosses are like anyone else. They need and usually deserve to be recognized for what they do as much as anyone else in the workplace.
As I write this, I recall words attributed to American industrialist Charles Schwab. “I have yet to find the man, however exalted his station, who did not do better work and put forth greater effort under a spirit of approval than under a spirit of criticism.”
Of course, recognition should not be limited to once a year. Whether a person is a boss or a team member, they should be recognized regularly, with messages of appreciation that are GREAT—Genuine, Relevant, Explicit, Appropriate and Timely.
There are a number of ways to express appreciation to your boss, including putting his or her name forward when I next ask for submissions of Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes.
Watch for the announcement of the 2020 search for Everyday Staff Recognition Heroes in Briefly Noted and on Twitter in August.
And of course, I will also want to hear about those who do a good job of recognizing their peers.