I have just spent a very rewarding day judging at the Great British Care Awards. Many reading this blog will know that the Great British Care Awards are a series of regional events throughout England to recognise and celebrate the excellent work, often carried out behind the scenes, by dedicated and committed staff across the care sector.
For those shortlisted for an award, to attend the judging day can be a great boost in confidence having passed the first hurdle in the awards process.
The Great British Care Awards is one of a number of awards schemes within the care sector set up to acknowledge the excellent work being done by many individuals and organisations. Similar awards schemes exist in other sectors and industries.
At a time when most of the news headlines are dominated by the crisis in the social care sector, it is refreshing that such recognition schemes exist, celebrating the good work that is done on the frontline and the impact of such work on ordinary peoples lives within what we know to be a fraught and fragile sector.
Award schemes are an excellent way of increasing morale not only for the individuals nominated for the award but the organisation as a whole who also should take credit for creating the environment in which such excellent work can take place.
Acknowledging the value and contribution employees have on the success of the company should be the basis of your internal communications efforts and taking part in an awards scheme is just one way to express this. However, there are many other initiatives that organisations could use to recognise employees.
It may seem obvious the importance of thanking staff and showing appreciation, but this can often be overlooked as the demands of the day-to-day operational activities take over.
Some of the lowest paid workers are employed within the care sector. Many working above and beyond what would be normally expected, to provide high quality services that have a positive impact on the people they support.
The simple gesture of thanking and recognising an employee’s specific contribution would help to create a positive work culture and increase motivation. Furthermore, it will encourage staff to be more engaged because they know the work they do is important and makes a difference.
A recognition scheme doesn’t have to be costly or even time-consuming. There are many low-cost initiatives that you could use to show appreciation. From the simple thank-you card to express personal thanks for a specific job well done, the giving a small gift, to offering greater flexibility on work arrangements, to name a few.
Whatever method you use, the goal should be to develop a company culture that consistently thanks staff and personally recognises the contribution they make. Happy staff are likely to stay working for their employer longer and continue to deliver high quality services that have a positive effect on the people they support.
Edna Petzen @LyndenConsult is the director and consultant at Lynden Consulting, a strategic management, marketing and communications company helping organisations develop marketing strategy, build and protect their brand, improve performance and achieve communication excellence. Find out more