Appreciation is a fundamental human need. Whatever else we derive from our work, nothing rivals the feeling that we truly matter – that we are recognized for contributing a unique value to this beautiful university. Studies in North America also reflect this phenomenon. More than two-thirds of people surveyed by Boston-based Globoforce through their Workforce Mood Tracker said they were motivated by praise, while 78 percent said they would work harder if their contributions were recognized or appreciated.
Recognition and appreciation can come in many forms: a simple thank you, an award, an invite to lunch; and is equally important when coming from a colleague as when coming from a supervisor.
Every Day is Colleague Appreciation Day
Here are some examples for inspiration as highlighted by Dr Robert Nelson in his book, 1501 Ways to Reward Employees
- Royal Victoria Hospital in Ontario has a special voicemail line for employees to leave anonymous messages about their co-workers’ good performance, which are then written on cards and given to the complimented employee’s manager for individual recognition.
- Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has an online employee peer-to-peer recognition system for employees to enter co-worker recognition. The system then sends an email, notifying the giver’s and recipient’s managers, and enters points into employees’ electronic cards for redeeming merchandise.
- ComDoc in Ohio utilizes employee emails to HR that are then distributed company-wide to recognize and share news of accomplishments.
- Toronto Scotiabank has an award-winning comprehensive peer-to-peer recognition program that enables and encourages employees to recognize each other for living the company’s values.
- Wells Fargo’s electronic peer-to-peer recognition program utilizes e-cards, e-wards, and “Ride the Wave” annual awards to make it fun and easy for employees to recognize each other’s’ performance to organizational values.
What You Can Do Today
Every single person reading this article has a co-worker who does their job in such a way that you are able to do your job more effectively. You know who I’m talking about, the people who always have the answers and are there for you when you need them. So, why not take a minute today to try some of these creative ways to give cheers to your peers?
- Random acts of kindness: Make it a point to not leave on Friday afternoon until you have performed an act of kindness for a coworker. Help them with a project, grab them a cup of coffee, or buy them lunch.
- Leave them a note: Write a secret note of thanks to your co-worker specifically describing what they do to deserve your praise.
- Celebrate successes: When one of your coworkers reaches a goal or a milestone, do what you can to help them celebrate! Bake a cake, decorate their workspace: or sing a song of celebration.
- Become a UBC Health Contact: Be the person in your office or unit to share healthy information for UBC employees. Get the news about the latest corporate fitness discounts, free workshops and free trainings. and spread the healthy news to your peers. Click here for more information.
- Write them up: Tell Your Team: If a coworker goes above and beyond, put it in writing and praise them in a group email or note!
- Support them when they’re down: Consider how you can support co-workers under stress.
- Start a peer-to-peer recognition team: If your workplace doesn’t already have one, why not approach your manager with this idea? Develop a team to recognize your co-workers. Rotate the members on an annual basis so everyone has a chance to serve.
Make It Happen
One excellent way to build a system of support, recognise achievements, and build a culture of rewarding is to create a Healthy Work place Initiative Program for your department. The Healthy Workplace Initiatives Program (HWIP) is a fund available to UBC departments to support healthy activities in the workplace. The program provides start-up funds to starting health-related initiatives. The application deadline for next round of funding is Nov. 21, 2014. For more information, or to be inspired by previous programs, visit our website.