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Appreciation & Recognition with Katie Fox

Employee Appreciation Day is fast approaching on March 3. Hannah Gzik, VP of Build a Kick Ass Company, met up with Katie Fox, Co-Executive Director at Community Living South Huron recently to discuss how she keeps appreciation and recognition alive every day in their organization. Read the interview below to gather ideas for your own team.

Hannah: Why do you feel appreciation and recognition is so important to a team?

Katie: I feel that life is hard these days and work can be too. People NEED to know that what they do day in and day out matters - to feel valued, seen, and to know they make a difference. Showing gratitude for what a person or team brings to the bigger picture provides a much-needed boost to their self-esteem, self-efficacy and morale. It is the very least we can do to extend a genuine thank you for the amazing work they do amidst unprecedented challenges. All people need to feel appreciated, most more than they even know.

Hannah: What does Community Living South Huron do to make appreciation and recognition part of your workplace culture?

Katie: CLSH subscribes to the "Team Human" philosophy. We are all merely humans, trying to do our best and to extend kindness, care, and compassion to all involved with the Agency. We aim to infuse this philosophy into all that we do - putting people over process and bringing challenges back down to the "human level". This paradigm shift determines how all interactions at all levels of the agency should "feel" - from how a sick call is handled, to how we approach mental health and wellness, to how a job well done is recognized - human first. What this means is we show appreciation and recognition to our staff members as "whole" human beings, with challenges and difficulties both at work and outside. We aim to show recognition in this way too - knowing our staff members as people, their values, their feelings, their interests, their strengths, and their difficulties. The end goal is to utilize our relationships in order to provide ongoing meaningful, timely, and thoughtful recognition - in a way that the person appreciates.

Katie Fox, Co-Executive Director at Community Living South Huron

Hannah: Do you have any creative employee recognition ideas that may help others get started?

Katie: Each Friday, CLSH posts a weekly #shineourlighton" staff member of the week on social media. A picture of the staff member, how long they've been with the agency and what their job means to them is shared alongside meaningful comments about why the person is appreciated by the Agency and why we are grateful to have them on our team. Often these comments extend past just work.... on their character, their roles outside of work and interests. Anyone who wants to participate is included. Often our staff members share the posts on their personal profiles or save them to read again on a tough day! I know that more than a few happy tears have been shed while reading this meaningful feedback.

Hannah: If you heard a manager wants to give their team members recognition but doesn’t have time for it, what would you recommend?

Katie: Be intentional! Actively look for the good and you will find it. A simple text, email or "great job, thank you!" is a simple way to start. Make appreciation part of your everyday conversations and you will find the time.

If you’d like to learn more about Community Living South Huron, visit their website here.


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