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.