The Maple Leaf
Vol. 15, Issue 06
Have you thanked someone today?
A bee approaches a sunflower.
Flower petals with dew.
A simple ‘thank you’ may seem like a small gesture, but for those who make employee recognition their business, these words can go a long way.
“Organizations that can create a culture of recognition within their day-to-day operations are those that will see a more engaged, happy workforce,” says Mandy Hanlon, Director General Workplace Management. “By celebrating and showcasing excellence and innovation, National Defence is in a position to attract the best and the brightest.”
These are uncertain times for Canadians and public servants. Now, more than ever, it is important to recognize the contributions of members of the Defence Team. Like all federal departments, DND/CF is currently in the midst of change, which can often times result in anxiety and stress for those directly or indirectly impacted by budget reductions.
“In these times of change, employees need to work differently and find efficiencies in an environment where there is a lot of uncertainty,” says Director Diversity and Well-Being Lorraine MacIver. “Recognition will help improve morale during the transition; therefore, it is more important than ever to continue to celebrate the achievements of the Defence Team throughout the year.”
National Defence regularly measures people management issues related to leadership, workforce and work environment. Through the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey, DND employees expressed their views on what matters to them at work.
While 58 percent of civilian employees indicated they receive meaningful recognition, which is in keeping with the public service average, the results highlight opportunities to build upon these levels of satisfaction and improve recognition within the Defence Team.
“These numbers provide an incentive for managers to find ways to enhance their employee recognition strategies,” says Gail Johnson, Director General HR Strategic Directions. “One suggestion would be for managers to hold group discussions within their organizations in order for employees to have direct input into how to improve their workplaces.”
In a changing work environment, it is sometimes difficult to find the time to properly recognize individuals. That’s why the Corporate Awards and Recognition Program encourages military and civilian managers to continue to celebrate the achievements of their staff throughout the year. As time is often an issue in today’s environment, they recommend quick and powerful ways to recognize staff and or co-workers:
- Show your appreciation as immediately as possible after the event or action you want to point out.
- Give sincere and specific credit.
- As with communications, use every recognition channel you can—public and private, oral and written—to acknowledge success and accomplishments.
- Set clear standards. Take time to clarify the values, or goals, that are important for you and your team to live by.
- Personalize recognition. If an employee isn’t comfortable being acknowledged in front of others, consider recognizing them in an e-mail or a team newsletter. Where it aligns with employee preference, recognize accomplishments in public at scheduled meetings or other events.
- Show appreciation for good efforts, pilot projects, and even mistakes if they advance organizational learning, especially if that experience is shared openly and widely for all to benefit from and build upon.
- Make sure to note the annual nomination deadline each January for the prestigious formal Corporate Awards available to both DND employees and CF members: http://dt-ed.mil.ca/awards-prix/index-eng.asp.
“Members of the Defence Team are committed to DND/CF, and it shows every day in the great work they do,” says Assistant Deputy Minister (Human Resources – Civilian) Cynthia Binnington. “Recognizing this work will motivate employees to be even more confident, enthusiastic and innovative, inspiring others to achieve results now and in the future.”
Use these photo cards to say “Thank you” to deserving individuals while recognizing some talented photographers from DND’s annual photo contest.
Send a Thank-You Card Today
Tip: Acknowledge excellence with a few well-chosen words that are specific to the accomplishment achieved.
For more information about how to obtain these thank-you cards*, contact Joanne Lavergne at 613-971-0383. * The cards are available in pre-assorted packages.