27 January 2018

Recognition

At work and elsewhere, it's nice to receive recognition for endeavour and/or loyalty. On Wednesday, Catherine, the manager of my local Oxfam shop, presented me with a copper lapel badge and a certificate. I have worked there every Wednesday for the past three years but it doesn't seem that long.

I worked at my last Sheffield school for twenty two years. Most weeks I put in fifty to sixty hours and many holidays involved me going in to the school for days on end. For the first twenty years I didn't have a single day off and in the last two years I missed five days for health reasons. And yet I didn't receive a copper lapel badge or a certificate. In fact I received nothing but my monthly salary slip.

When it came to managing staff, that school and the education system in general seemed much better at criticism than praise even though, ironically, they expected teachers to dole out more praise than criticism in their classrooms. This week I noticed that my old school with its state-of-the-art new buildings finished bottom of the Sheffield performance league table for secondary schools. 

People need to feel valued. In my estimation, organisations that  meaningfully praise workers for years of service and for going beyond basic expectations will find that their workforce will be better motivated and probably more productive. Thank you Oxfam.

27 comments:

  1. Congratulations Mr Pudding. You are absolutely correct in saying that words of appreciation are the way to get the best out of people.

    Coincidentally, my daughter finished her training at her first school this week and moving to another the week after next. The feedback from the other teachers, plus cards and gifts she received from her mentors have really motivated her to carry on in what can be a demanding profession.

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    1. So may I assume that Miss Parrot is back in Blighty? At least she knows something about teaching from her experiences abroad. I wish her all the best.

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  2. I'm sure I'd recognise you.

    I always seem to get recognised.

    I often wonder how people ever succeed in going elsewhere; start a new life with a new identity - I couldn't. I'd get recognised for sure! :)

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    1. I could easily recognise you in your mink coat and Gucci sunglasses.

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    2. Yes...they're always a give-away, as are your flat cap, whippet and tyke...and your frequent spontaneous breaking into the Long Sword dance.

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    3. Have you employed a private detective to follow me around? It's spooky!

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    4. No....I just hung up my mink coat and put away my Gucci sunglasses for a while, Mr. Pudding.

      I conducted the undercover surveillance myself..a cost-saving approach, of course....

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    5. So it was you lurking by the postbox when I went down to the pub last week! No wonder a shiver went down my spine. I didn't realise you smoke cigars!

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  3. Well done Mr Pud. The company I last worked for was very generous with financial reward but verbal recognition or a formal written acknowledgement of a person's endeavours was, in my opinion, far more valuable. So nice when you can make someone walk away feeling warm and fuzzy!

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    1. Positive strokes cost nothing. It's just about seeing the world through someone else's eyes.

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  4. Charities collectively are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit volunteers well done for your loyalty

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    1. And I in turn applaud your for your caring work with The Samaritans.

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  5. Congratulations and well done!
    My son has a regular day job but every 13th day he volunteers for the Red Cross Ambulance in the night time from 20:00 to 8:00 and always arrived on time for work the next day. He's in his 8th year now and he got a badge and certificate on the 5th year - I was just as proud for him as when he got his university graduation.
    Greetings Maria x

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    1. To care for others and to actively do something to show that care has to be the face of true civilisation. Well done to your son!

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  6. Good point YP. Coventry and Hull are through to the next round of the cup. Just saying...

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    1. I hope we get Coventry in the next round Terry - a game between TWO cities of culture!

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  7. You, like my Mum and Dad, are examples of how retired people who are still reasonably fit (even though my Dad actually isn't) can contribute in such a positive way to life in their communities. When I grow up, I want to be like that, too.

    My current boss (still RJ) and my clients are all very good at giving praise when it is justified. I really feel very much appreciated at work, but it wasn't always so.

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    1. You are not grown up yet? Do you wear white knee socks when you skip to school? It is good that you feel valued in your current position.

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  8. Well done to you and to Oxfam. Where would the world be without volunteers? Much worse off.

    Appreciation can go a long way to counteracting the hard parts of a job. I am lucky to have appreciative employers. My husband has had good and bad, and the difference to his overall spirit in each case has been clear.

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    1. It is interesting that your husband has felt differently about the ways in which different employers have treated him. It is not all about the money.

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  9. Congratulations. The message in your post is right on. You should have taught here. We got pins every ten years along with a dinner and nice things said. The school board was their to support us.

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    1. That's wonderful. You must have been covered with lapel badges by the end of your career!

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  10. recognition makes all the difference!
    In the last place I worked, we received a free massage four times a year. They were trying hard to be good employers and the massage was nice but it couldn't make up for the fact that people felt unrecognised and the pay was low. It's not all about pay but without good morale or good pay, the massages were viewed with cynicism.
    It's important to get the balance right.

    Three years of weekly commitment is a good effort. I hope you lapped up the attention

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    1. You are right to suggest that recognition should also come in the guise of decent pay and fair working conditions.

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  11. Congrats on your well-deserved recognition. You're right that acknowledgement makes all the difference. I'm surprised you didn't get anything when you hit your 20-year mark with the school system, even upon retiring. Seems like they could have given you a plant or a mug or something!

    At the school where I currently work, all departing faculty and staff are recognized at a school-wide meeting, and I think everyone with more than 5 years of service gets a bouquet. But then, we're a private school, so we don't have the pressure of having to account for expenditures of tax money -- maybe your state school system wisely thought it better to spend money on students!

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    1. A certificate or a card costs next to nothing. The people at the top seem to have lost sight of the human element. It's not all about OFSTED reports and league tables.

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  12. very well deserved
    heartiest congratulations!

    people be often miser in acknowledging other's services and virtues which is not good
    a good and virtuous big heart always be early in admiration who deserve it

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.